Daily Buzz: Tools for Getting Visual

Plenty of tools out there could help give your visuals a boost—but they won’t completely replace the need for an actual designer. Also: Are web analytics bunk? Here’s what a former Reddit CEO had to say.

Communicating with your members is an increasingly visual endeavor—and getting visual requires having a mixture of skills, tools, and time.

But what if you’re lacking in the skills or time departments? What if you just run a small chapter and resources are tight? Fortunately, there are plenty of tools out there that could help fill the gap.

Over at Billhighway, writer Sarah Garrity highlights a series of graphical tools that came up at the firm’s recent Association Component Exchange.

Among the highlights are PowToon, an offering that allows people to easily create animated presentations; the web-based graphic design tool Canva, which had multiple fans among attendees; and Envato, a creative marketplace that sells professional, ready-made graphical components.

But while these tools had their partisans, Garrity was quick to emphasize that they were not replacements for traditional designers.

“Sometimes a tool can make a huge difference, as our CEX presenters demonstrated,” Garrity wrote. “But sometimes people expect technology to solve problems it can’t really solve.”

Analytics Skepticism

How much trust should you put in web analytics? Recently, former Reddit CEO Ellen Pao called web analytics “fake,” which is a pretty provocative statement, to say the least. She noted that the problem came down to logged-out users.

“No one has figured out how to count logged-out mobile users, as I learned at Reddit,” she explained in a post-Christmas tweet last month. “Every time someone switches cell towers, it looks like another user and inflates company user metrics.”

In response to the bold claim, CMSWire dug in and asked a variety of experts whether the claim was right or wrong—and not everyone agreed. Even if you think Pao’s comments don’t hold water, the discussion she created is interesting.

Other Links of Note

A fresh sign that the tech world is changing? Microsoft just put Office on the Mac App Store.

PCMA’s Convene has a useful thought exercise for event planners looking to move the needle on their conferences: Think of your event as a person.

Being nice may sound like the right thing to do, but it can be quite costly, according to a recent American Psychological Association study. Inc. has the details.

(azgek/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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