Learn about what makes a design unified—proximity, repetition, alignment, and continuation.
- [Instructor] There is one important design element that we have yet to discuss in detail, but it's an important one, and that is the concept of unity in design. Unity happens when all elements in a design, a slide, and a presentation work together to create a cohesive whole. Your viewers will glance at the whole slide and then gradually try to make visual and cognitive connections between the individual pieces of content on that slide.
We do this all the time, trying to derive meaning from the parts to interpret the whole. To achieve unity, there are several layers to this in presentation design from a strict individual slide design perspective. We can work to achieve this through proximity, repetition, alignment, and continuation, four design principles that we've either already touched on or will cover soon. But first, the one that most closely relates to what I want to focus on in this movie is the idea of proximity.
As far as our minds are concerned, when we see two things very close together, we assume that those two objects go together somehow. If I saw my daughter on a bench with this dude, and she said, but Mom, we're just friends. Nothing is going on. I would not believe her, and you are darn right I would give her the proximity lecture, plus a few others. So of course, in a conversation about space, space and proximity are very closely related.
But unity is a very complex topic, and there are other ways to achieve unity, not just through a lack of space. There is repetition, repeating the same object or the same image, phrase, type of object, or element over and over. That can also help to achieve unity. And of course, there is alignment, which we've already touched on in previous movies through the use of grids and guides. And there is also continuation, where objects or elements follow a straight line or a curve in a clear direction.
This concept is most similar to the concept of chunking. And so through proximity, repetition, alignment, and continuation you can begin to create more unified slides and presentations. And to achieve these effects in PowerPoint, there are many tools to help guide you through the design process. So stay tuned for a tour of a few of these handy PowerPoint tools.
- 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