how to create good looking presentation slides

Presentation Design Quick Tip #4 - P is for Proximity

In this video, you'll learn about using proximity to design better looking presentation slides. This is the fourth in the four part series, "Presentation Design Quick Tips Using CRAP." Previous videos have covered the design concepts of Contrast, Repetition and Alignment. This video looks at how proximity can be used to express relationships between items or content on your presentation slides. Please check out the video or skip down and read more on this topic.

If YouTube is unavailable in your area, please click the following link to watch or right-click to download: Presentation Design Quick Tip #4 - P is for Proximity

Video length 1:46 (Click CC for captions or read transcript below) Special thanks again to Powtoon (http://www.powtoon.com) for making this video possible.

UPDATE SEPT. 2, 2016:

Special thanks to Robin Williams, the author of the Non-Designers Design Book for inspiring this series of videos. It was her who came up with CRAP, and I'm lucky enough that she is ok with me talking about it with you. What is Proximity in design?

In design, proximity is used to show relationships between different things. It's used quite often in well-designed brochures, flyers and advertisements. It's one of the easiest ways to group things together to help the viewer subconsciously understand the content. Proximity also helps create a sense of organisation when looking at a document or whatever it may be.

Why is Proximity important in presentations?

In presentations, there are two good reasons for using proximity. First, proximity is a great way to help your audience understand what images, graphs, data or messages are related and should be paid attention to. It just makes it easier for the audience to understand what it is you are trying to tell them. It's important to always remember that you and your slides are guiding the audience. The audience should never assume something or make up their own conclusions about what they see and hear. It is your job to kind of tell them what to think.

Second, you may need to keep the number of slides you create to a minimum. It's not always possible to have extra slides due to internal company procedures or other requirements. For example, some companies use PowerPoint slides as documents and expect something more compressed.

These types of restrictions aren't the best way to create a presentation, but you have to deal with them and just accept the situation. In these instances, it's important to use proximity to help keep information organized and easy for your audience to see.

How you can use Proximity in your presentation slides

This is actually quite easy. Just remember to always keep related information, whether titles, text, images, or whatever, close together. You can this with great effect on title slides. Put the main title and subtitle, if any, close together. Then put your name or company a few line breaks down. Finally, if you have a date, put that another two or three line breaks down from your name.

Experiment

Like all of these principles or rules that you've learned, try them and then start playing around to see what happens. The main thing is whether or not your audience gets your message or not. However, if you stick with the techniques you've learned over these last four videos, you'll have an easier time knowing when your slides might be ineffective or effective in communicating your message.

Good luck and have fun.

If you have any questions or comments about using proximity, please them below.

Thanks.

Carl

 

Transcript:

Proximity.

Hi I'm Carl Kwan and this is Presentation Design Quick Tip #4 - Proximity.

Proximity in design means that if things are closer together we assume there is a relationship between those things.

If they are further apart, we assume there's no relationship for those. So when you are designing your presentation slides, how you're going to use proximity is like this:

Whatever information that you want to group together to make one point, put those things together. You can do this by applying, like titles with great contrast and also with alignment and making those things one group. Then have something else, another part of your slide, which is a second group of items.

It's great to use with pictures, as well. If you want to put a picture with a title or text, make sure they are close together if there is a relationship between those things.

Now, one thing you have to be careful of is having too many things on your slide and trying to create proximity with all this different stuff there. In that case, it's better just to separate your information and put different items onto different slides. So different points onto different slides, trying to keep to a one point per slide rule whenever possible.

And that is Presentation Design Quick Tip #4 - Proximity.

If you have any questions or comments about using proximity, please leave them below this video.

Thanks for watching and talk to you again soon.

Bye bye.

