Next slide please . . .

written by: Mike Granetz

April 26, 2010

Slideshow presentations have become landing page mainstays — done well, they’re an eye-catching and effective way to convey a lot of info and imagery. And they serve up plenty of that “wow, the Web sure is cool” factor. Who doesn’t dig a little animation, so to speak?

After reading an article this morning citing 30 standout slideshow examples, and having a quick Twitter tete-a-tete (incongruity noted) with one of our designers revealed genuine concerns about slideshows.

We’re seeing the same syndrome that, just a couple years ago, was generally confined to PowerPoint. People want slides so packed with information that they become unappealing and unreadable. We all know the dangers of PowerPoint abuse. We’ve all fallen asleep to the droning presenter who does little more than read every word on his or her slides. We’ve all grappled with clients who insist every iota of information has to be in the presentation and then wonders why feedback was in the cellar.

Think of slides as flashcards — the old-school animals-and-alphabet ones your nursery school teacher would chant with you morning after morning. One message, one image, now move on. The information sticks because it is the right dose for a typical attention span — and today’s hyper-media audience has an attention span that makes a nursery school student look like a Buddhist monk.

Like the idea of slides for y0ur site build or redesign? Great. Keep content under control. Keep design clean. They’ll get the job done. Load them up like a jitney bus bound for Cartagena and your slides wont be worth . . . well, enough about that.

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