I was recently reading an article in the new edition of ID (The International Design Magazine, Nov 2003), which was a Q+A with information design evangelist Edward Tufte. It only reinforced what I and many others have known all along…. PowerPoint is crap.
It puts the power in the hands of a lot of individuals to make presentations, who probably should not be making presentations (or at least visual presentation materials). Now, I am NOT talking as a snobbish designer here. While ugly design in one thing (don’t get me started), the failure of a medium on a whole to actually be able to properly convey information and educate the audience is another. It seems that most presenters fall back on PowerPoint simply to give the audience something to stare at, in case what they have to say is not enough to keep attention. Is there hope?
Quote from article:
“The minimum we should hope for with any display technology is that it should do no harm.”
You can read excerpts of the article at http://www.idonline.com/qa/
Mr. Tufte has also written an Essay on the topic, The cognitive Style of PowerPoint, that can be obtained from his site (http://www.edwardtufte.com/tufte/powerpoint) for $7 (USD). Also a nifty poster that made me chuckle.
*This is in no way meant to be an advertisement