Presentation Design Quick Tip #3 - A is for Alignment

In this video, you'll learn about using alignment to design better looking presentation slides. This is the third in the four part series, "Presentation Design Quick Tips Using CRAP." Previous videos have covered the design concepts of Contrast and Repetition. This video looks at how alignment can be used to give your slides a professional look and make it easy for your audience to see and understand your presentation slides' content. Please check out the video or skip down and read more on this topic.

If YouTube is unavailable in your area, please click the following link to watch or right-click to download: Presentation Design Quick Tip #3 - A is for Alignment

Video length 1:46 (Click CC for captions or read transcript below) Special thanks again to Powtoon (http://www.powtoon.com) for making this video possible.

UPDATE SEPT. 2, 2016:

Special thanks to Robin Williams, the author of the Non-Designers Design Book for inspiring this series of videos. It was her who came up with CRAP, and I'm lucky enough that she is ok with me talking about it with you.

What do you mean by alignment and why is it important?

Alignment in terms of design is making things in some sort of straight line. It's visually lining things up to create an imaginary line that people will instantly notice. Alignment is important because just like repetition, the human brain is constantly scanning for alignment.

What this means is that when something is out of alignment, it creates a slight sense of unease in the viewer… or in your case, the audience. So when something is in alignment, this is visually familiar and therefore, comfortable to look at. This helps your audience to better pay attention to what's on the slides, instead of trying to look for the alignment.

What you'll find is that pairing alignment and contrast will give your slides an instant boost in the looks department. Your slides will look purposefully designed rather than randomly thrown together.

But what about center alignment?

Every one of us has used, and probably continue to use, center alignment because it's the default setting in most presentation software like PowerPoint or Keynote. However, if you have other text or objects on your slides and they are center aligned, your audience will spend a brief moment or two to figure out the alignment. At best, it's a brief moment of thinking that your audience needs to do. At worst, it makes your slides confusing and more difficult than necessary to understand.

Try this instead

A better approach, especially for audiences that are used to reading or writing from left-to-right, is to use a left alignment. This will create an immediate sense of familiarity and helps your audience easily see or read whatever is on your slides. If you're presenting to a Japanese or Chinese audience where they are used to reading and writing from right-to-left, then try using a right alignment. However, it's pretty safe to go with left alignment in most cases.

You can use alignment with text, as in the video, and also with text and images. You can also apply a left alignment anywhere you choose by using other elements on your slides to help you create a starting point for the alignment.

Experiment

As I've mentioned in other posts, these design rules are meant to be broken. So play around with the simplest forms of alignment and then start seeing how you can apply it in more creative ways. Whatever you do, just start applying alignment to your slides and you'll notice an immediate improvement. And I'm sure others will notice it, too.

If you have any questions or comments about using alignment, please leave them below.

Thanks and talk to you again next time.

Carl

 

Transcript:

Hi I'm Carl Kwan and this is Presentation Design Quick Tip #3 - Alignment. Alignment and contrast, which I talked about in the first video in this series on presentation design, are going to be your best friends when it comes to creating professional looking presentation slides. The reason is because people naturally look for things in alignment, just like how they look for things that repeat.

When something isn't in alignment, it's less comfortable to look at than if you look at the same thing with alignment applied.

You'll notice that the typical centre alignment we've all used is actually not the best way to design your slides. Your eyes need to scan from line-to-line trying to find alignment.

A better approach, especially for audiences that are used to reading or writing from left-to-right, is to use a left alignment. This will create an immediate sense of familiarity and helps your audience easily see or read whatever is on your slides. If you're presenting to a Japanese or Chinese audience where they are used to reading and writing from right-to-left, then try using a right alignment. However, it's pretty safe to go with left alignment in most cases.

You can use alignment with text as you're seeing here and also with text and images. You can also apply a left alignment anywhere you choose by using other elements on your slides to help you create a starting point for the alignment.

And that's Presentation Design Quick Tip #3 - Alignment.

If you have any questions or comments about using alignment, please leave them below this video.

Thanks for watching and talk to you again soon.

Bye bye.