Good Design in PowerPoint The Cain Project in Engineering and Professional Communication ENGINEERING SERIES Making Use of Design Elements • Design elements allow reinforcement • Strategic choices create interest • Practice develops judgment – Analyze what you like – Borrow with what you like – Use choices coherently Your Design Options • Templates • Text • Design rules • Graphics • Colors • Special effects • Fonts • Effects and transitions Choosing a Good Template • What is the mood/image you want to convey? • Very dark or very light backgrounds work well • Simple backgrounds work well To Choose an Existing Template Step 1: Select Design Template Click OK To Choose an Existing Template Step 2: Select the one you want to use Hit “OK” To Design Your Own Template • Write down words to suggest the image you want your choices to convey – Such as “technical,” “professional,” “strong” • Choose a background color appropriate for the room and lighting • Choose a font and colors that – match your image choice – yield strong contrast and legibility • Follow basic design rules Palatino or Times New Roman suggests Financial Business Accents Helvetica suggests Process Industries Accents Futura suggests Environmental Firms Accents Typical Font and Color Combinations Basic Design Rules Rule 1: Use blank space to group or separate items Rule 2: Use visual balance to please the eye Rule 3: Create contrast to make objects stand out Organize with Blank Space Identify groups of items separated by Blank Space in this Web Site • Blank Space: An empty area • Directs viewer’s eyes • “Pushes” or groups items and separates them from others Use Contrast to Group, Emphasize Contrast by font, color, or size Contrast occurs when 2 elements are different Engineering contrast should be functional, not decorative Choose Colors for Legibility Well-lit room use light background/ dark text and visuals Dimly-lit room use dark background/ light text and visuals Strong light reduces contrast on dark background Avoid Vibrating Colors Bright complementary colors that are close to each other in intensity “vibrate” or reduce legibility Learn Color Basics at Poynter! http://www.poynterextra.org/cp/ Choose Easy-to-Read Fonts Good for print Good for projecting E E Sans Serif Serif (“tail”) (uniform shaft width) Such as Times New Roman Such as Arial Font Aspects Affect Legibility • Contrast between background and text • Uniform shaft width S S 32 pts Times Arial • Size of font Drop Shadows Reduce Legibility • Type treatment of font Choose Effects to Support Points • Avoid slow moving or fancy effects: – Crawl in – Swivel – Spiral • Effects should have a point / support your concept • Don’t overuse special effects • Keep effects and transitions consistent Use Text Properly • Use keywords and phrases instead of sentences • Avoid “orphans” – This is an example of an “orphan” • Be consistent in your capitalization • Use grammatical parallelism Design to Match Audience Action • Your audience... • So you . . . – Skims each slide – Use only essential info – Looks for critical – Guide their eyes with points, not details hierarchy, color – Needs help – Use big. legible fonts and reading/seeing framing blank space text Displaying Text Bullets Short phrases Grammatical parallelism Bullets Help Audience • Skim the slide • See relationships between information points • For example, this is Main Point 1, which leads to... – Sub-point 1 – Sub-point 2 (To get back to previous level: use “promote” or “demote” arrows at top) To Use Bullets • Select the “bulleted list” or “two-column list” slide (from the 12 pre-designed slide formats) • Type a phrase then hit “return” • Type a second phrase, hit “return” then hit “tab” to indent • OR use “promote” or “demote” arrows at top to create a bulleted hierarchy Matching Bullets to Your Image • Go to “format” and then “bullet” • Select the style, color, and size of the bullets you’ll use • OR highlight text you wish to bullet and select the bullet button at top Text Display Tips • Use vivid, concise phrases or imperatives • Write complete sentences only in certain cases: – Hypothesis – Questions Use Parallelism • Put similar ideas in similar forms – Same part of speech – Same type of clause or phrase – Complete sentences • Reinforce with color, type treatment, place on screen Use Parallelism Equivalence Parallel: Not Parallel: • Use keywords • Use keywords • Avoid wordiness • Wordiness is bad • Opt for bullets • You should opt VERBS for bullets Each verb expresses an action of equivalent importance. List similar items in the same grammatical form. Revise for Grammatical Parallelism • Not Parallel: Criteria to Assess Alarm System – Price – Effectiveness – How easily the alarm could be installed • Parallel: Criteria to Assess Alarm System – Price – Effectiveness – Ease of installation Parallelism: Your Turn • Make the following list of sub-points parallel: • Reliable data collection relies on – Consistent use of techniques (pipetting, making solutions) – Correctly calibrated equipment, such as balances and pipettors – Researcher bias is minimized (expecting data to fit model; conflict of interest) Displaying Visuals • Insert needed visuals • Use color • Resize appropriately • Draw attention That was purely gratuitous! Resize Images: How to . . . • Click on the visual you wish to resize • Go to “format” and then “object” or “autoshape” • Select “size” • Change size and scale • OR simply click and drag the corners of the image Simplify and Draw Attention http://www.indstate.edu/thcme/mwking/tca-cycle.html Animating: Tips • Custom animation allows you to animate text, visuals, or line work • Custom animation should be used purposefully (and sparingly!) – Animating should help audience comprehend your message – Don’t animate solely for aesthetic purposes Offer Familiar Images First • Offer figure or image familiar to audience first • Technical image next • Water treatment example simplified for government officials Give Technical Images Next • Build toward technical understanding • Sequence: Photo / diagram/ schematic/ cross-sections/other technical drawings • Technical water treatment example Present Images Realistically Don’t distort images Use Legible Graphics • Don’t stretch Web images to the point of graininess • Don’t shrink them to be too small to read Avoid Overused, General Clip-Art Make Choices Work Together • Blank space and balanced items create meaningful organization • Color, contrast, and point size indicate importance and direct viewers’ attention • Text reinforces speaker’s voice but should not overload or distract • Special effects and images indicate relationships and emphasize aspects Rehearse with a Coach • To evaluate how well your visual choices work with your spoken presentation • To make sure images are legible • To test visual aids under expected room conditions Lead through Excellence in Engineering Communication More resources are available for you • under “Engineering Communication” at Connexions at http://cnx.org • at the Cain Project site at http://www.owlnet.rice.edu/~cainproj • in your course Communication Folder in OWLSPACE.
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