Most orientation directors or training managers agree that visual aspects are a crucial part to the comprehension of material. According to Dr. Richard Mayer, a psychologist at UC Santa Barbara, studies have shown that people absorb and retain information better when there are text and images on a screen. In fact, the combination of text and visuals are shown to increase retention by 42%.
In order to relay your message properly, you’ll want to make sure your visuals are relevant to the information that you are displaying. The human brain processes visual information 60,000 times faster than text, so it is important to make sure your images are reinforcing your text message clearly.
Orientation or training departments are often made up of small teams (or sometimes just one person), so creating visual aspects for every message can be time-consuming and difficult. Fortunately, there are a variety of free resources available online that allows users to create visually appealing infographics, images and charts to support their content and message.
Below are a few resources that are sure to come in handy while creating content for your orientation or training.
Canva – canva.com
Canva is a free, easy to use software that allows users to create designed infographics, presentations, flyers, invitations, and more. You can create your own template or utilize one of their designed templates which includes hundreds of design elements like fonts, colors and icons.
Pixabay – pixabay.com
Pixabay is a free stock photo library that houses over 500,000 high-resolution photos and vector graphics. They are free for commercial use and no attribution is required. This is a great resource for anyone who lacks an on-staff photographer or who has trouble finding high-resolution images for print materials.
Piktochart – piktochart.com
Piktochart is another free infographic tool that provides a large library of icons and images, ready-made text frames, charts and maps, and high-resolution downloads of your finished product. Piktochart is great for collateral as well, such as flyers or posters for your program. For a fee of $40/year, is also offers a PRO version for educators that allows for custom branding and additional features.
PicMonkey – picmonkey.com
PicMonkey is a free online photo-editing tool that allows users to crop, resize, recolor and rotate images. It also allows you to overlay text on an image or create a variety of effects such as black and white, sepia and Polaroid film. This tool is also helpful when you need to resize your high-resolution image down to a smaller resolution so that it loads faster online and it can be sent through email.
Pixlr – pixlr.com
Pixlr is another online photo editor that is available for your desktop, as a web app or mobile. It is the most advanced free editor online and offers many similar features that are available in Photoshop.
Google Fonts – fonts.com/web-fonts/google
Google Fonts is an open source platform that allows users to utilize free web fonts for any type of digital communication. Recently, Google Fonts released their free desktop version in collaboration with SkyFonts, meaning users can download Google Fonts free of charge and utilize them for any commercial material.
Many institutions and companies have a brand or identity guide that outlines which fonts should be used in communication materials. If your institution has not already done so, including an open source Google Font in your brand guide can help unify print and online material.
Comevo is the market leader in Online Orientation software for Higher Education.
If you have questions regarding using multimedia or visuals in your online orientation or training, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.