Often times we focus on visual cues when it comes to designing for presentations, but let’s turn to auditory cues for a moment. We can learn a lot about underlying principles of communication if we compare different domains.
In this episode of Radiolab, a radio show and podcast about science that explores how sound can illuminate ideas, you should pay close attention to the sound design. It helps you navigate the sound-induced landscape of the story that unfolds before your ears. As icing on the cake the story in this particular episode is one of getting lost and how the brain makes sense of the world, a feat that is far from trivial as you might come to understand.
In this experimental showcase I have applied an optimality approach of communication architecture to Prezi, a design tool that is based on the concept of the “infinite canvas.” The constraints that govern the design process in Prezi are rather straightforward and intuitive, most of them are functionally motivated.
I tried to embed a set of semantic rules in the communication paradigm of Prezi, the most important of which is to make scale a semantic category, rather than a dimension of information sequence or even decoration. I hope that the experience speaks for itself - there are four layers of meaning, where the zooming in and out of details renders different information legible or intelligible.
The embedded Prezi-presentation works best when following the predetermined sequence at first and when viewed in full screen. I have decided to still zoom down a gratuitous step onto the text boxes for those who might have trouble reading. I am sure that there is a lot to improve in this showcase and that there are many other principles to be found when designing with Prezi, but I hope you like what I could come up with so far.
I came home drunk after a great night out yesterday and I fired up the twitter. Fortunately I was not too drunk, so I had the self restraint not to engage in dreeting. That’s like drexting, only for the crowd who have abandoned their cell phone for an even more luring temptress of instantenous publicity. Texting drunk can lead to really unpleasant after the fact realizations, even more so, if you are messaging not only your ex but the whole world wide web. Looking at my time line through a pleasantly hazy lense it struck me.
There should be a filter that people can add to their twitter client to catch out a set of character strings and replace them or stop tweets containing those words they’d never tweet in their clear mind alltogether. Not only the dreeters would never have to wake up to an irate response again. A filter you need to manually disable before tweeting would also be a safeguard to people who get agitated and vent with hate tweeting (hweeting for the adventurous pronunciators out there).
This might be a hypothetical solution that only targets a very small niche. But I reckon there are people who would be glad to have texted
%(/&=! ’*“#+!! @youall
instead of whatever your dark side might be thinking right now.
This embeddable slide show (some call it a presentation) is my playful take on presentation design advice. These are only very basic guidelines to operate by. But they might serve as a starting point to work towards developing a functionalistic presentation design approach.
Gameification is one of these buzzwords that have the frightening potential to reframe helpful insights in a way that makes them unusable. Taking cues on applied psychology about human interaction and motivation from game designers is a great idea. Slapping a game label on poorly thought out mechanics is not. Lest we forget what to expect from gameification in the upcoming buzz: Here’s a quick reminder in this post from the usable learning blog.
Starting with this post I am embarking on a journey to not only find innovative means of communication, but to share them. The communication paradigm I am looking for is an optimal framework. Optimal solutions are by design never perfect, but finding a functional approach to account for all constraints and contingencies as best as possible is all that mortals can hope for. Throw these buzzwords around for a while and you might find that there is some use for them in the appropriate context. I hope to provide some of that context and give meaning to concepts like constraint hierarchy, medium, semantic architecture and optimality.
This blog is very much a work in progress. I might have to adjust the code or the layout from time to time, when I happen upon a presentation concept or a new embedding function that requires tweaking. If I get lucky, this sandbox becomes more than just a playing ground for me. I hope it might even become a resource for you.