The goal of SlideDeck, our newest digital product, is to make it easier for users to digest and understand the content of a website. We have developed a formula that storyboards a process, product, service or other subject matter and applies a simple format to best understand the content and make a decision regarding it. SlideDeck was designed to replace the web’s current model of text heavy services pages, unclear product tours and confusing process diagrams with a fun, quick and beautiful way to interact with websites.
Information Overload Most websites are plagued with information overload in the form of titles, text, bullets and, if you are lucky, supporting images. They feature bloated pages with a footprint the size of Texas and require the attention span of Stephen Hawking. This is especially evident in web and desktop software product pages. Check out the Amazon S3 or the Nirvanix SDN product pages. Huh? With the DIY culture that the internet promotes, how is a moderately technical person expected to review those pages and make a confident product choice?
Some product pages are stark of content and assume that you know way too much to begin with. Take this Quickbooks product page as an example. Oh that page doesn’t have enough info – try their detailed product page. Come on! They assume that a user knows exactly how their accounting software works and are only shopping for features(check out a Quickbooks vs Xero review here) . Most users shop for the whole experience of a product, not just a feature.
What About Videos, Screencasts and Presenations? Easily produced video, screencasts and presentation slideshares have significantly helped this problem, however, allow me to point out what is missing in each medium.
Videos are a risky use of time. There is no guarantee that the video will provide the answer I am looking for since there are no standardized interactive cues to easily access the content I need. I personally limit my time to 2 mins or less on videos and find myself trailing off and multi-tasking due to the lack of control over the content.
Screencasts are typically more topic driven, however they are usually presented by the geeky developer of the product with no marketing savvy or presentation technique. This isn’t good for your product mojo and I still don’t know what type of content I am going to get out of the passive presentation.
Presentation Decks are great when you are presenting in person. In this case, the slides are designed as speaking points, not content. Reviewing a slideshare without the presenter is void of the story, intonation and purpose behind the idea.
Let’s be honest, today’s internet users have the attention span of an A.D.D. gnat, myself including. I don’t want to take the time to watch a video, screencast or page through a presentation. I want to scan the page for helpful information, proactively dive in at my own pace and quickly find the answers I am looking for to make a decision. That was our inspiration for SlideDeck.
When viewing a SlideDeck, you can index the content at first glance by reviewing the vertical sliders. You can take a holistic approach with the SlideDeck by progressing through each slide in order to understand the complete concept. Or you you can jump ahead to the topic you are interested in. Even though the slides was designed to build upon each other, a slide is also designed to stand on its own. You have the option to delve deeper into the subject matter of each slide by navigating vertically (up or down) into a deck that is dedicated to that slide’s content. Each slide can contain simple HTML text and images as well as rich content such as flash, videos, screen casts and presentations.
A SlideDeck can be custom designed to blend in perfectly on your website as a header or navigation system. It can also be contained within a button, waiting to be clicked and opened in a lightbox view. Think of all the content you can express to your user in a simple, elegant and fun interface. SlideDeck adheres to web standards and is great for SEO as it is entirely indexable via search engines.
The Back Story As a User Experience Design Company, we value digital innovation and are always looking for ways to make our websites more effective. We stumbled into the concept when trying to simplify our own message and process. We were inspired by the work that Common Craft had championed and wanted to create a simpler way to express ideas and concepts with code. The first SlideDeck can be found on our Services page. We left the original services copy below to contrast the effectiveness of the SlideDeck versus text and images.
Currently, the only way to get a SlideDeck is to hire us to design one for you. We are working on packaging the code for distribution with a small license fee. We would also consider creating an app that allows users to quickly build and share SlideDecks. Ultimately, we want SlideDeck to become a medium of which people create and share their ideas.
Please chime in with your thoughts on the product as well as future forms of use. SlideDeck is now available as a jQuery Slider Plugin and a WordPress Plugin.