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At 11:03 AM 3/3/97 -0600, Geoff Hart wrote:
> 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?
I don't know if you'd be innovative, but it would certainly make your
presentation more pleasant and interesting to look at. I try not to get hung
up on the "number of modes of processing information", and rely more on my
gut feeling and first impression. Raw data is usually so dry to read,
especially on an overhead in a darkened room. There's nothing wrong with
putting a bit of sunshine in your slides. I say GO FOR IT!