What the least read book in the world?
The owner’s manual.
What fraction of your owner’s manuals have read completely? Your car? Your digital camera? Your graphics software?
Recently, I put up a Venn diagram showing what people put on posters versus what people want from posters. That resonated with some ideas that Kathy Sierra discussed in an online presentation. in particular, she showed another version of this figure from from her brilliant and much-missed Creating Passionate Users blog.
Which attracts you and makes you want to learn more?
Most posters look more like less like the brochures on the left and a lot more like the owner’s manuals on the right. I think posters look like owner’s manuals because people are aping journal articles.
Remember the trap? Making a poster is often the first time you’re thinking through the data. And it’s easy to think more about, “How is that data is going to go into the paper I eventually want to publish?” than “What’s right for the poster?”
Should your first presentation be a poster?