Home > Articles > Business & Management

  • Print
  • + Share This
This chapter is from the book

Pattern: Traveling Highlights

56-traveling.jpg

Definition

Use graphics, opacity, and other emphasis tools to decorate something you are discussing or demonstrating.

Motivation

This pattern is a Slide Construction pattern, but it and the following two patterns appear frequently in presentations that illustrate features and details about a tool, procedure, process, or other concrete artifact.

Displaying numerical data or source code while you talk about it is visually dull. Traveling Highlights helps you to focus audience attention on specific parts of the screen while leaving the rest obscured but visible to provide consistent context. And it encourages creative use of animations and transitions to add visual effects to otherwise static screen shots. Like bullet points, it also serves as a reminder to the presenter that something in particular needs attention.

This pattern increases the information density of your slides. You can cover more information in one slide by using Traveling Highlights than by showing single-screen shots on multiple slides. This is an advantage for presentations forced to implement the Slideuments antipattern because it keeps the slide count (and therefore page count) down.

Applicability/Consequences

This pattern is useful if a presentation uses many detailed artifacts—source code charts, spreadsheets, tool output, and so on—that you want to show in varying degrees of detail while keeping a larger context available.

Mechanics

This pattern is easy to implement in a variety of ways in all modern presentation tools. Figure 5.2 shows how a tutorial presentation illustrates computer source code using this pattern.

Figure 5.2

Figure 5.2. Traveling Highlights in source code

In Figure 5.2, a single slide (shown here as six animated steps) builds source code as the presenter talks about it and then highlights a particular part on subsequent animations.

To create this effect, don’t start by displaying source code in a text box or numeric data in a table. Instead, use screen shots of the software tool that the code or numeric data comes from, and show them full-screen. For computer source code, take a screen shot from a development environment. Software developers are accustomed to seeing computer source code colored in specific ways by their tools, so representing code as plain text would look odd to them. Similarly, if you’re showing data that comes from a spreadsheet, use a screenshot of the spreadsheet. Your audience is accustomed to seeing the data in a spreadsheet anyway, and now you’ve got one less transcription to perform.

For the effect shown in Figure 5.2, follow these steps:

  1. Capture just the region of the development environment’s screen that encompasses the source code you want to show, not the rest of the tool. A developer audience will recognize the context from the tool’s built-in syntax highlighting alone. (For screen captures from a tool like a spreadsheet, you might want to include more of the tool’s user interface to provide context.) Many of the screen-capture tools enable you to capture a fixed region and will preserve that region between subsequent screen shots.
  2. For the first portion of highlighted code you want to show, highlight those lines and recapture the screen shot, using the exact same region.
  3. Place the new image directly over the old one, using the presentation tool’s rulers and guides to help you line it up.
  4. For the presentation, use a dissolve entrance animation: because you’ve captured the exact region both times, only the highlighted portion changes, and the highlight seems to “grow” around the part you’re trying to emphasize.

The highlights don’t have to be in color. Consider the slide shown in Figure 5.3.

Figure 5.3

Figure 5.3. Information-dense status-report slide

Generally, we would shun a slide with as much information as Figure 5.3, preferring to deliver it in more meaningfully sized chunks (see the Cookie Cutter antipattern). However, perhaps the audience is accustomed to this status-report format, and it really represents the agenda of the meeting. By using Traveling Highlights, you can keep this whole thing on the screen and highlight interesting parts, as shown in the four serial slides in Figure 5.4.

Figure 5.4

Figure 5.4. Using boxes and lines as Traveling Highlights

Notice the use of the Analog Noise pattern for both the lines and text to distinguish presentation-added text from the original source. When used in this way, Traveling Highlights serves as a Context Keeper, enabling you to return to a familiar context between each drill-down into detail.

You don’t even have to use graphic elements to implement this pattern. Consider the version shown in Figure 5.5.

Figure 5.5

Figure 5.5. Using zoom and opacity for traveling highlights

In this version, the original image stays in the background while the presentation uses a combination of opacity, movement, and scale to emphasize each part in turn. This version looks nice because each chart “grows” out of its original position, centering itself while the rest of the spreadsheet dims.

To implement this pattern, you must carefully layer animation effects. Consider the Keynote Inspector shown in Figure 5.6.

Figure 5.6

Figure 5.6. Keynote Inspector for size, motion, and opacity settings

In Figure 5.6, the overall image (named Status_spreadsheet) has its opacity set to 30 percent. At the same time (using an automatically with transition to start the build), the overlaid graph is transitioned in at its size and position on the original. Then, using an after transition, it moves to the center of the screen and grows to 200 percent at the same time. The visual effect makes it appear to “grow” out of its position on the spreadsheet. To move to the next element, dissolve-transition the current focused element and “grow” the next one. You don’t need to “put it back” afterward: making it appear in its original location and move to the center has a much greater visual benefit than doing the reverse. Instead, spend your visual budget on the item you’ll talk about next.

Be careful to test the presence and performance of any advanced animations and transitions if you plan to deliver your presentation on a tablet such as an iPad. The version of Keynote for the iPad is severely limited compared to the desktop version, so plan accordingly.

The same series of animations appear in the PowerPoint version of the same pattern, as shown in Figure 5.7.

Figure 5.7

Figure 5.7. Traveling Highlights in PowerPoint

The implementation details of Traveling Highlights differ in detail but not concept in PowerPoint:

  1. Start with the summary slide. This will be the slide you return to after each emphasized item. It serves as your Context Keeper.
  2. Paste the full-size embedded image (in this example, the chart) onto the slide and then make its size and position the same as the summary image’s. Pasting the full-size image and then resizing it generally results in a higher-quality image. The alternative—pasting a small image and telling PowerPoint to scale it upward—generates image noise.
  3. Set an entrance animation to make the embedded image fade in.
  4. Add a motion path animation. PowerPoint has a huge number of these, tracing all sorts of patterns, most of which we think look pretty bad. For animations like this, simpler is often better. In this case, we chose a straight line.
  5. Add an emphasis animation such as grow/shrink and set it to Start with Previous. This lets the movement and growth occur simultaneously, making for a more fluid effect.

Be sure to test this sequence under real-world conditions. PowerPoint isn’t forgiving of inadequate hardware, which manifests as ugly, jerky animations. If that’s the result you get, you’ll create a better audience experience by eschewing fancy effects in favor of a simpler approach, such as simple appearance animations rather than ones that rely heavily on motion.

Related Patterns

This pattern works well for text (and images) that fit in a single slide. If a chunk of text that works as a unit is too large for one slide, Crawling Code might be a better choice.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.

Overview


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information


To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.

Surveys

Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.

Newsletters

If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information


Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.

Security


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.

Children


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.

Marketing


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information


If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.

Choice/Opt-out


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information


Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents


California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure


Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.

Links


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact


Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice


We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020