I’ve whiled away a number of hours putting together my poster presentation for this Friday’s conference on Active Learning at the University of Texas at Arlington. In the process of preparing this poster I accomplished the following feats and/or made the following realizations:
- Adobe InDesign is super-powerful, and that my learning curve for that particular program is super-steep.
- PowerPoint, while perhaps the root of all that is evil in the world (the jury is still out), is pretty easy to operate (or least I have some degree of skill with it. Plus, I own it, meaning I could work at home rather than at the UTA Library’s Digital Media Studio.)
- I haven’t forgotten all of my newspaper layout skills from my time as Editor-in-Chief of the august Rowland Hall-St. Mark’s Gazette.
- The Screenshot Plus Dashboard widget is superior to OS X’s built-in screenshot functionality.
- Bubbl.us and the Bubbl.us 2.0 (beta) are intuitive and relatively powerful websites. I’d like a bit more functionality in terms of changing line weights, colors, and text size, but in general the websites fit the bill for designing schematic diagrams.
- Twitter continues to serve as an excellent source of non-anonymous peer review. Thanks to Dave Parry, Rachel Donahue, and Seth Battis for the feedback they gave me on my initial Bubbl.us-designed diagram yesterday. Hopefully my revised versions better encapsulate the concepts I’m trying to convey.
The one area where I’m still not entirely thrilled has to do with the nature of the schematic diagrams. While I think the diagrams generally convey my conceptual arguments, the size of text in the images (and the ultimate resolution at which they’ll be printed) causes me a bit of concern. I explored OmniGraffle a bit, but didn’t find it as intuitive or quick to generate diagrams as I found Bubbl.us.
Now I’m seeking some additional feedback about my (relatively)-finished poster. I’ve got to get the poster printed on Tuesday afternoon, but will be able to make any necessary changes before then. So, if anyone sees any egregious typos, illogical claims, or huge design faux pas (is that the plural form? Should it be faux passes, or is that how one attempts to sneak backstage?) please let me know.