If you are looking to create visual reports, site maps, wireframes, infographics on a budget, you might want to consider Creately.com. Creately.com is a cloud based application that allows you to do these things quite easily.
1. It’s free
But your files are public unless you pay. Kind of smart of them.
2. Allows your work to download as pdfs, or as a png.
This means that the application is useable as is.
3. Allows you to upload images.
Add your logo or a custom icon. If you upload them as svg files which is a vector based format, then you can change the colour and transparency of these images. If you don’t know what a vector based format is – it’s a file that creates an image with mathematics. That means it can be easily scared without losing quality. You can use this Online-convert.com to convert your small pngs, jpegs, etc. to svg for free as well.
4. Intuitive to use
Pretty intuitive interface, I must say. Mostly drag and drop. You can change properties of your elements with a tab on the right or if you select an object, some of the properties will hover nearby.
5. Object ordering
You can change the order of objects. This allows you to place things in front or behind.
6. Graphics and templates
Given that it is free, there are quite a number of graphics and fonts bundles with it that you can use. Many of the ones below I imported into it, but several I haven’t. Some of the templates appear to be made by the community as there looks like there are some that are not finished.
5. Easy sign-in.
You can sign in with your Google account, Facebook or Twitter account which makes things simpler. If you leave the app, it goes to sleep. It also seems to automatically save, but I haven’t tested this extensively, so better save it to be on the save side.
1. VERY GLITCHY WITH CHROME. Arrrgh!
I ended up using Mac’s Safari and only experiences the occasional freeze. I have no tested it on any other browser, but there is a known issue with Chrome’s flash function and this site. Unfortunately finding that out was not easy.
2. Your files are public to registered users of Creately.
Which is a bit of a drag if you want your content to be original or you have put a lot of time and effort into creation. But hey. It’s free. And I admire the fact that have managed to make it useable to free users.
4. It takes some experimenting to see what actually gets printed in your final project.
If you have something hiding below your workspace, it will turn up. If you print with transparency to png, you may be surprised with your background. If you lack patience perhaps get someone else to figure it out.
To get an idea of what it can do, have a look at this infographic I created with Creately.com. Feel free to share it, of course! The data is real.