when presentation steals the show

There's some interesting discussion going on over a post that David Armano wrote, about the most perfect presentation he's ever seen. The presentation was impeccably designed, produced and styled beautifully. So much so, that he can't remember what the presentation was about. Yikes. David asks a valid question: Can a presentation be designed so well, that it actually detracts from the story?

Personally, I believe that (in his case) it was the audience. As designers, we pay attention to things others don't. David's wondering about how it was produced, or admiration of the slides from a designer's point of view superseded his interest in the topic. As designers, we see the world through a different set of eyes. And sometimes that gets in the way of the intended experience.

I wonder if you could pose the same question for brand collateral, package design or website design for a crappy product or service. Maybe it's not the same thing - if we're talking about being memorable or not - but it's just as disappointing to get a crappy product after experiencing a beautious website or package. Is it wrong to produce great design for a less-than-great product?


mave said...

IMNSHO, the best design is that which is nearly invisible - in other words, that which serves its purpose so well that the user doesn't even notice it's been designed. it may look fresh, clean and even beautiful, but the main focus is on the function, not the form. design that is so focused on looking hot is generally crap in terms of doing what it was intended to do, as is well demonstrated by the presentation under discussion.

darryl ohrt said...

Very well put, Mave.

andrew said...

I agree with mave. If something is designed well, it should achieve its intended goal. If you're distracted by the design, the designer has failed in doing his/her job.

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