Sunday, September 30, 2012

Create effective presentations using Haiku Deck - iPad app

I am sure you have seen presentation slides done in the libraryland by speakers that are often stunning in simplicity. You know the type - one picture as the background with at most 2 lines of text.

Of course, anyone of us could mimic this but for 2 things

1) It takes work and time to look up for suitable pictures. create text boxes to enter text etc

2) Our natural inclination is to fill up the slides with lots of words.

Recently, I saw a iPad app announced that was designed to tackle both of these problems.

Welcome the Haiku Deck iPad app , a free presentation making app on iPad.

How does it solve both these problems?  Firstly, while you can quickly create a presentation on this iPad app it is extremely limited in terms of what you can add.

You can add up to two lines of text - a main text and a subtitle (see below).

You can't change the font currently. Let's say I decide to use that one word "Collection"

Next I select a picture as a background by tapping on the picture icon on the left (second from top)

As shown above, it automatically uses the text to search for suitable images and suggests similar "tags" to search for. You can ignore the text you used and type in whatever search terms you prefer as well.

Tap on the picture you want as a background and you will get a preview on the right to see how it looks. Tapping on "Use Text Background" button will remove the black shading box around the text.

You can also tap on the camera icon for the option to take a picture with your iPad camera or choose a picture already taken on your ipad.

On tapping "Choose a photo", I was pleasantly surprised by the options available.

You can add not just photos on your iPad camera roll or photo stream but you can connect to photos on Facebook, Instagram, Flickr and Picasa. No dropbox , Gdrive , Skydrive yet though.

I mentioned before you cannot change the font of the text but you can change the position of the text somewhat by tapping the layout button (three button from the top on the left)

In this case, I selected the layout on the bottom right so it moves the text right to the bottom. By default it centers the text.

That's ability it. The last thing you can change is the theme.

So far, I tried most of the free themes don't see to make much difference, though the one I selected above is an exception making everything greyish. 

Once it's all done you have the usual sharing options.

If you want a copy to edit on powerpoint etc you should probably select export, then email it to yourself.

Any other options shares a link to a online web version, you can also embed it.  Here's one example.


I've used Haiku Deck seriously twice for a internal presentation and one for an external presentation. The later I initially planned to use this for a Panel on "Future of Librarians" at the Library Association of Singapore seminar/conference last week but eventually decided against. Below I embed it , do note it is not finished or complete.

Is Haiku Deck worth using? If you aren't too picky and want to quickly create a professional presentation on the go, it is definitely worth trying as you could make one in 15 minutes.

In some ways using Haiku Deck allows you to bypass knowing the tips given in Ned Potter's great - 5 easy ways to create fabulous slides and quickly create slides fitting those guidelines.

But if you want something more complicated you will have to export the slides then add more.

Do note, that the exported slides will be exported as images on the slide as a whole (both text and background picture will be one image), so take that into account.

The main issue I see with Haiku deck is that I can't tell where all the images are coming from. Even if they are all creative commons, it doesn't indicate where they are coming from, so one can't easily give credit (or are they public domain?).

Personally, I would also be interested in a decktop version of this.

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