Using an interactive slideshow as a visual narrative

Visual narratives use design principles and storytelling techniques to convey information through images, charts, graphs, and other visuals. An interactive slideshow adds engagement to these elements by encouraging the viewer to actively control their progression through the narrative.   

Steps for designing an effective visual narrative:

1) Define your audience: Think about your target audience’s background and interests, so you can develop a slideshow narrative that caters to their needs and expectations. Consider their age, education level, professional backgrounds, and industry interests when designing the narrative.

2) Develop a story: A strong visual narrative should have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Start by brainstorming ideas for your story. What is the main idea or message you want to convey? From there, outline a path that connects the dots between the beginning and the end.

3) Create a storyboard: Sketch out each slide in your narrative, focusing on high-level structure and flow. This will help you begin to visualize your story and identify which visuals will be most effective in sharing your message.

4) Select your visuals: Choose the charts, graphs, and images that best convey your data and support your story. It’s important to use a variety of visuals to keep your audience engaged and help them absorb the information.

For example, if you were discussing the impact of climate change on sea levels, you might use a combination of line charts, bar charts, and images to show historical data, future projections, and real-world impacts on various coastal regions.

5) Add interactive elements: Interactive functionalities can help to engage viewers and encourage them to explore your story. These could include clickable buttons for navigating between slides, interactive charts that update as the reader manipulates variables or quiz questions that test the viewer’s understanding of the topic.

6) Design for consistency and simplicity: Ensure that your visual narrative has a consistent look and feel by using a limited color palette and consistent font choices. This will help create a unified experience for the viewer as they move through your narrative. Additionally, keep your design simple and easy to understand so your audience can focus on your message.

7) Test and refine: Check your work against your goals and audience expectations. Seek feedback from others, and be prepared to make improvements based on what you learn.


Finally, let’s use an example to discuss the process of creating a well-designed visual narrative:  

Imagine you want to create a visual narrative on how a company’s revenue has grown over the last five years. You might start by introducing the company, its products, and its industry, before diving into the details of their revenue growth.

The visual narrative would then guide the viewer through a series of slides featuring a mix of illustrations, photographs, and easy-to-understand graphs or charts. These visuals would highlight the revenue growth of the company, support key messages, and provide compelling evidence.

As the audience interacts with the visual narrative, they click to advance through the slides, quizzes, and data explorations at their own pace, offering a tailored learning experience.