Slide presentation question

Subject: Slide presentation question
From: geoff-h -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA
Date: Mon, 3 Mar 1997 11:03:24 -0600

I thought a few techwhirlers might be interested in
discussing something than resumes for a moment, so... In
preparing a slide presentation for an upcoming seminar, our
first draft uses the typical dry visual style; for example,
tables that present data use words only. Our graphiste
suggested an alternative: replace some of the recurring
heading text with a simple graphic. For example (view this
in monospaced font):

Summer Winter (*) (#)
Data 1 123 456 vs. Data 1 123 456
Data 2 124 678 Data 2 124 678

This example compares summer and winter data, and in the
presentation, he's used the icon of a sun with sunglasses
to represent summer, and a series of snowflakes to
represent winter. (This works well in color; here, I've
used brackets to stand in for the icons.) I like this
because it forms a recurring visual theme, the icons are
simple to figure out, the icons complement (rather than
repeating) the speaker's words, and there are few enough
types of icons (a maximum of four in total if we implement
the idea for a second context) that viewers don't have to
memorize an elaborate coding scheme to understand the
visuals. In theory, it seems like a neat idea.

On the other hand, it's a nontraditional mix of graphics
and text, and does mix two modes of processing information
(i.e., textual and graphical). So would we be innovative
and visually interesting if we try this approach, or would
we merely be making our viewers work harder? Has anyone
tried this before and gotten feedback from the audience?

--Geoff Hart @8^{)} geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca
Disclaimer: Speaking for myself, not FERIC.

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