Data visualization and storytelling


9 ways to transform text and images into interactive visualizations

From cards and quizzes to photo sliders and timelines, Flourish helps you turn any qualitative data into stunning pieces of content

Working with both quantitative and qualitative data doesn’t usually pose a significant visualization challenge. For example, a scatter plot showing GDP per country (quantitative) and country names (qualitative) combines the two types of data.

But what about when we’re only dealing with qualitative data, such as text, images, video and audio? This is where many struggle, as most people think that effective data visualization hinges on numerical data.

Fortunately, visualizing qualitative data with Flourish is a breeze! A simple look at our template library will show you a variety of templates specifically designed for transforming any content into engaging, interactive visualizations – see 9 examples below.

Jump to:

• Cards
• Photo Slider
• Interactive SVG
• Countdown & Number Ticker
• Timeline
• Word Cloud
• Quiz
• Text Annotator
• 3D Viewer

1. Create customizable blocks of content with the Cards template

The Flourish Cards template stands out as one of the most adaptable and creative templates in our library. It helps you showcase content blocks complete with detailed descriptions, additional information, and even rich multimedia elements like images, videos and audio.

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The interactive features, such as popups and customizable panels, along with extensive options for image customization, make the Cards template an ideal choice for bringing to life a wide array of subjects – from people and brands to places and products.

What’s even better, this template supports custom HTML, which can be added directly within the Flourish editor. This setting opens up a world of creativity, empowering even those with minimal HTML and CSS knowledge to effortlessly design stunning card galleries.

You can create collapsible sections or flippable cards, bringing a new level of interactivity to any webpage. Just take a look at our help docs and grab the code snippet you need!

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PS: At Flourish, we frequently use the Cards template to create website sections that would otherwise require more intricate effort and resources. See the “Related articles” section at the bottom of this blog post, which is actually a Cards visualization!

2. Easily compare two images with a photo slider

Images often speak louder than words, especially when showing the same subject in a different context. The Photo Slider is an excellent tool for this, allowing readers to interactively compare two images side-by-side. It’s especially effective for “before and after” comparisons.

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The Photo Slider is one of the easiest templates to get started with – because unlike most Flourish templates, there is no Data tab. Simply upload two images, customize the layout according to your preferences using the settings panel, and you are done!

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3. Elevate your static illustrations with the Interactive SVG template

You’ve created a stunning SVG graphic that adds more context to your report or news article – great! But how can you take it a step further?

By making it interactive, of course! The Interactive SVG template allows you to transform any SVG artwork into dynamic, interactive diagrams. Enriched with clickable segments, these visualizations reveal additional details which offer your readers a deeper dive into any subject.

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The true brilliance of Interactive SVGs lies in their ability to increase engagement while allowing readers to focus on one specific section of your graphic at a time. This addresses the common challenge of cluttered infographics, paving the way for an optimized user experience.

All you need to get started with this template is your own SVG graphic – check out our blog post for valuable insights, helpful tips, and more captivating examples.

4. Build anticipation for upcoming events with number tickers and countdowns

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Is there a better way to pique your viewers’ interest than with a countdown? With just a few clicks, you can integrate customized countdowns into your website to remind your readers of the time remaining until the big reveal or main event. This not only raises their excitement but also introduces an element of dynamic suspense to your content.

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Alternatively, for moments when you need to showcase progress or celebrate milestones, the Number Ticker template has you covered! It can effectively showcase important statistics in any online report, much like we did in the example above.

Similarly to the Photo Slider, the Countdown and Number Ticker templates don’t have a Data tab – you just need to imput your numbers or dates and you’re ready to go. And for those seeking a more customized touch, the templates offer custom options for enhancing the CSS styling or incorporating images. Check our help docs to learn more:

5. Show events as they unfold with an interactive timeline

Timeline visualizations are ideal for showcasing events in chronological order. What’s more, they successfully break down large chunks of text into smaller, more digestible pieces. Combine this with responsive design, option to add background images and filterable legends, and you have a great piece of content that brings life to any web page or presentation.

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Our premium Timeline template comes with 2 layouts – horizontal and vertical. In addition, you can easily adjust the aspect ratio of your visualization to ensure optimal performance on any screen size. Read our blog post for more.

6. Visualize key concepts with dynamic word clouds

You’ve surely come across a word cloud before – the familiar visualization type that uses scaled text to represent values associated with words or phrases.

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But here’s the elephant in the room – while they’re great for showing key concepts at a glance, they’re not always spot-on when it comes to deep analysis.

Word clouds emphasize word frequency, but other factors like word length can create a false sense of importance and lead to inaccurate interpretation of data. They also typically fail to give you actionable insights in a way other chart types would.

Therefore, use this chart type with care – use it as a conversation starter or as an engaging interlude in your slide deck, but keep in mind that it might not present a complete picture on its own.

7. Engage your audience with interactive quizzes

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Dipping your toes into the world of trivia can be a fantastic way to learn something new, and what better way to do it than with our Quiz template? It offers a fun and interactive experience for readers to engage with your content.

Choose between a slider or multiple choice, customize feedback, and even add multimedia elements for an extra layer of fun! Read our help doc for more.

PS: While the Quiz template doesn’t retain user responses, our premium Calculator template does. That makes it perfect for collecting, analyzing and visualizing the users’ input. Want to know more? Our blog post has all the details.

8. Simplify longer text with interactive annotations

Sometimes, you might need a tool to insert additional context or explanations into a text. That’s where our Text Annotator steps in. Whether you need to dive deeper into a political speech or a literary work like a poem, this template is your go-to solution.

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A significant benefit of using side annotations is that instead of having to search for explanations or context elsewhere, readers get instant clarifications right within the text. This maintains their reading flow and keeps them engaged.

In addition, interacting with annotations can make the reading experience more dynamic and engaging. It’s a more active way of consuming content, where readers can choose to delve deeper into topics they find intriguing.

The Flourish Text Annotator is really easy to get started with – all you need is to paste your text and specify where your annotations should pop up. Read our blog post to learn more.

9. Display 3D scenes with our 3D Viewer template

The 3D Viewer template excels at showcasing 3D scenes using realistic rendering techniques. It’s perfect for explanatory articles and is equally effective for architectural displays and product showcases.

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The first starting point for using the 3D Viewer is to source your 3D model file for the scene. We recommend binary glTF files (.glb), but you can also upload OBJ and FBX files – however, rendering these file types may take longer.

Once you upload your file, you can further customize the scene and the environment (background) of your visualization. Last but not least, you can add annotations in a story mode, which is a fantastic way to create stunning narratives using different viewpoints of your model.

Please note: The 3D Viewer is part of our premium templates, alongside the Interactive SVG, Timeline and Text Annotator templates. Premium templates are only accessible to customers on our business plans. Check our pricing page or get in touch with our team to learn more.

Want to see more? 📽️

If you’d like to learn more about the use cases of these templates, check out the recording of our webinar “Transforming text and media into interactive visualizations” where we dive deeper into these content-based templates and showcase customer examples.