Susan Kistler on the (Mostly) Joys of Using (Free) Haiku Deck to Make Gorgeous Slides
My name is Susan Kistler and I am the Executive Director Emeritus of the American Evaluation Association. I am a student of the act of presenting, always on the lookout for ways to improve.
Rad Resource – Haiku Deck: I have been trying out Haiku Deck, an alternative to PowerPoint for creating presentation slide decks. I had read about it in this blog post from Stephanie Evergreen, and Karen Anderson (blogger at On Top of the Box Evaluation), prompted me to give it a try. What a wonderful surprise!
Lessons Learned – Haiku Deck Capabilities: Haiku Deck allows the creation of two basic types of slides:
- Type I – Photo-based Slides: These slides consist of a full-bleed photo and limited text. You have five ‘themes’ from which to choose that change primarily the font, as well as multiple options for text placement. Here are three examples from an upcoming presentation on survey question development at the AEA Summer Institute.
- Type II – Graph-based Slides: These slides take one of three forms – number callouts, donut graphs, and bar charts. I made an example of each of the three below.
Lessons Learned – the Pros of Haiku Deck:
- Outstanding photo search, selection, and recognition: The process of selecting Creative Commons licensed photos from Flickr was easy and fun, and the selections it recommended were excellent without having to wade through hundreds of pictures. Thinking on how much time I have spent finding and cropping pictures, I wish that PowerPoint had this functionality.
- Good design principles for photo-based slides: The photo-based slides look sleek, clean, and modern. They follow the designe guidelines suggested by AEA’s Potent Presentations Initiative. The pictures are high quality and full-bleed – going all the way to the edges of the slides. Text is kept to a minimum. Only two fonts are used and they are complimentary. Things are well-aligned.
- Extremely easy to use: I made a demo deck in the car!
Lessons Learned – the Cons of Haiku Deck:
- iPad Based: No iPad? No making Haiku Decks, although anyone can view the final decks on the Haiku Deck website.
- Requires Saving to the Web: Thus, you have to have an internet connection and potentially some patience as saving decks full of gorgeous pictures can take time.
- Graph-based Slides are Limited and Less Well Designed: The graph-based slides come in only three flavors and, like the photo-based ones, have very limited editing capabilities, which for me created more of a problem with the graphs than the photos. Quality design principles are adhered to less closely here, with often too-small fonts and the questionable use of the donut chart.
I will do a follow-up post delving deeper into Haiku Deck in a subsequent week.
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