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Presentation Secrets: Do What you Never Thought Possible With Your Presentations by Alexei Kapterev

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AVOIDING UGLY SLIDES

Aesthetics are very important; in fact, it is the second most important aspect of a slide, after basic functionality. Think for a moment about the first … well, the first anything, actually. Consider the first cars. They weren't too pretty. Look at the brass-era automobiles, Ford A and Ford C. With all their brass charm and even though most of them were luxury items, aesthetically they were nothing more than badly upgraded horse carriages. But then, they actually moved without a horse, which was a miracle at the time. People tend to forget about aesthetics when something is truly novel technologically.

The reason those cars didn't look good was because the design lacked unity. The carriage was designed for a horse, not a gasoline engine. Shiny brass parts didn't help that much. Only when designers started designing chassis for engines did cars start to look decent and even pretty. And it's not just cars. The first battle tanks looked like water tanks. The first airplanes looked like flying bookstands. The first personal computers … well, have you ever seen the Apple I? It looked like a huge typewriter in a wooden case made by someone who had no idea how to work with wood. Why did it sell? It was one of the first fully assembled computers for hobbyists, and they didn't care much about how it looked as long as it worked.

But now we don't see many ugly cars. We don't see ugly planes. Modern battle tanks look amazingly cool, even though aesthetics are not a prime ...

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