Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Seth Godin on Powerpoint

Seth Godin writes:

"Powerpoint could be the most powerful tool on your computer. But it’s not. Countless innovations fail because their champions use PowerPoint the way Microsoft wants them to, instead of the right way.

Communication is the transfer of emotion.

Communication is about getting others to adopt your point of view, to help them understand why you’re excited (or sad, or optimistic or whatever else you are.) If all you want to do is create a file of facts and figures, then cancel the meeting and send in a report."

Four Components To A Great Presentation

1) Make yourself cue cards.
Don’t put them on the screen. Put them in your hand. Now, you can use the cue cards you made to make sure you’re saying what you came to say.

2) Make slides that reinforce your words, not repeat them.

Create slides that demonstrate, with emotional proof, that what you’re saying is true not just accurate.

Talking about pollution in Houston? Instead of giving me four bullet points of EPA data, why not read me the stats but show me a photo of a bunch of dead birds, some smog and even a diseased lung? This is cheating! It’s unfair! It works.

3) Create a written document.
Put in as many footnotes or details as you like. Then, when you start your presentation, tell the audience that you’re going to give them all the details of your presentation after it’s over, and they don’t have to write down everything you say. Remember, the presentation is to make an emotional sale. The document is the proof that helps the intellectuals in your audience accept the idea that you’ve sold them on emotionally.

IMPORTANT: Don’t hand out the written stuff at the beginning! If you do, people will read the memo while you’re talking and ignore you. Instead, your goal is to get them to sit back, trust you and take in the emotional and intellectual points of your presentation.

4) Create a feedback cycle.

If your presentation is for a project approval, hand people a project approval form and get them to approve it, so there’s no ambiguity at all about what you’ve all agreed to.

The reason you give a presentation is to make a sale. So make it. Don’t leave without a “yes,” or at the very least, a commitment to a date or to future deliverables.

Miss Teen USA 2007 - South Carolina

Monday, November 19, 2007

Retailer observation and analysis

For Monday Nov 26th

Play Paco Underhill for a day by observing a retailer. Retailers frequently target a specific group: by gender, age, income, or ethnicity. Choose a store where you wouldn't normally shop: a store catering to a different demographic group. Spend at least 15 minutes in the store. Look for design details: signs, lighting, images, music, noise level, fixtures, space, brands, quantity of products, color choices, materials, styles.

Answer the following questions on your blog.

1. What store did you observe? Who do they market to?

2. Briefly describe the following
a. appearance of store entrance (from outside)
b. sounds (inside the store)
c. how the merchandise is displayed
d. floors
e. signs
f. cashier area

3. What image does this business try to project? Give specific examples of design elements that reflect this image.

4. How did customers interact with various elements of the store's design?

5. What did you find interesting about the design of this store?

Friday, November 16, 2007

Plastic Bottles, 2007

Photo 60x120" by Chris Jordan

"Depicts two million plastic beverage bottles, the number used in the US every five minutes."

thanks to boingboing


For Monday's discussion:

Read The Science of Shopping by Malcolm Gladwell

1. Write a discussion question based on this reading and post it on your blog before 4 pm Sunday.
2. Read the questions posted by your classmates and answer two of them on your own blog.

I strongly encourage you to try using an RSS reader.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

For Friday

Part I. Create a paper mock-up of your website for your profession/career. You can make a physical collage of text and images or do it all by computer. (Or, if you're comfortable creating web pages, you can just make one and print a copy.)

Part II.
Answer the following questions on your blog.

1. We discussed how packaging can be used to draw consumers' attention to a product. What other purposes does packaging serve? Give examples.

2. Read "Continent-size toxic stew of plastic trash fouling swath of Pacific Ocean" by Justin Berton
"Germany, Garbage, and the Green Dot: Challenging the Throwaway Society"
What do these articles suggest about packaging design? Give examples of how modifications to current practices could have environmental benefits.

iPod packaged by Microsoft


Monday, November 12, 2007


For Wednesday's class

Read "The Power of The Box - Powerful Packaging Design" by Tuija Seipell


"Isn’t it Iconic?" by Stacey King Gordon

To prepare for our discussion, write answers to the following questions on your blog:
1. To what extent is packaging important in marketing a product? Give an example of how a package influenced your decision to buy (or not buy) something.

2. What other products have iconic packaging?

3. What usability issues exist for packaging? Give examples of particularly good or bad packaging from a usability perspective.