Powerful features for designers using PPT
Please have your developers use and become proficient at a basic graphic design program. Graphic designers by and large are your primary users and happen to use software that has a designer's logic to it. Powerpoint's basic functionality and workflow consistently ignores this "best practice" development approach and causes so many discontinuities (read: Frustration) that if it wasn't so maddening it would be laughable. That said, there are some basic things that would make the program more user friendly:
- Bezier curves: This is a extremely critical function! Illustrator provides fine controls that makes curves easy and quick to do - here are a few:
a) make points/nodes constrainable to vertical/horizontal/45 degree axes using the shift/click combo.
b) Make points/nodes moveable my arrow key increments by using the arrow keys.
Preferences: (related to Bezier curves) Make it possible to specify (objects/shapes and shape nodes) increments if moves using the arrow keys.
Get rid of you ribbon and your format pane - and use a dockable/undockable tools strategy - . Your attempts at making tools user context sensitive nearly always guesses what the user's next move and it gets in the way instead of helps. It's more efficient for a designer to choose the next move - your approach gets in the way.
Short cut keys: provide greater customization control. This might actually solve the lion's share of user workflow impediments. Adobe does this very well - follow their experience in this respect...because it is clear that they are listening to graphic designers who do intense production work all day long.
Shapes: Why make it 2-3 clicks to get to the shape making tool? It should be available as a single click - and it should be a short cut key for basic shapes like squares and ellipses. These two shapes are the foundation for any design space - don't bury them under so many clicks!
a) Should ALWAYS maintain formatting of the original copy!!!!
Format tool: So extremely cumbersome as it is. Use a simple eyedropper instead and make a standard shortcut key to access it....your rule should always be to eliminate the number of clicks it takes to get to the action a designer/user is trying to perform. Again - Illustrator (and other design programs like Sketch.
The basic suggestions I've provided above would go a long ways to making your users more happy using Powerpoint. Your font/text formatting also needs some work.
Feel free contact me if you'd like. I could get you thousands of designers to provide the same input I just did - and this is just a start. I will not fill out a survey so don't send me one. This is a matter you will only be able to address effectively if you have direct contact with those who use your products day in and day out like me.
I couldn't agree more. Of all of the programs I use as a designer, it is powerpoint which simultaneously shows the most potential and has the least design-friendly features.
Creating a 'Powerpoint for Designers', or similar, would help fend off competition and close the gap in the market created by Powerpoint's disinterest in MacOS.
John Korchok commented
Microsoft's view of the Mac world is upside down. A huge proportion of corporate presentations are created by designers using Macs. But the Mac version of PowerPoint is a lame, tame, minimal version of what's available in Windows.
Microsoft would better serve their corporate user base if they created an industrial-strength version of PowerPoint for MacOS that could not only do all the operations of the Windows version, but surpass it. Custom table styles! 9 levels of text in text boxes! SuperTheme creation! Custom Effects Themes (Shape Styles)! Custom SmartArt! All of these are possible with the current file format, MS just has to build a program interface.
Rather than viewing the Mac platform as second-best based on market share, understand that is the platform of choice for designers who create corporate templates that make Windows more accessible and beautiful.
Of course, this would be a more expensive program, more comparable to InDesign than Outlook. But it could do so much to eliminate the common misperception of PowerPoint as a lame refuge of the elderly and infirm.