Posts Tagged ‘Resources’

Color is a powerful way to communicate, because colors affect people emotionally and influence their moods.

See these slides on the psychology of color:

Try to think what your color scheme communicates, what mood it sets. More important than the dominant color (reds, greens, blues, etc.) is, in my opinion, the boldness of the color scheme you use. Do you go for muted colors, or for bold, high contrast ones? What kind of color scheme can you choose to make your presentation “pop” and communicate confidence? I, for one, don’t like the muted, elegant, dainty color schemes that mix beiges and greens (yawn). I prefer strong, high contrast colors, but still ones that go well together in a color scheme.

Resource: Here is a Presentation Zen post about a free web tool from Adobe, Kuler, that helps you create color schemes or even pick them  out of photographs.


This is one of those presentation tips that sound much easier than they are – especially when you need to relate ideas or show comparisons among elements. Not impossible, though :).

Instead of trying to pack more into a slide, try to take away – reduce (excise) until you can communicate what you want to without having additional clutter on the slide. Can you keep your slides very simple, very clear, free of bullets, and constrained to one idea per slide?

Here are some examples, first from Steve Jobs. The contents of the table below are from the book “The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs.”

Note how little information is on each slide, and how each slide communicates only one idea:


You can see here a 60-second summary of his presentation, and take a look at the original slides (note that he goes with 4 main points, not 3, but you get the idea of keeping the number of main points small and manageable):

The slide below presents two groups of variables, but it sticks to one idea per slide (the correlation between Reading blogs and Learning.)

A good presentation (and paper, for that matter) is one that not only:

  • is well organized, but also:
  • makes that organization clear to the audience.

Because of human memory limitations, and maybe because of the “magic” qualities of the number 3 (look at mythology, religion, tales – most important things come in 3s), powerful presentations are organized around 3 main points.

Once you have decided what your 3 main points are, use the power of 3 to deliver your presentation:

Announce (preview) the three main points at the beginning of your presentation.

❄ ❄

At any time during your presentation, the audience should know where you are in the structure. Make sure your presentation communicates where you are, where you are coming from, and where you are going next (same principles applies to website navigation.)

❄ ❄ ❄

Review the three main points at the end of your presentation.

These days, it is fashionable to use slides with lots of images and little text. Though it is fashionable, it is not always effective, because visual learners will understand/remember your points better if they can read the words.

For presentations that you won’t deliver in person, this is especially important. Even though you will be recording audio over your slides for your final presentation, you can’t be sure that people will take the time to listen. So, can your slides stand on their own, without your voice-over, and still communicate effectively? That’s quite challenging, but feasible. Here is an example that accomplishes that:

[Update: One additional tip for not sucking at powerpoint is to proofread your text, something the above presentation occasionally fails at.]
And this is an example of what your bio slide could look like:

Just in case you’re thinking of making a career out of this class… (no, one class isn’t enough, but it’s a start) – User experience jobs on Twitter.


Are you using Twitter (professionally)? Are you following me? If I’m not following you back, @ me.

You have 3 main objectives to accomplish during week 5 of the semester:

  1. Learn about nanoHUB.
  2. Create a list of items for the card sorting exercise.
  3. Get CITI certified.

Please see below details and resources for each of the 3 objectives:

1. Learn about nanoHUB

(Individual assignment)

  • Go to Bb > Readings > Introductory materials for nanoHUB and download the Word file. The nanoHUB team have prepared these introductory materials for you. Please read and watch all the highlighted items. Access as many resources as you need to, until you have a clear understanding of what nanoHUB is, what is its purpose, what are the available resources, and what is the structure.

2. Create a list on items for the card sorting exercise

(group assignment, except for the reading part)

  • First, read Tullis Ch. 9. Make sure you understand card sorting. (individual)
  • Put together a list of items from, that can be used in a cart sorting exercise. Each item would go on one card. Create the list in a Word file. For each item, include the name, and a brief description of what the item is. Try to make the list comprehensive. Work with your temporary group to create this list. Prepare one list for each group.
  • Post your list on Bb > Discussion > Card Sort List. Please identify all group members in the message.
  • Check back and compare your list with those of the other groups.

3. Get CITI certified

(individual assignment)

  • Orient yourself a bit on the website for Human Research Subjects Protection at Purdue.
  • Create an account on the CITI website and take the test for Group 5 to become certified to work with human subjects.
  • Print a pdf or a screenshot of your CITI certification and email it to me. If you’re already certified for Group 2 or Group 5, you only need to perform this step.
  • (Note: if you anticipate doing research with human subjects in the future, you may take Group 2 instead of Group 5. I will accept certification for either group.)
  • If you are not CITI certified, you cannot proceed with this class and need to withdraw.

We got CGT 581 Social Media in the Workplace started last night with a good conversation about the core characteristics of social media. We agreed on the following:

  • online tools/services
  • ease of access, use, creating and distributing information
  • complex, rapid, many-to-many information distribution
  • multimedia comment
  • social, conversational, interactive
  • enables communication, many-to-many interconnection
  • empowering, likely to alter traditional power structures – we were split on whether this is a core characteristic or an effect of social media.

One of the challenges for students this semester (this week?) is to put all these concepts we discusses in a sentence and write a definition – or, find a definition of social media they agree with and and post it on their blogs.

Speaking of which, there’s a list of action items, here are reminders and resources:

  1. Set up your Twitter account and send me a tweet so I can put you on the CGT 581 Twitter list. Make sure your account has a photo and a bio, and a link to your blog.
  2. Set up your RSS feed reader (i.e. Google reader) and subscribe to Mashable, Read/Write/Web as well as a few blogs about enterprise 2.0 – see this list for a good start. You will also want to follow these Enterprise 2.0 people on Twitter.
  3. Set up your blog on or another platform of your choice. Write an About page and figure out how to write and publish a post. Send me a tweet with the URL of your blog.

If you need help with any of the above steps, please look at this collection of resources. You can find here all the information you need to get started, including an explanation of blogs, permalinks, RSS feeds, step-by-step instructions for Google Reader, tips for your Twitter account, etc.

For next class, you have to prepare a presentation about social media adoption. The information about this assignment is on Blackboard. Please take a look at the assignment instructions and grading form (click on Assignments to view them). Also, please remember you have a lot of sources to get you started in the Readings folder on Blackboard.

I believe these are all the reminders I promised you. Please let me know if you have any questions. You can email me, tweet, or post a comment below.

Let’s have a great semester!

Dr. V