Podcast: Planning and Storyboarding

Is it worth spending the time it takes to sketch out graphical ideas in advance, or is it better to get started quickly and spend the time on the version you plan to hand off? Does it make sense to spend resources storyboarding a video, or is it wiser to spend that time shooting, as…

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Podcast: Pictograms, simplicity, and complexity

There’s often a conflict between conveying information quickly and conveying it effectively. How simply can you show the information without crossing over into obscurity? That line is where pictograms live. Some pictograms cross over that line and contain no information for people who haven’t learned the visual code, but are dense with information for those…

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Podcast: Minimalism in writing and presentation

The concepts behind Minimalism have been an accepted part of good technical writing and presentation style for some time, but it never hurts to hear it again. Eric Schmidt just finished a two-day writing workshop on minimalism, and he talks about the most important lessons he took away from those sessions. Listen to the episodeDuration:…

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Interview: Finding the right graphic design

Geetesh Bajaj, PowerPoint MVP, designs and sells high-quality PowerPoint templates on his site, Ppted.com. He also provides in-depth how-to information on his other site, Indezine.com, as well as writing the Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007 Complete Makeover Kit. Geetesh graciously took some time to answer a few questions from the Visual Communication and Design blog. All…

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Learn by doing: Example of using games to teach software

In my last post, I talked about how I believe that appealing to multiple learning styles is the key to creating valuable instructional content. Obviously, one of the best ways to learn how to do a new (or frequently forgotten) task is to just do it. Office Labs, a group here at Microsoft, has embraced…

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Screencasts ARE documentation

We came across a blog post, written by a technical writer, who describes her personal experiences with creating screencasts. Her manager asked each member of her writing team to create a video featuring a product that they document. This line from the blog post strikes a chord for me: Another great thing: this product has…

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Interview: Creating attractive PowerPoint presentations

Geetesh Bajaj, PowerPoint MVP, designs and sells high-quality PowerPoint templates on his Internet site, Ppted.com. He also provides in-depth how-to information on his other site, Indezine.com, as well as writing the Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007 Complete Makeover Kit. Geetesh graciously took some time to answer a few questions from the Visual Communication and Design blog….

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Podcast: Visual efficiency in design and in video demos

Visual efficiency means creating graphical elements and placing them to take advantage of the way the eye and brain work. We based our discussion around a presentation given by Ryan Coleman (linked below), who discusses four things that the eye and brain see first in any space: color, shape/orientation, size/proximity, and motion. We also talked…

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30-second video tips on YouTube

If you didn’t want to log into Facebook to see the video tips, they’re now on YouTube. Please leave a comment and let me know what you think! Here are a couple of examples; the rest are on the Office Online channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/OfficeOnlineVideos    For articles about using visuals effectively and other topics, free…

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Interview: Designing PowerPoint templates and images

Geetesh Bajaj, PowerPoint MVP, designs and sells high-quality PowerPoint templates on his Internet site, Ppted.com. He also provides in-depth how-to information on his other site, Indezine.com, as well as writing the Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007 Complete Makeover Kit. Geetesh graciously took some time to answer a few questions from the Visual Communication and Design blog….

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