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The 20/80 Rule: How to Make a Good Design Presentation

The 20/80 Rule: How to Make a Good Design Presentation

How to impress clients, influence an award jury or inspire your professors with your designs presentation?

In this article, I am going to talk about mainly industrial design presentations, but the same concepts and the theory can easily apply for any type of presentation, including non-design works. Your presentation must follow the presentation guidelines provided to you. If you have not been given any presentation guidelines. This article is great as I will provide a list of everything that you could include in your presentation.
The 20/80 Rule: How to Make a Good Design Presentation
The first thing to do is to provide an overview, a summary of what you are presenting. The way to do so, is to have a title, and a subtitle explaining your work. Since we are talking about industrial design, the title should be the name of design, and the subtitle should be the function of the design.
The concept of providing too much information does not apply for design; on the contrary, you should provide as much information as possible to have your design understood by your audience. But the way you provide the information counts. First you need to have a good layout design. (As it is not the scope of this article, I will not talk about how to design a good layout for design presentation, but I suggest you to search for it if you believe you lack the skills)
The Core Items: Each industrial design should include the following items, for me these are the musts: 1. A Visual of the object. 2. Technical Drawing of the Object. 3. A Description of the object. Without any of these information, your presentation will be weak and your efforts will be wasted.
Lets expand the core items: 1. The Visual: The visual is a rendering, photograph or illustration of your design. It is usually best to use a photograph or good rendering to communicate your design well. 2. The Technical Drawing should have orthogonal views from top, left, right etc. Plus, you should include an explosion view where you show the components breakdown, and it must further be accompanied by sectional views etc. 3. The Description should for example explain the design, and also indicate components, and also could talk about production technology etc.
A Definitive List: The following could also be discussed or included in your presentation:
• Title,
• Subtitle,
• Action Shot or Render,
• Single or Product Shot or Rendering,
• Rendering or Photography in the Designated Usage Space,
• Close-up View or Rendering of the Details,
• Color or Material Options,
• Technical Drawing Close-up or Higher-Scaled Views,
• Moodboard, Bluesky Research Presentations, Presentation of Inspirations,
• Presentation regarding your client, the competitors etc.
• Comparison or analysis of competitors products, or market research,
• Listing of Components or Standard Parts,
• Design of the Packaging,
• Design of the Pro-Packaging (the Pallet, Overwrap, Overpack, the Package of the Package),
• Poster or Advertisement Suggestion for your Design,
• Exhibition Unit for your Product Design,
• Photo of Your Product while it is Being Used,
• Photo of the Prototype,
• Results of Tests if Done Any, such as for durability, fireproofness etc.
• Results of Calculations, Mass, Volume, Weight of your Design,
• Orthogonal Projection, Isometric Drawing,
• Joints and How The Design is Assembled,
• Transformation and Interaction of Your Design, Different Phases and Views,
• Initial Sketches and Hand Drawings,
• Treatments and Processes to Apply to Your Product Design,
• Configuration, Customization Options of your Product Design,
• Accessories or Addons for your Design,
• Trend Report,
• Ergonomics Data, Tests and Reports,
• Tools for Your Design,
• Your Design Research Findings and Presentation (The Research You Made Before Starting to Design),
• Customer Analysis, End-User Analysis, Definition of the Target Users, Why Your Designs Appeal to the Target, Profiling of the End-Users,
• Tools to Set-Up or Install your Products,
• Set-Up Instructions,
• Logo or Branding of Your Product,
• Emotional Contents,
• Reason of Designing the Project,
• Production Technology Choices, and Details on the Chosen Production Technology,
• Product Family Development Possibilities,
• A Luxury, Limited Edition Version of your Product Design,
• An Economic Version of your Product Design,
• Sustainability issues, recycleability of your Product Design
• How to Dispose Your Product,
• Standards Incorporated in Your Design (can be quality standards, or laws and regulations that had been followed),
• Website of Your Product,
• Catalog of Your Product,
• Differences from Existing Other Similar Products,
• A Video or Animation of the Product,
• Any Success Stories for the Product Design i.e. Awards Won etc,
• And Anything Else that can help you communicate the real value of your product design to the clueless audience!.
You should decide which items are more important and include them, if you believe an item can be useful to communicate your design further, it should be in the presentation, if not, take it down to not to create confusion.
Things to Watch Out: Timing is important, design your presentation layout first, list the items and think what to share. Consistency is important. Your design should have an overall average quality, you either do all parts good or it will break from the weakest link. Especially make sure that the graphic identity is consistent; use the same fonts, the same background etc. White is a good background choice. Black is a good choice for text, especially on white. Remember that you want your audience to focus on the design, not the background, nor the fancy fonts. Scale of drawings must be consistent, especially for technical drawings, using different scales when presenting technical drawings creates the most confusion.
Common errors in Design: Many young designers, design a product and then think of a production technology, this results in designs that are non-produceable. In order to prevent this, after your initial sketches, research the production technology first, and only after you have an understanding of the technical limitations and restrictions, develop your designs into products. Many young designers will also forget connections, joints etc, which are important especially for clients. Ergonomics are also important. Check your presentation if you have such errors, and redo your work if necessary, because your design is both the strongest and weakest point of your presentation.
Save your presentation in PDF format, use illustrator and try to use vector drawings, especially for the technical drawings, so that if printed in large paper sizes, it will not be pixellated and will display clean and sharp. A good presentation deserves printing on large paper, print it on posters if you could, use good & heavy paper.
Your self-presentation is also important. You must take good care of yourself when meeting with clients, or the judges. If you respect yourself, others will also do so. I know that is kind of harsh but that is the reality, so be slick if you are going to present the design face to face.
Understanding your target audience is important to have a successful presentation. If your target is to reach obsessive people, make sure you include details, if you are going to present to some cool guys, don't kill them with details (but in any case be prepared to show them).
Remember to proofread your presentation, spelling is important. Ask a friend to check it and respect her ideas. Do not put too much information in a single page, try to keep the presentation clean, you can have more pages but not stuffed pages, jamming all the information to a single page does not help but having a good demonstration of understanding of product, the market, the technology helps, especially when made in a clean manner by spreading this information to multiple pages.
Ask! Ask your audience which details they would like to learn most beforehand the presentation, this will really help in satisfying them!

This article was added on Monday, 27th of January, 2014 at 05.26 am by author Onur Cobanli Tags: design presentation, design award tips, presenting designs. Read our copyright policy here.


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