Design Message

Community Is…

Duarte Design recently participated in design tennis sponsored by Ethos 3 hosted on SlideShareScott Schwertly pulled it together and posted the first slide. Each participant built on the concept proposed by Scott in the original deck “What is community”. It was an interesting study to see if complete strangers could build a story and a presentation without collaborating.

When the first few slides came in we noticed that they were defining community, which was good. When the day came for our submission, we pulled together a small team to brainstorm. Even though the contest had no criteria, I did. I wanted to see if we could re-direct the deck towards the benefits of a community and the fruit we could yield if we worked together. So, we gathered in a conference room. Diandra, Chris, Daniel and I were in Mountain View, and Ed joined on camera from Chico. Now that’s community!

We quickly brainstormed around ideas such as global community, melding of cultures, close friends across continents and even potlucks.  We narrowed the concept to reflect the impact that a global community can have.

The next step was for Ed to sketch out a handful of ideas.

All the sketches had the same concept but were arranged differently. Once we selected a sketch, Diandra identified an image for reference on illustration style and color palette.

Identified Color Palette
Identified Color Palette

There are a few lessons you can learn when you look at the final file:

  1. No cohesive story emerges without collaboration (community): If you are working on a presentation where there are multiple presenters, collaborate at the beginning and agree on a direction so the final file has an audience “aha moment” in it. If people in your organization just randomly submit what they want, the audience can become confused and your structure may be unsound.
  2. Everyone has their own visual preferences: Visual constraints are good. Before a group of people dives into preparing their presentation, someone on your team needs to determine image style, illustration style, font and layout decisions so that all the slides hang together visually.

Final Slide

Our slide sticks out like a sore thumb. In an effort to elevate the story and turn it into a conversation, it didn’t do its job. It was a fun study in community though!

Nancy Duarte

AUTHOR |

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  • Chris Iufer

    Nice breakdown of the concept. I particularly like the colors chosen. And also Ed’s expression on the TV as he enjoys the brainstorming 😉

  • Hi Nancy,

    You should definitely check out Dan Rose’s Cue Card Project. I’m not sure why exactly he called it that. Anyway, he has asked many people, in many sessions to draw a picture of what they think collaboration looks like. It’s fascinating to see how people’s visions are the same and different. There are lots of consistencies that start to appear. For details, you can check out his original post at http://danielroseca.wordpress.com/2008/05/07/introducing-the-global-collaboration-cue-card-project/ or jump directly to the images on Flickr at http://www.flickr.com/groups/726056@N20/.

    Enjoy!

    –tom

  • Haven’t yet had a chance to read the book, and perhaps this is mentioned there… the wall that you’re writing on, is that a giant whiteboard? Specially painted wall? Would love to find an affordable way to do that for work and home (with young kids, happy to encourage noodling, but don’t need to be re-painting on a regular basis).

    Cheers,
    Dan

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