Edward Tufte's Critique Of Powerpoint As An Case Study

Length: 2 pages Sources: 1+ Subject: Psychology Type: Case Study Paper: #76994275 Related Topics: Monopoly, Analytical
Excerpt from Case Study :

¶ … Edward Tufte's Critique of PowerPoint

As an author, a statistician, and a professor at Yale University, Edward Tufte is well-known for his expertise in information design. He is also known for numerous books that enlighten readers about data presentation. In agreement with his point-of-view, PowerPoint has become ineffective and it does not meet the objectives its creators might have intended it to. According to Tufte (2003), PowerPoint tends to commercialize any message it attempts to pass across and it is a pushy approach, which asserts the speakers dominance over the audience. For instance, the use of ChartJunk only distracts the user from the real information. Tufte uses an example of a PowerPoint presentation that shows the prevalence of cancer. Instead of the presentation accurately conveying the numbers in a way that will enhance the reader's analytical skill, the data is displayed in multiple slides, making it lose its meaning with graphs that are not easily understood and inconclusive evidence that does not relate to the data used at all (Tufte, 2003).

In his essay, 'The Cognitive Style of Powerpoint: Pitching out Corrupts...


It is true that designs that come with the presentations overwhelm the contents within, and they also draw the attention of the audience to the wrong information. However, Barnes and Patterson point out that it does not seem fair to refer to setbacks on the part of the projectors and monitors as weaknesses of the program. Tufte claims that even in the latest versions of PowerPoint, the level of intellect has not been raised mainly because the monopoly product, having an 86% gross profit margin, does not have any incentive to change its approach (Barnes and Patterson, 2011). In support of his attack on bullet lists in 'The Cognitive Style of PowerPoint', I am often limited to only consider the items on a bulleted list when reading from a PowerPoint presentation, rather than thinking outside the box and seeking a broader perspective on the issue I am studying.

To be more successful in passing messages across, PowerPoint presentations should use headlines that are clear and easily understandable (Atkinson and Mayer, 2004). The authors claim that stories should be broken into smaller sections and irrelevant ideas and graphics should be…

Sources Used in Documents:


Atkinson, C. (2004). The Cognitive Load of PowerPoint: Q&A With Richard E. Mayer

Read more: http://www.marketingprofs.com/4/atkinson10.asp#ixzz3U21gJtbz" target="_blank" REL="NOFOLLOW">http://www.marketingprofs.com/4/atkinson10.asp#ixzz3U21gJtbz. Marketing Profs. Retrieved 10 March 2015 from http://www.marketingprofs.com/4/atkinson10.asp

Atkinson, C. & Mayer, R.E. (2004) Five ways to reduce PowerPoint overload. Sociable Media. Retrieved 10 March 2015 from http://www.indezine.com/stuff/atkinsonmaye.pdf

Barnes, J. & Patterson, B. (2011) A Necessary Evil: Edward Tuft and Making the Best of PowerPoint The Jury Expert. Retrieved 10 March 2015 from http://www.thejuryexpert.com/2011/11/a-necessary-evil-edward-tufte-and-making-the-best-of-powerpoint/
Tufte, E. (2003). PowerPoint Is Evil. Wired. Retrieved 11 March 2015 from http://archive.wired.com/wired/archive/11.09/ppt2.html

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