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Stupid Usability #68

(Slide) Master of Design

Written By: High Monkey
Posted: 9/8/2014

From the mind of Joel Baglien, VP of Business Growth at High Monkey:

On rare occasions I need to update a PowerPoint slide template.  It's not something I'm going to waste current brain cells remembering how to do since it should be easy to figure out.  "Should" is the key word in the previous sentence.  In the realm of stupid usability, PowerPoint should be laid out so it's easy to use based on how people actually use it.  In the case of slide template editing - it is a usability failure to the point of stupid.
Picture if you will, a normal PowerPoint slide deck in need of a background logo and address change that affects all slides in the deck.  In my thinking, I want to make a change to the design of the PowerPoint slides.  Naturally I click on the "Design" tab within the PowerPoint navigation.

Lots of options to look at.  Bingo!  I find the one I need on the far right that says, "Background Styles" and click on it.

Promising  . . . I click on the "Format Background" option.

Nothing here that helps me change what I need to change for the background of my slides, so I click "Close"
I know Microsoft likes to provide lots of options with the "right mouse button" menu, so I try that.

Hmmm . . . I click the "Format Background" link - see pop-up window above.  Not helpful.
Ok, let's right click and try the "Layout" link instead.  No joy here either.

Next thing I do is click my way across all the tabs at the top of the PowerPoint application thinking that there has to be something I'm missing.  I go back to the "Design" tab and REALLY look at all the options.  After all, I am making a change to the design of the slides.  Nothing, nada, nyet.  Time is ticking away.  My productivity is dropping like a stone.  I finally stumble my way over to the last tab on the navigation bar - "View".

Just for the heck of it, I click on the different views.  The "Slide Master" view reveals the following:

And there it is.
The one place I need to go to change the design of the slide backgrounds, images, pagination, header styles, text fonts, text colors, bulleted list formats, add text blocks, etc.. etc., and etc.
Message to the Microsoft PowerPoint team.  "View" and "Slide Master" is the LAST place I would ever think to look when making a change to the DESIGN of a slide or slides in a presentation.  Design is design.  Stop with the stupid usability already and put it where it belongs.

Chad's Bio Coming Soon!

More About Virgil

Virgil Carroll is the owner and president of High Monkey – based in Minneapolis Minnesota. Virgil also wears the multiple ‘hats’ of Principle Human Solutions Architect and SharePoint Architect.

Virgil is one of those rare individuals who can dive deep into technical topics while speaking clearly to the business owners of a project and never forgetting that the end user experience has the highest priority. He calls it using both sides of his brain. Virgil is passionate about leveraging technologies ‘out of the box’ as much as possible with a focus on the strategic use of content to create websites that deliver the right content to the right audience on the right device at the right time. Virgil brings high energy, an ironic wit, and a sense of grounded perspective whenever he speaks to an audience. Virgil regularly speaks at conferences and user groups throughout the United States and occasionally in Europe.

Posted: 9/8/2014 12:00:00 AM by | with 0 comments