David Fetterman’s Fab Five Reboot

David Fetterman’s slides are naturally full of graphics. He’s a visual presenter who uses his slides as the backdrop to his dynamic delivery. My goal here was to standardize the use of the graphics and align everything better so it felt less chaotic and more crisp.

DFBefore1 (1).png



I wanted to give David’s home slide more flavor. Empowerment evaluation, after all, deserved something more characteristic than the Arial font. Still Arial is easy to read and really standard so I kept it in there but added a really different font just on the word “Empowerment.” I’m still not sure this is the right font to connote empowerment but it’s a start. I also adjusted the colors to a darker blue. I moved the alignment of everything so it either spans the slide or fits to one side or the other. Centered alignment is too boring for empowerment evaluation. I removed the labels from the pictures here – he’ll talk about those more in depth later and at this point it was too much text. I’d replace the graphic with the actual pictures if I had access to them. David said the revision was, “easier to read, bolder and more modern in format.”





In the second slide, I standardized the size of each graphic. I expanded them to span the slide. Together these two actions make the slide feel more organized. I put the text on top of the picture – usually a tricky move – and made the fill color of the textbox a gray with 56% opacity so that some of the picture still shows through but the gray gives enough of a background to make the text legible.





Next David has text-based slides. These are critical because David is giving definitions. We can’t delete much text. But we can spread out and distribute the graphics that are heavy in other slides. Here I cropped out a slice from an earlier picture and added it to the side to give the slide some impact and consistency with the rest of the deck. Then I brought back in the action font. For the text that does remain, I made a hard line break at the end of each naturally occurring chunk of text so that it reads in logical sections. I bolded key words.





The next slide is used as an overview slide, to show the four parts of David’s talk. Each of the graphics there will appear again later. The screenshots and cartoon-ish icon were a big departure from the rich pictures that David has in the rest of his slideshow. Real pictures didn’t totally make sense here, either – since these are akin to icons, we need them to be simplified. But use of the action font and a cleaner illustration of Mind the Gap are more in line with the rest of the slide deck. I also positioned them in a row to better show their sequence. David said this revision was the “best slide of the collection – night and day improvement.  The original is too hard to see and make sense out of – the purpose was to foreshadow the sections but your version is simple, clear, and bold.”




Finally, I totally overhauled David’s graph. 3D is misleading so I switched to a 2D graph. Texture-based fills for the bars are also a distracting decoration, so I moved to solid colors. Since this is change over time, I switched to a line graph. I removed the legend and the second part of the title and replaced all that with simple labels. I also deleted the columns representing the goal, since those aren’t actual time points that were measured. I inserted a dotted line between 2013 and 2014 to show that it is a projection. Finally, I animated the graph so that the data points appear in a logical way, one line segment at a time, that matches David’s explanation of the data. In reaction to this revision, David said, “Your graph works nicely – once you get the hang of it because you can show folks how to measure or compare actual performance with benchmarks and goals.” He also liked the advantage of the bar chart, though, in that it can better visually show quantity. I made a bar chart version for his use as well, still animating each bar to appear one at a time.

This post is part of the Fab Five Reboot, a project led by Stephanie Evergreen to redesign five slides from five of AEA’s eStudy workshop presenters. Visit the eStudy workshop page to learn more about our current lineup and for registration details.






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