Get Shouty

Visual story telling
March 14, 2007, 4:45 am
Filed under: Get Activist, Zeitgeist


I do love having a new job. One aspect of this  is learning new things, which I need as a motivating drip feed just to get me out of bed each morning.

You learn a new language with a new job in a new field, and just as the tool shapes the hand of the craft-er, a language helps shape your thoughts.

Moving over from digital creative concept/execution to digital experience strategy/planning has brought me this fantastic new term ‘chart’.

This might be Dumbass 101 but the difference between a ‘slide’ and a ‘chart’ seems to me to be rather large. A slide has all the the evil associations of a templated structure, and the presentation style associated with it can be as mind numbingly dull as a verbatim read.

A chart is read differently- a simple glance should allow it to tell it’s story. It’s an exiting and sometimes terrifying process to write- because you know that you don’t have a script that you can see on the day. It really does make you craft your story.

The tremendously talented Jessica Hagy who writes Indexed is a bit of a champ at designing a diagram to tell a story. Smart and funny, she is well worth checking out.


1 Comment so far
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It is most definitely not dumbass 101 Ms shoutable. It is a fundamental point that you have made very well.

A well constructed chart is a thing of beauty. It’s simplicity and clarity should hide the effort and thought that has gone into honing it.

Coming from a media/strategy/planning background I have been made to think hard about what story is being told with each chart I craft. Because of the traditional numerical foundation of media it is important for the meaning to jump out of a chart, rather than have to be dragged out of a slide full of nasty numbers.

Think about it…. numbers although succinct, don’t tell stories on their own (and they lie less often than words.)

Charts make presentations, slides make decks.

Long live the chart.

Comment by J

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