#WOL Working Out Loud: Images

I LOVE working with images. I LOVE using big pictures to help tell the story. I LOVE beautiful photography and well-drawn illustrations. LOVE it all! But… to create content that is more accessible and inclusive, I need to pay better attention to the way I handle images and text, going forward.

Before I proceed, I’d like to say that I am following the guidance provided colleagues who shared their knowledge at the eLearning Guild Accessibility Summit. I am especially listening to the oft published colleague and friend, Dr. Jane Bozarth. Her practical, common sense approaches make so much sense to me.  (Thanks, Jane! Read her curated content here: Jane_Bozarth_Refs And, buy her books here: Books_On_Amazon).

Side note: Pro Package members of the eLearning Guild are able to view these sessions in the archive. Membership_Info

This lesson isn't about choosing the correct images, type of files to select, nor sourcing images. Instead, this is a demonstration of how to work with images to make them more accessible and inclusive.

Image as backdrop = No. As tempting as it is to make images the backdrop, doing so can make the content less readable for many people.

Let’s just not do this anymore. Meaning, text overlay on a photo.

Contrast is important. Do this, instead.


Graphs and charts. These can be difficult to read--for all of us. And, they can be difficult to work with, when provided by others. Sometimes, just gotta do it. First, resist the temptation to just take the images generated in MS Excel and paste them into the content. Doing this limits the options for making the information more readable to a broader audience. Do the work. Re-imagine them for maximum impact. How?

  • Use only the key details or metrics that need to be shared. Fewer details means better focus and better readability.

  • Re-create charts and graphs, using shapes, fills, and lines.

  • Infographic style designs work, too.

  • PowerPoint 2016 has new tools that make it possible to change the fonts and their sizes. Just click! DO make the changes to make the image more readable. Tip: Create the item in .ppt. Save it as an image and import it into other content documents.

  • Change things up by visually re-imagining the information, using clip art or other types of images.

  • Let the visuals tell the story. Don’t just plunk numbers in to be finished. Like this.

Finally. Focus on...

  • Make the content readable.

  • Build content to tell the story.

  • Make the content visually compelling.

  • Draw people to the content with all of these.


Billion Dollar Graphics.com Free Cheat Sheet

Mike Parkinson, MVP video on YouTube

Nolan Haims, MVP video on YouTube

David McCandless, The Beauty of Data Visualization Ted Talk

Please, continue to WATCH THIS SPACE!