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3 Methods to Elevate Your Writing with Visual Content

Most of DEV articles are made of text with code sections, but it's difficult to understand all concepts and ideas at once for readers. Sometimes, you may find a screen captures, or better, a drawing schema, but it is a 1 out of 10 articles.

This article is for you, writers, to make your content better on Dev through Visual Content.

Using visuals to illustrate your text content will bring a lot of value:

  • Improved comprehension: it helps to clarify complex concepts.
  • Enhanced accessibility: Visuals make the content accessible for people with dyslexia or other learning disabilities.
  • Boost Retention: it hooks the reader, a lot of people are more likely to remember when it is presented visually.
  • Encourage Engagement: Great visual content enables engagement to like and comment. What's better than having a comment like "Wow, awesome article and now I got this concept, thank you!"

When you write an article, keep in mind that each reader and individual has different learning styles. Text limits the comprehension to group of people, because readers can be:

  • Kinesthetic learner: Learn by practicing, for instance, recreating a project.
  • Auditory learner: Listening or Speaking is their superpower for learning.
  • Logical learner: Use facts and reasoning to learn, with material that solve problems.
  • Visual learner: Patterns, Pictures and Shapes is the way they integrate concepts and ideas, like maps, graphs, diagrams, charts, and others.
  • Read and Writing learner: Basically, they learn by reading and writing text.

When you write an article, think about that: What would be the ideal complement media to illustrate my writings in order to reach as many people as possible?

Let's discover three free and easy methods to enhance your articles.

Interactive Demo

Two services are available to create interactive demos:

Fist, record a demo of your web application thanks to a Chrome Extension, then you can:

  • Add steps with text descriptions, indicators and section highlights
  • Add videos or pictures between steps
  • Finally, share the demo as a link, video or gif!

Reader can replay previous steps if they did not understand something.

Image description

To embed a Demo on your DEV article, create a Button with a link, here is an example of button forwarding to a demo:

Demo: How to Use Trusted Member Actions

To create a button, write the following expression on your article, and set the link and a description:

Image description

However they are couple of downsides:

  • Supademo free plan limits to 5 demo, and Arcade Studio limits to 3 demo.
  • Only the web browser can be recorded. If you need to add sequences from a native application, you can record a video with another software, then add the clip between steps.
  • Iframe are not supported on DEV, and using a button is the best solution I found. I noticed the DEV team already embedded a demo with an iframe on the following link (but it's not an article):

Diagram & Whiteboard

Drawing concepts in simple visuals is a powerful solution to understand complex ideas. There are three online services that let you create drawings:

  • you can create flowcharts, wireframes, UML diagrams, organizational charts, network diagrams and more! The icon and objects library is broad. editor interface with a diagram

  • Canva Whiteboard: Sketch, and doodle with their drawing app. You can create flowcharts, concepts maps and many diagrams! A large library of medias is available with pictures and customizable shapes.

Canva Whiteboard editor with notes and doodles

  • Miro: Create a whiteboard with Sticky Notes, Texts, Drawings and Diagrams.

Miro whiteboard editor with notes and text


Created in 1987, GIFs never get old: they are well integrated into DEV, and I have personally used them for all my articles:

Riot application changing route on Firefox

GIF from my previous article: Discover RiotJS Router

To records your screen as GIF, you can use the following open source and free software:

Image description

Preview of Kap on MacOS

An alternative solution is to record your screen as a video, then you can convert to GIF with Gifthuna, an open source project supporting Windows, Linux and Mac:

To add a GIF to your article:

  • From your laptop, just upload it with the "Upload image" Icon: Image description
  • From an URL, add the following HTML code, and add the URL to the src attribute:
<img src="URL_HERE" width="100%" style="width:100%" />
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

Bonus: Embed Code Preview

DEV support embedding CodePen, CodeSandbox and JsFiddle, and that's the best solution to preview the result of a code.

To embed a preview, you must write a Liquid Tag on your article, such as:

{% embed URL %}
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

For example, here is CodeSandbox of an Earth Day submission:

Submission from @barryels, link to original article.


At the end of the day, we are on DEV to learn, and adding visual and demo will make the difference for the Reader to remember and practice. If the concepts are integrated, the Writer gets rewarded with engagement through comments, shares and likes: everyone wins!

Let me know if my article helped you, if not, what can I do to improve my article? that's would be a win for both of us.

Don't forget to leave a like :D

Good day to everyone and cheers 🍻

Top comments (13)

steeve profile image

The image banner is generated from Adobe Firefly 3, I wanted to test it with something original. The prompt is:

A 30 years old guy is shocked in the middle of the screen with the mouth wide open and his hands on his cheeks. They are cute animals behind and around him, like sharks, dinosaure, crocodiles, crabs, bears. On the left and right side there is a volcano eruption with a river of lava.

thaisavieira profile image
Thaísa Vieira

That image is exactly how I felt right after reading this article. I loved this reflection on how writing can be inclusive with other types of learners.

steeve profile image
Steeve • Edited

Ahahah, thank you! Yes writing is not only for us, but for everyone, and we often lack of foresight. In french we say:

ne pas voir plus loin que le bout de son nez

Meaning in literal English:

see no further than the end of your nose

anmolbaranwal profile image
Anmol Baranwal

For me, I prefer using images with a group of text. Mostly because I hate reading large blocks of text unless it's engaging and authentic. Visual learning is effective, and others should use it too.

For the demo, you can also attach Jam (a Chrome extension) which captures the browser console, that might help indirectly.

steeve profile image

I totally agree Anmol, I hate reading chunks of texts too: when I open a new article on DEV, I scroll to quickly check the length of the content, the structure, and if it contains visual material, if none, I quite.

steeve profile image

Wow Jam is super cool, I'm going to try it for my next article, and also for professional projects. Thank @anmolbaranwal for your valuable message!
Have a great day!

michaeltharrington profile image
Michael Tharrington

Wow, this is freaking dope! So much good advice in here. 😀

All your tags are wonderful, but if you wanna tag this with #howtodevto, that would also be a great fit. We're trying to build up a bunch of community created resources that teach folks how to use DEV... that's the idea there!


Guidance, tips, and tricks for using

Anywho, it's absolutely up to you if ya wanna change the tags. Regardless, this is an awesome post and I'll be doing my best to help elevate it! 🙌

steeve profile image

Thank you @michaeltharrington, I'm grateful for your incredible support 🙏

I didn't know the existence of #howtodevto, I applied the tag to the article, and now I'm subscribed :D Have a great day!

michaeltharrington profile image
Michael Tharrington

Nice!! Appreciate ya adding it and thanks for sharing your helpful advice with the community. 😀

10xlearner profile image
10x learner

So many great tools in here.
Not only for writing articles on, but also very useful when I need to report information to my coworkers !

Thank you @steeve for this great article !

steeve profile image

You are welcome, I'm glad this article is going to help your team writing better content :D

Thank you @10xlearner for your feedback 🙏 Have a great day!

raviklog profile image

Good article to present the tools required for improving the article presentations. Tools like will be helpful for doing software documentation as well.

steeve profile image

Yes is cool, after using it for a while, I switched to the Canva's Whiteboard:

  • It provides a lot of material / shapes / pictures to be creative
  • Tools are easy to use, even childs can use it
  • The generated content looks less "serious" compared to which is too much squared, too much professional.

Thanks @raviklog for your comment, have a great day!!