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Gather Possible Content
Design experts suggest drawing a mental picture of these people or fi nding photographs
of people who fi t this profi le so that you can develop a project with the audience in mind.
By knowing your audience members, you can tailor a project to meet their interests
and needs. You will not present them with information they already possess, and you will
not omit the information they need to know.
Example: Your assignment is to raise the profi le of your college’s nursing program in
the community. How much do they know about your college and the nursing curriculum?
What are the admission requirements? How many of the applicants admitted complete
the program? What percent pass the state Boards?
Gather Possible Content
Rarely are you in a position to develop all the material for a project. Typically, you
would begin by gathering existing information that may reside in spreadsheets or data-
bases. Web sites, pamphlets, magazine and newspaper articles, and books could provide
insights of how others have approached your topic. Personal interviews often provide
perspectives not available by any other means. Consider video and audio clips as potential
sources for material that might complement or support the factual data you uncover.
Determine What Content to Present to your Audience
Experienced designers recommend writing three or four major ideas you want an
audience member to remember after reading or viewing your project. It also is helpful to
envision your project’s endpoint, the key fact you wish to emphasize. All project elements
should lead to this ending point.
As you make content decisions, you also need to think about other factors.
Presentation of the project content is an important consideration. For example, will your
brochure be printed on thick, colored paper or transparencies? Will your PowerPoint pre-
sentation be viewed in a classroom with excellent lighting and a bright projector, or will it
be viewed on a notebook computer monitor? Determine relevant time factors, such as the
length of time to develop the project, how long readers will spend reviewing your project,
or the amount of time allocated for your speaking engagement. Your project will need to
accommodate all of these constraints.
Decide whether a graph, photograph, or artistic element can express or emphasize
a particular concept. The right hemisphere of the brain processes images by attaching an
emotion to them, so audience members are more apt to recall these graphics long term
rather than just reading text.
As you select content, be mindful of the order in which you plan to present
information. Readers and audience members generally remember the fi rst and last pieces
of information they see and hear, so you should put the most important information at the
top or bottom of the page.
When creating a project, it is benefi cial to follow some basic guidelines from the outset.
By taking some time at the beginning of the process to determine the project’s purpose,
analyze the audience, gather possible content, and determine what content to present to
the audience, you can produce a project that is informative, relevant, and effective.
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