Just like with web design, the idea of chunking information into concise pieces across the screen so that users don't have to scroll to read long documents, can work on a PowerPoint slide as well. Learn how to transform a common bulleted list into a varie
- [Instructor] In the very rare event that you do have a presentation with valid uses of the bullet list structure, used over and over again that is getting a bit repetitive, or if you are just simply looking for alternative ways to structure the information, chunking has become quite popular in slide design in recent years. A friend and colleague of mine, fellow PowerPoint MVP Nolan Haynes presents about this all over the place, as do many, many of my fellow PowerPoint MVPs and presentation designers.
Everyone is doing it, even Microsoft. So, what is chunking? Chunking, simply put, is where you take something that is long, and break it up and organize it into smaller, bite-sized pieces, and this is nothing new or specific to slide design. Chunking has its roots in document design, as well as web design. In many ways, slide design has more in common with the chunked layouts you'll see on the web, but with less text and a cleaner, more bold design, like you might find on billboards.
So chunking on slides very much carries its own connotation. So, let's take a look and see how chunking can work for a simple bulleted list. Now, we are all familiar with this layout. This is our typical title and content slide layout, that has been around quite a while in PowerPoint. Kind of boring, especially with only these three, tiny little bullets. But, if I take that same bulleted list and spread that content out horizontally across the slide, somehow that information is easier to explore.
My eyes can go back and forth over the items to comprehend and compare them more readily. Now, this is a really simple example that takes no more time to create than a bullet list. Or, I can pair the bulleted text with a meaningful image or icon, or really redesign things. This is still chunking, all we're adding here is some rectangle shapes to the background, and playing around with the placement, size, and color of the text within the rectangles.
As far as how to do this quickly and easily in PowerPoint, there are some tools that will help you line up the content quickly on the slide--let me show you. So on the first slide in PowerPoint, here I have just a very simple title-only slide, where I've taken the content from your typical bulleted list, and cut them and pasted them as individual text boxes, just to make them a little bit easier to arrange on the slide.
Now to arrange them horizontally across the slide, I'm going to be using some really cool tools in PowerPoint to arrange this content. Now most people typically will try to space them out on the slide and kind of eyeball it, but that takes a really long time, and it's really, really hard to do to eyeball, but if we take our mouse, and with our arrow, just click and drag to kind of lasso all of the text boxes at once, from the Home tab, in that Drawing group, you'll see this Arrange button.
Clicking on that, you'll see a lot of different Position Objects options under this Align group. In this menu, you'll see Align Left, Align Center, and all of these other options here. Now, all of these tools up here have two options, these are kind of like a toggle switch. There's Align To Slide and Align Selected Objects. You want to make sure the check box is selected for Align Selected Objects. Next, we'll want to choose the option Align Top.
That will make sure that all of the objects are spaced to the top of each other, rather than the slide. Then, we want to go back to that Arrange group, click Align again, and then we want to distribute them horizontally, and that will space them evenly with each other. Now on slide number 2, we have three images here that we can then go back and add to this first slide if we like. So going back here, grabbing hold of the first image, that's going to be our image for the New York, so I'm just going to copy that and paste that on our first slide, and we can resize that, move that into position here, and I'm just going to grab these real quick and paste them and position them above their corresponding bullet point, and that looks a little cramped up here, and so if I want to lasso all these together, and then move the whole thing down as one unit, I'm going to hold down my Shift key, and then just nudge this down ever so slightly.
And really, that's all you need to do to chunk out your images and text on a slide.
- Designing as non-designers
- Key design components
- The need for hierarchy
- Hierarchy in bulleted slides
- When bullets are cognitively necessary
- Using space effectively
- Creating similarity and contrast strategically