Newsletter of the Medical Library Group of Southern California and Arizona

JM2010: Engaging Users with Powerful Visuals – On the Cheap!

Posted on February 2, 2010 by kcarlson | 1 Comment

By Evonda Copeland, Supervisor of Library Services, Scottsdale Healthcare, Scottsdale, AZ.

Contributed Paper: Engaging Users with Powerful Visuals – on the Cheap! Kelli Ham, Consumer Health Coordinator, NN/LM Pacific Southwest Region, UCLA Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library, Los Angeles, CA.

Kelli Ham discussed affordable, easy-to-use programs to help you incorporate effective visuals into your instructional modules:

1. Microsoft Office templates provide a simple starting point for any instructional module and often include special effects. A word of caution on using special effects – use them judiciously. You don’t want to over-stimulate your audience so much that they are distracted from your content.

2. Picasa (free download) is an easy-to-navigate image editor that can help you edit, organize and share your images. It’s now a part of the Google suite & ties in with Google accounts. Picasa can also help you edit poor quality photos – even the pictures you think are a “lost cause”. For example, if your photo is too dark, Picasa will let you add “fill light” to brighten people or items within your dark picture. Picasa also provides red-eye removal, contrast adjustments, drop-shadows and backgrounds for your images. There’s even an “I’m feeling lucky” button that will attempt to clean up your photos for you.

3. SnagIt (free 30-day trial, $50 for full version) is a screen capture & image editing program that helps you provide fast, easy, on-the-spot instruction to your users. Through its “Send” tab, SnagIt provides a one-click export to Word or Powerpoint. Its image editor has drawing capabilities, color correction and batch resizing for very large pictures.
Snagit will also capture scrolling webpages and pull-down menus (i.e. PubMed dropdown fields), and once a webpage has been captured you can drag-and-drop different components of the webpage in order to reduce any wasted (white) space on your image.

4. Jing (free basic version, $15/yr full version) is an on-screen video & audio capture program that allows you to capture computing action with voice-overs. Jing Pro expands functionality to include Webcam recording and YouTube sharing.

5. Screencast offers a free account (2GB storage/2GB monthly bandwidth) and an expanded version (25GB storage/200GB monthly bandwidth) for $9.95/mth or $99.95/yr.

Posted 2/2/10


One Response to “JM2010: Engaging Users with Powerful Visuals – On the Cheap!”

  1. Andrea Lynch
    April 23rd, 2010 @ 3:19 pm

    Check out Kelli’s slides and speaker notes at:

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