Friday, August 29, 2008

Tuft, Conway and PowerPoint


People I know who know about graphics and data visualisation tell me Edward Tufte is The Authority. I also hear he is a great presenter and his tutorials worth attending - if you into graphics and visualisation that is. So when I see his name on something I pay attention.

As regular readers know I have a thing about Conway’s Law. So when Tufte’s name came up in connection with Conway’s Law on a recent search I paid attention. Tufte’s point is actually about the inadequacies of PowerPoint.

I agree with him. I really dislike PowerPoint and wish I could give it - and similar tools - up. I’ve blogged about this before. I should report I have failed to give it up. I have two up coming presentations - BCS Project Management and Oredev - and I’ve prepared PowerPoint decks for both.

Why?
• Because they are a crutch to lean on, parts of me is scared without it
• Because the event organizers expect it
• Because I want the attendees to have something to take home
• Because it helps to plug my book (nice big picture!)

The comments and links on Tuft’s piece are even more interesting. Seems NASA are concerned about engineering by PowerPoint and the US military also have PowerPoint trouble.

All the more reason to redouble my efforts and kick the habit.