Posted to Diigo 03/28/2010

    • If you can master these fundamental concepts, your graphical treatments — from PowerPoint slides to Microsoft Word documents to company brochures — will greatly improve
    • Seven basic graphic design principlesUnity
    • Unity may be the single most important concept. All elements on a page (or slide, poster, etc.) must look like they belong together
    • However, it is important to break up the unity once in a while (or on parts of a page). You need unity so that the message you want to communicate comes out clearly and strong. But you also need variety in the design to add interest and life and to grab attention
    • Gestalt
    • The whole is more — sometimes much more — than the sum of the design elements
    • Gestalt helps us to perceive the overall clear message of the design
    • Space
    • Often, the more space you don’t use on a page, the clearer your message becomes
    • empty space also implies importance, elegance, professionalism
    • Empty space is beautiful
    • Color
    • The conscious use of color to create hierarchy, dominance, and balance in a design can be very effective
    • Consistency is easier to achieve if the designer (i.e., you) limits the use of color choices to just a few
    • Make your color choices at the beginning of the design process rather than at the end. Leaving color choice to the end will likely end up leading to a superficial application of color. Color, like good design in general, is not cosmetic or veneer. Color choice is fundamental
    • Color (say, red on a white page with black body text) can be used to highlight elements on a page which are most important. Color can also provide direction
    • Dominance
    • If one item in a design is clearly dominant, this helps the viewer “get” the point of the design. Every good design has a strong and clear focal point and having a clear contrast among elements (with one being clearly dominant) helps. If all items in a design are of equal weight, with nothing being clearly dominant, it is difficult for the viewer to know were to begin
    • Hierarchy
    • What is most important, less important, and the least important parts of the design can be clearly expressed by having a clear hierarchy
    • In general, according to White, having more than three levels of hierarchy in a single design leads to confusion for the reader
    • Balance
    • If a design is out of balance, the individual elements of the design will dominate the overall design. A well-balanced design has a clear, single, unified message
    • sticky, compelling, and memorable messages and ideas share six common attributes: Simplicity, Unexpectedness, Concreteness, Credibility, Emotions, and Stories. Ask yourself how your presentations rate for these elements
    • good presenting is like good writing, you’ve got to pare it down and dump the superfluous and the non-essential. But since we are so close to the material it is hard for us to see what works and what does not, or what is repetitive, etc. This is why you cannot only rehearse alone
    • Turn off the computer, grab some paper and a pencil, and find someplace quiet. Think of the audience. What is it they need? What is it you want to say that they need to hear. Identify what’s important and what is not. You can’t say everything in a twenty-minute talk
    • The problem with most presentations is that people try to include too much. You can go deep or you can go wide, but you can’t really do both
    • By the way, if you ask the audience to bear with you as you try to make the computer work, you might as well stick a fork in it because you are done
    • criteria for looking at the effectiveness of instructional innovations
    • 1. Develop and test activities through multiple classroom iterations. Try it more than once! See if the same outcome occurs. See if some minor alternations make it even more effective.

      2. Collect evidence from multiple sources, such as students and outside observers. Yes, your opinion as to whether and how well something worked counts, but verify what you think happened by collecting information from students. They don’t always experience things the way we think they do. Ask a colleague or a professional from the teaching center to come to class and observe and report what results they’re seeing.

      3. Collect evidence using multiple methods. Most of us don’t evaluate what students know by only using multiple-choice methods. So our instructional alternations ought to be assessed with multiple methods—qualitative, quantitative, descriptive, and so on.

      4. Tie evidence to learning objectives. Why did you try the new activity? Is it an attempt to better reach one of your learning objectives for the course? Usually changes are, which makes it natural to judge their effectiveness by looking at evidence documenting how well they accomplish the learning objective.