Andrew goes on to write:
To me, a poster presentation for me is an aid for story telling – to be used by an in-person narrator. The reality though is that sometimes the poster needs to be able to at least hint at that story without your in-person input. This creates something of a design-conflict.
He also says:
Coward that I am I should note that the posters aren’t great, but hopefully illustrate process
Over at Southern Fried Science, Chris Parsons has penned Mr Darcy’s Guide to Conference Etiquette – Part 1, which includes thoughts on posters:
Posters give one a unique ability to talk directly to conference goers, often while they are well flown on a glass or two of wine, in a depth one cannot achieve with the audience at an oral presentation. A single good, well-designed poster is also very memorable, much more so than dozens of slides in an oral presentation.
This also prompted this Twitter exchange about poster sessions.
Keith Bradnam is a person after my own heart, doing his bit to improve conference posters. He has a nice post called The problem with posters at academic conferences. And the problem, according to Keith?
The problem here is not with the total amount of text — though that can sometimes be an issue — but with the width of the text.
A new paper in PLOS Computational Biology by Rougier and colleagues offers ten guidelines for better figures, which can be an important component of better posters. I would put their rule #5 much higher on the list...
- Know your audience
- Identify your message
- Adapt the figure to the support medium
- Captions are not optional
- Do not trust the defaults
- Use color effectively
- Do not mislead the reader
- Avoid “chartjunk”
- Message trumps beauty
- Get the right tool
While this poster leaves something to be desired graphically (too much stuff), I enjoy the title. Hat tip to Nick Loman and Mike the Mad Biologist.