In an earlier post I talked about the importance of “user engagement and visual aesthetics” in presenting information. A fine example is Prezi, an online presentation tool from a Hungarian company that allows you to create amazing non-linear presentations.
The ideology of Prezi is based [on] our natural knowledge on how to coordinate ourselves in space; traditionally all information we have had to process and store used to be linked to physical space. That is where our minds have developed good skills in orienting ourselves. Despite all this digital information today is mostly presented to us as a moniker of printed matter. Of course printing has served us well to store (and shape) information for the last six centuries, however, with the wide appearance of computing we saw the same old pattern: old forms got translated to new media without exploring its full potential. Most of the computer systems which present us with information today use the old paradigm of prints and slides: arranging information on a framed 2d static space.
Prezi also allows us to take into consideration the influence of typography on information and perhaps offers the possibility of incorporating kinetic typography into our presentations.
Kinetic typography can be seen as a vehicle for adding some of the properties of film to that of text. For example, kinetic typography can be effective in conveying a speaker’s tone of voice, qualities of character, and affective (emotional) qualities of text…. It may also allow for a different kind of engagement with the viewer than static text, and in some cases, may explicitly direct or manipulate the attention of the viewer.
Hopefully, applications like Prezi will allow us to better express the richness and complexity of our subjects when we give presentations, and for the audience not only to be better engaged but also be moved by what we have to say.