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Michael Quinn Patton's Fab Five Reboot 

Scott Chaplowe David Fetterman Gail Barrington Tom Chapel Michael Quinn Patton

This reboot combines slides from two different slideshows – one on Developmental Evaluation and one on Utilization-Focused Evaluation. Chances are, you have seen one of these at some point. Michael is somewhat predispositioned toward use, so his slides have always been a visual support, a way to make the material more useful to the audience. This redesign was about making them better reflect Michael and the nature of his content.

Developmental Evaluation slides:




In the redesigned slide, I used green to represent growth and other more muted colors. I left- and right-aligned text rather than keeping it center-aligned so it is easier to read. I chose a stronger, more blocky font, more representative of building or development. You can see I also askewed textboxes to show a bit of complexity. I removed the second subtitle and I removed the image of the book (we all know it!).




Michael had been using a regular default table provided by PowerPoint. I replaced the default table with separate text boxes. I also significantly reduced unnecessary text when possible & then enlarged the remaining text to make it more readable. It might not look like a giant improvement, but the key is what you can’t see in this picture – I animated each box to appear as he discussed that point. This keeps the viewer from reading ahead or getting overwhelmed by the introduction of so much text at once.




In this set of slides, Michael wanted to contrast traditional to developmental evaluation. These are pretty heady concepts, so I wanted to introduce pictures to represent each (and using neutrals for traditional and greens for developmental). I arranged the color textboxes meeting in middle of the slide to show a duality or contrast.




After that introduction slide, I moved the pictures behind the titles, to serve as references. As Michael and I discussed, it would be ideal to have pictures that included people other than white, but we were dealing with a budget context that included no funds for picture purchase. Also, I removed as much text as possible from the subsequent slides.

Utilization-Focused Evaluation slides:



Michael’s UFE slides needed to be made more consistent with the design choices in his book. This is why I brought in the orange color. Then I applied that orange color to the key words in the whole quote. I put the other text in gray so as not to compete with the orange (black would be too dark). I switched to a condensed font that’s still readable to give more white space on the slide and make it feel less overwhelming. And speaking of readable, I normally would argue for removing text when a slide contains this much but since this is the actual definition, it needs to be conveyed word-for-word. So I broke lines into conceptual chunks of text & animated each so they appear as he speaks. This way, what people can read at a glance will match what Michael says. Together these strategies make the slide easier to digest.




For bullet-heavy slides like this, one good strategy is to break up the content so there’s just one bullet per slide. But as I was reading this slide content, I realized the relationship between these bullet points. The first bullet was providing a definition of sorts and the rest were illustrating how an evaluator enacts that definition. This was the perfect type of content for an overarching visual metaphor. The first After slide introduced the overarching definition and a picture of a piñata. Then the slides that explained how an evaluator deals with the evaluation-equivalent of the exploded piñata were represented with different pictures of candy, which accurately reflected their associated bullet point. Each added piece of text and its corresponding picture are on their own slide so that as Michael works through the slide deck it looks like one chunk of text is added and the picture is changed.

This post is part of the Fab Five Reboot, a project led by Stephanie Evergreen to redesign five slides from five of AEA’s eStudy workshop presenters. Visit the eStudy workshop page to learn more about our current lineup and for registration details.




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