Instructional Design – Beginning Instructional Authoring: Line ‘Em up
Instructional Design: By Patti Shank, June 16, 2011, Learning Solutions Magazine
One of the things that differentiates professional design from “throw-items-on-the-screen” design (rookie design) is how well items align with each other. Alignment is one of the four major principles of visual design that Robin Williams discusses in her terrific book, The Non-Designer’s Design Book (read it, if you haven’t already!).
In that book, Williams says, “…nothing should be placed … arbitrarily. Every item should have a visual connection with something else…”
She explains that alignment between items that are physically separated connects these items in your mind via an invisible line. It tells your mind that they belong together.
In the rest of this article, I’ll discuss how to use PowerPoint alignment tools to make the placement of slide items look more professional in preparation for pulling the slides into an eLearning authoring program (the same principles obviously work for preparing presentations, too). Throughout the article, I’m using PowerPoint 2010 and showing PowerPoint 2010 screenshots. PowerPoint 2007 works almost identically.