Video: 2 minute intro; Tutorial: Worked examples; Help: Contents

Oct 7, 2009

Compelling presentations: Outline input

In my two previous posts I showed why diagrams make for far better slides than bullet points and suggested adding outline input to supercharge bCisive Online to enable quick and eassy preparation of visually compelling, better thought-out PowerPoint presentations.

How would outline input work in practice?


Simple text input a la markdown:

With a little magic this would converted automatically to:


and then the user could quickly change the box-types by dragging out the appropriate icons from the left panel and dropping them on the boxes.

Even quicker, might be to allow some short-hand on the bullets:

    * = plain Box
    ? = Question
    + = Pro
    - = Con
    ! = Idea
    etc.
    That way a draft along the lines of

    would convert straight to:

    which is much closer to the final form, with just a Fix and two E.g.s to be dropped onto the lower three boxes.

    As an alternative to raw input, where the user is required to control indentation, another option would be to supply a more polished Outliner interface, similar to LooseStitch, but with inline editing.

    The best of both worlds may well be plain text editing with helpful buttons for indenting, un-indenting, box-types, etc. together with map preview.

    Conclusion
    Outline text input would enhance bCisive Online's useability in developing compelling presentations by making it quicker and easier to get an initial map up for editing.

    Various forms of text output -- text outline, executive summary -- would be a nice matching enhancement, allowing the user to concentrate on getting the content right, and then quickly mix and match different forms of output to get the most compelling and understandable result.

    3 comments:

    Chris Patterson said...
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    Chris Patterson said...
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    Chris Patterson said...

    Hi it would be great to be able to use bCisive to map relationships between people, companies, organisations (such as associations, clubs and societies)