Following an animated path

When we're using animated timelines, the thing that clearly moves forward is time. Other things may also advance, but within the context of time's progress. We can show these other advances without the context of time. We are then following a path through a sequence, procedure or production routine. We're showing how to get from point A to point B before getting to point C. When we animate the movement of objects or movement in space, we define a path for the animation. By following a path, we've begun to animate the audience's attention and thought processes.

Every presentation follows a path including this one. Usually there is no mention or visualization of the implicit path. There is usually too much content to cover to acknowledge the path or make use of this visual metaphor. As with many others I will be exploring, the imagery of a path is ideal for animating by either moving in space or moving objects.

When we follow a path, we can easily visualize:

  1. going there from here by way of a sequence of events, locations or steps
  2. getting somewhere in a straightforward manner following markers, milestones and signs along the way
  3. ending up where we intended after starting out at the beginning
  4. completing the movement from plan to execution, problem to solution, order to fulfillment, etc.
  5. showing how to get this done, think this through, or move forward on this
  6. providing a map of the way to proceed or the better road to take
  7. connecting the dots with a clear narrative about what happens after each step

When we prepare others to follow a path on their own, there's more than the path itself to consider. A presentation about following a path may also explore:

  • different places to start from or varied initial conditions 
  • ways to better prepare for the path or commit to the path before starting out
  • pitfalls on the path to anticipate and to avoid insightfully
  • forks in the road which may get misread as tempting shortcuts or pointless pursuits 
  • changes in levels of difficulty, challenge or cost depending on other circumstances
  • opportunities to look back, reflect on the sequence and learn from the path taken
  • reasons to backtrack, go over the same ground again or revisit intermediate places on the path
  • possible improvements in efficiency, quality or other metrics of following the path
  • predicting what lies ahead when the path makes an unexpected turn
  • considering what the path veers near to or far away from as it crosses terrains
  • dealing with the adversity of the path's demands, difficulties and delays

You've just followed a path while reading this. We started out from the previous post about using animated timelines. We moved across the boundary between time's progress and other advances. We compared animation paths to the vast array of other paths to portray. We looked at the missed opportunity to explore paths in most content-laden presentations. Then we went to the place of so many different paths we can easily visualize. We approached the end by going through many other dimensions besides the path itself which enrich the metaphor of "following a path". Our journey concluded with this look back over the path we've taken.

No comments:

Post a Comment