More slides or More animations per slide ?

What's your preference?   If you are using a common template/Master - for example, a movie screen - is it better to add a new slide when transitioning to new image/text or to do the transitions as animations within a given slide?

"Better" is subjective, of course, but might include:  shorter production time, shorter design time, more interesting user experience, more flexible options for moving learning objects, etc.  Any thoughts are welcome.

8 Replies
Jeanette Brooks

Really good point, Randy, about leveraging slide masters for persistent elements when you use many similar slides - that sure does cut down on publishing time!

I'm with Charles. Usually I tend to prefer parsing things out on separate slides rather than trying to manage a boatload of content on a single slide.

Even though the selection pane (in PowerPoint 2007 & later) is a really handy tool for turning the visibility of objects on or off while building/editing, sometimes for content-rich courses it's easier to organize my content into "layers" by using multiple slides.

Here are a few reasons why:

  • If I use a lot of Annotations in a course, and I need to revise the annotation timing, it's easier to do this if I've split the content across multiple slides. Currently in Presenter, there isn't a way to tweak annotations - if you're not happy with their timing or the way they look on your slide & you want to re-do them, you need to re-do all the annotations on that slide. So if a slide is super-long, that might mean re-doing several annotations even if only one or two of them were not to my liking.
  • When I want to preview a bit of my content, the preview renders much quicker if I have less stuff on my slide and a shorter slide duration. If I need to see more than just one slide's worth of content, I can always preview a range of slides rather than just one slide.
  • If I've piled a lot of objects & animations onto a single slide, the thumbnails can get kind of messy. That becomes a bummer if I need to print my slides for reviewers, or if I want to publish to Word so that I can provide learners with a printable copy of the content. It also means that if I decide to display a thumbnails tab in my sidebar nav panel, those thumbnails might not look very nice.

One thing to keep in mind is that if you use multiple slides as layers within your course, you can always hide the titles of the "layer" slides from appearing in the course's sidebar - so that to the learner it feels more like they're experiencing just one slide rather than several.

Stefano Posti

I completely agree with Charles. Where possible, using shorter slides helps a lot. But it depends on the content.

A good choice, when courses are adressed to users with enough bandwitdth, can be showing flash movies in the presenter panel in sync with the speech... and focusing on titles in the slide...

This is especially good for documentary-like presentations..

watch this sample: in this Articulate slide preview, I have annotations focusing on the main aspects of Nervous System, and the speaker explaining some general functionalities, accompanied by the simple movie in the presenter sample.

It's in italian, unfortunately.. but it gives an Idea...

http://www.projitmultimedia.com//superheroes/Nervous_System_sample/Sample_controller.swf

Randy Borum

Charles, Stefano, Jeanette, & Bob:

You guys are awesome!  Thanks for the suggestions - and the rationale makes perfect sense.

@Jeanette - As an aside, now that you have changed you profile image, I must tell you that this is the first time I ever recall when a person's real photo image was even cuter than the avatar.

Harriet Stroupe

I agree with all those who favor more slides; I've found myself in some horrible log jams trying to synch 30 animations to the narration in a long, complex slide. It took me a while to figure out (duh) that I could hide the slide titles so it didn't look like an overwhelming number in the navigation menu.

Brian Sullivan

We use less slides and more paced animations. More slides may make it easier to manage some of the content but getting a paced audio presentation is just impossible under those conditions. 

Also having a lot of slides that have to be hidden wreaks havoc with creating a usable table of contents.