T01: Supersmart Storyselling: How Best to Inform and Persuade in Short “Elevator Pitch” Presentations?

Sunday, 15 July 2018, 08:30 – 12:30


Aaron Marcus (short bio)

Aaron Marcus and Associates (AM+A), Berkeley, California, United States



Presenting information  requires information design/visualization and persuasion design. The entire preocesss must occur within a few minutes’ time. Many professionals, academics, students, and researchers have challenges to make such presentations, not only marketing specialists. 

Participants will become familiar with the basics of effective presentation. Critiquing examples will give participants an opportunity to consider some of these issues

  • User Analysis:  Specification of user demographics and user-environment, user modeling, task analysis, and accounting for business objectives
  • Metaphors:  Easily recognized and remembered, fundamental concepts conveyed through words, signs, and images
  • Mental models:  Good organization of data, functions, tasks, roles, people
  • Navigation of mental model:  Efficient movement within the mental model via windows, menus, dialogue boxes, or control panels
  • Interaction:  Effective input and output-feedback sequencing
  • Appearance:  Quality visual, acoustic, and touch characteristics
  • Information Visualization:  Tables, charts, maps, and diagrams
  • Basic visual design:  Scale, proportion, rhythm, symmetry, and balance
  • Cross-cultural communication
  • User-centered design process

Participants will learn immediately useful, practical principles/techniques.


Content and Benefits:

This tutorial presents key concepts regarding how to write/design effective visual presentations that inform and persuade stakeholders about new products and/or services. Typically, an “elevator pitch” presentation must be completed in about 3-10 minutes.

Participants will review one USA startup’s storyselling presentation, and an established firm’s new-product directions storyselling presentation, both of which participants will be asked to critique.

Participants will review about 5 short presentations from a university-level new-product-design course and a use-interface-design course and about 5 short presentations from a Shanghai startup incubator.

Finally, as an exercise, participants will be asked to form teams to re-write/redesign a storyselling presentation to make it more effective. The team designs will be discussed in an open critique session that concludes the tutorial.

Agenda and Exemplary Schedule

Time Topic
08:30 Tutorial begins
08:30 - 08:45

Lecture 0: Introduction to Content and Speaker.

Introduction to AM+A, Introduction to Participants and their objectives

08:45 - 10:30

Lecture 1: Introduction to SuperSmart Storyselling, with an AM+A-designed presentation, some additional presentations, then about 5 short US student case studies, then about 5 short Chinese angel-investment case studies, with questions and discussion after each case study

10:30 - 11:00 Break 
11:00 - 12:15 Exercise 1: Write/Design SuperSmart StorySelling Presentation and Discuss/Critique Team Designs
12:15 - 12:30 Wrap-up and final Q+A
12:30 Tutorial ends


Target Audience:

The target audience for this tutorial includes those professionals, academics, students, and researchers who are familiar with HCI/UX concepts and product/service development but who may be new to writing/designing marketing presentations about their projects.

Bio Sketch of Presenter:

Aaron Marcus, Principal

Mr. Marcus has researched and designed user experiences (UX) and storyselling for mobile, desktop, vehicle, industrial, and appliance software since 1982. He received a BA in Physics from Princeton University (1965) and a BFA and MFA in Graphic Design from Yale University Art School (1968). He is an internationally recognized authority on the design of user interfaces, information visualization, and document design. Mr. Marcus has given tutorials at HCII, SIGGRAPH, SIGCHI, HFES, UXPA and other conferences, and at seminars for businesses and academic institutions world-wide. He has published 30 books and more than 300 articles, including Human Factors and Typography for More Readable Programs (1990), Graphic Design for Electronic Documents and User Interfaces (1992), The Cross-GUI Handbook (1994), Mobile TV: Customizing Content and Context (2010), The Past 100 Years of the Future: UX in Sci-Fi Movies and Television (2012), Mobile Persuasion Design (2015), HCI/User-Experience Design: Fast Forward to the Past, Present, and Future (2015), and Cuteness Engineering: Designing Adorable Products and Services (2017). Mr. Marcus was the world’s first professional graphic designer to work full-time in computer graphics (1967), to program a desktop publishing system (for the AT&T Picturephone, 1969-71), to design virtual realities (1971-73), and to establish an independent computer-based UX and information-visualization design firm (1982). In 1992, he received the National Computer Graphics Association Industry Achievement Award for contributions to computer graphics. In 2008, the AIGA named him a Fellow; in 2009, CHI elected him to the CHI Academy. In 2016, the San Francisco Museum of Modern art acquired 90 of his works and included 21 of them in the exhibit “Typeface to Interface.” He has been/is a Visiting Professor at the Institute of Design, IIT, Chicago; the College of Design and Innovation, Tongji University, Shanghai; and the Computer Science Department, Dalian Maritime University, Dalian, China.

Mr. Marcus is Principal of AM+A, a user-interface and information-visualization development firm with more than 36 years of experience in helping people make smarter decisions faster, at work, at home, at play, and on the way. AM+A has developed user-centered, task-oriented solutions for complex computer-based design and communication challenges for clients worldwide on all major platforms (client-server networks, the Web, mobile devices, appliances, and vehicles), for most vertical markets, and for most user communities within companies and among their customers. AM+A has served corporate, government, education, and consumer-oriented clients to meet their needs for usable products and services with proven improvements in readability, comprehension, and appeal. AM+A uses its well-established methodology to help them plan, research, analyze, design, implement, evaluate, train, and document metaphors, mental models, navigation, interaction and appearance. AM+A developed ten concept designs for mobile persuasion design and documented them in Mobile Persuasion Design (2015). AM+A’s clients include Apple, BMW, HP, Kaiser, Microsoft, Microsoft, Motorola, Nokia, Sabre, Samsung, SAP, Siemens, and Xerox.