Developing a branded design is a challenging process. Whether your product is a new letterhead or a stellar PowerPoint presentation, the look is typically the last thing many think about. Consider how you use your phone, and how phones have changed in the last 10 years. What can a cell phone tell us about Function vs Form in PowerPoint Presentations?
It used to be that a phone’s form defined its use. Small, flip phones, with small screens meant cell-phones were to be used mainly for quick conversations. A little bit of texting. And certainly no internet browsing. In 2007, an inversion in the way we interact with phones happened though. The iPhone changed the dynamic of form defining function to function defining form. The way we use our phones from that point forward would define their form. The form would be a deliberate response to the use demanded by the end user, the customer.
“Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black.”
This isn’t he fist time an inversion like this happened either. Henry Ford famously said he’d deliver his ford model-T in any color as long as that color was black. The function was automotive travel, there was little need, or competitive pressure, to differentiate and develop products that meet customers desires..for a time. Shortly though there were dozens of car manufacturers making products that met the needs of customers and the automobile transitioned from form defining function to function defining form. Now you have a vehicle for whatever your need is in getting from point A to point B.
Death by PowerPoint
If you’ve ever sat through a death by PowerPoint presentation you understand how important it is to get from point A to point B! Few things in life are worse that a bulleted PowerPoint or Keynote presentation, where the instructor is reading directly from the slides. Honestly, why even have an instructor? You have been witness to perhaps the most poignant example of form defining function.
If you’ve been given the task of talking to a group. Delivering a presentation that has to cover points A, B, C & D. You’re going to use PowerPoint or Keynote. That’s almost a given. If you use these presentation programs, you’re potentially going to create a death by PowerPoint presentation if you’re not careful. The form of the programs themselves lend themselves to perpetuation of this pattern.
Be Considerate of your Audience
Consider what it might mean to those sitting through your material if you designed your presentation in a manner that the function of it defined its form. In this vision, the function of your presentation is what you want the audience to remember. You, the maestro of the information should be intentional in what is said, when it’s said, and how it’s said. You can’t do that if your PowerPoint and materials don’t let you.
Did you know that we’ve delivered over 200 presentations in the last 4 years? We specialize in website design and SEO, but we also consult privately on PowerPoint & Keynote development. If you have a presentation that needs some pick-me-up. Let us take a crack at it.
Share this story with a Friend!