When creating slidedocs, you need to help readers navigate the content. Section heads inform readers they are entering a new section. The section head is like a new chapter head in a book. You know when you’ve left one chapter and are entering the next.
Each time the material transitions to a new section, use a distinctly different layout to distinguish the change visually.
Transitioning to a new section can be signified by color, bold graphic, or memorable type. No matter what visual cue you use, the design should be distinct enough to make it obvious that you’re entering a new section.
Contrast helps make transitions clear and sets up the reader to know what to expect from each section.
You can see that the first and last pages serve as section heads. They have large type and images of endangered animals while the rest of the pages have dense prose. In the slidedoc you’re reading right now, we made the section heads full color, while the rest of the information is on white.
Differentiating sections visually lets the reader know when they’re transitioning into a new topic. There are several visual mechanisms you can employ to alert the reader they’re moving into a new section.
In physical documents, tabs help readers flip to a new section quickly. You can use visual devices that mimic tabs on your slides to help readers jump to any section from any page in your presentation.
The top of this presentation slide clearly identifies you are in section 3.
Color Coding Presentation Slides
Each section could be assigned its own color. Color bars on the very edge of a slide could change as you move from section to section, or the pages themselves could be flooded with bold colors in each section.
Distinct Section layout
As readers turn pages, a distinct page layout will stand out. For example, content pages tend to be white and full of text and images, so a distinct layout would use bold text or conceptual images.
This presentation uses a flood of color that is different from the white, content-filled pages. The contrast signifies that it’s a new section.
When content in a presentation fits together like a system or process, you can use a diagram as a navigation device. Show the sections demarcated and clearly labeled. Then, highlight the segment of the diagram that identifies the section you’re in.
Navigational diagrams help readers stay oriented. In this example, the lower left segment is highlighted to signify the section the reader is in.