Design Tips for the Non-Designer

Most of us respond to well designed reports and presentations. Yet, we spend little time considering design in our documents.

Design is not limited to people with specialized degrees and/or background. Everyone can produce eye-pleasing documents and slide decks if they take the time to improve this skill and follow a design philosophy.

Robin Williams presents CRAP design philosophy as an elegant approach to producing documents and slide decks that promote (rather than hinder) clarity in communication. Her books related to presentation and text serve as strong starting points. She offers additional books on this topic.

Stephen Few's effort on dashboard design should be required reading for any analytics professional. His approach is similar to Robin Williams'. Lea Pica's website, which contains links to her blog and podcast, and her presentation offer solid tips and a good starting point. For a longer discussion (plus a well designed text), Andy Goodman provides more discussion about presentations.

This folder contains curated slide decks that I have developed or have been shared. Brian Cristina's slide deck on presenting data should be viewed for the fantastic suggestions and (before and after) examples. The positive exemplars and negative exemplars contrast the implementation of CRAP design philosophy. Finally, the student slide decks includes three examples from students who have applied design philosophy to their slide decks.

This folder includes collected reports from a variety of sources that serve as positive examples of CRAP design philosophy. This folder contains negative examples of CRAP design philosophy as applied to reports.

Finally, if you are looking for a font, then this website will help you decide and this website provides mix-and-match assistance. This entry from Lea Pica explains how to embed Google fonts into PowerPoint and offers basic suite of fonts.