October 20, 2011

Pimp My Slide

This post was last updated on December 12th, 2011 at 03:14 pm

I like design and I like making slides. We know that images can increase recall and understanding. You don't have to agree and this post isn't so much about convincing you of that as it is about the wonderful ways in which collaboration and push back can happen online and actually make things better. 

I've been thinking about the phrase which I have come to dislike, "it's not about the technology" I wanted to capture that idea in an image and began thinking about the way musicians use their instruments. Trying to find a name of someone who would be most recognizable I chose Yo Yo Ma. You don't have to acknowledge if you've never heard of him before because the image I found tells you all you need to know about his love of music and the cello. 



​So I began with this:


After I posted it to flickr, Darren chimed in with this suggestion:


Try using a brown similar to the cello instead of yellow. You can use the colour picker in Keynote to do that.

Love the pic, and the quote.

I tried that and responded:

Tried your advice Darren but the brown was too dark, not enough contrast with the background. I used the cello colour for the outline though. I think it's better this way though. Thanks for the feedback. I'll take more if you have it. 😉


I like this. Looks better. Are you using two different fonts? I think I'd stick with one; there's something about the font used in the smaller text that clashes with the larger font.

Fair enough and wise. I tried again.

Darren continued to work at making it better,

Ooo, liking that better; wonder how it looks without white outline of the brown text. Maybe no outline but keep shadow? No shadow?

I played a little with the kerning and positioning until I had it somewhat better.


 Darren Draper joined our conversation with his own ideas. 

Outlined text helps, but a solid bg on the photo would make it stronger. 

Darren then went off and made this:

None of us are graphic designers and will all admit our amateur approach to design. However we all three understand that it does matter and we also enjoy the process. But also the collaboration, the push back and willingness to go back, edit and revise lead to a better product. We joked later about starting a Fix My Slide meme. I don't know about that but I do think there's some simple ideas here for you and your students to seek feedback and find ways to learn with others without the limitations of geography and time.