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Design Matters (11): PowerPoint Wizardry

In case you’ve missed it, the quality of PowerPoint’s automatic design recommendations has been getting better and better over the last few years.*

This latest one took my by surprise – not that it’s brilliant, but it’s really pretty good. Note layout, colours and appropriate icons.


Draft text of a presentation


PowerPoint design wizard recommendation for the same draft text

A Way Forward

I’ve applied these recommendations rarely in the past when a suggestion has really stood out, but judging by today’s design many of us will be using them more frequently in future.

This is part of a trend towards big improvements in design quality for average (non-designer) users like me, even as it saves us time.

The fear that all of our presentations will start to look the same if we use tools like these is real, but we’ve lived with that problem for decades.

My main gripe is that the suggested layouts aren’t easily editable (I’d like to remove that black bar).

Having something to say, structuring a narrative and pruning all those excess words still need to be done manually.

*With apologies to Apple users, who have probably had features like this since the days of the Mac.

I'd love to hear your thoughts and recommended resources...