By Judy D'Ammasso Tarbox
“Today, most people are both producers and consumers of images—image prosumers, if you will—who act as sender as well as receiver of images. It is this development, in particular, that
warrants the notion of a visual culture. The concept mainly refers to the fact that
great relevance is attributed to the visual and that images are of rising significance
on all levels of society (Schroer, 2014).”
This poignant statement by Markus Schroer describes the situation we find ourselves in today regarding developing, writing and using texts. The world has become accustomed to the visual – and the importance of visual components – to enhance the usability of textual artifacts. As such, we have experienced the rise in visualization as a normal, and expected, part of development. This is true in academic, business, and professional writing. Indeed, it has resulted in the emergence of data visualization as an important area of writing, design and research so much so that it has become critical for writers of texts – whether an academic piece, a business white paper, or a professional report – to understand some basic concepts in working with visuals:
The following is a small piece of an informational video written and created by Thornebrook for another group. It's purpose was to raise awareness of IoT issues for internal, confidential meetings.
Creating an interactive, multi-media discussion environment
by Judy D'Ammasso Tarbox
Written by Judy D’Ammasso Tarbox, Ph.D.
How many PowerPoint presentations have you created over the past few years? Over the past decade? A quick check for me brings up over 2,000 presentations in the past 10 years. Factoring in some duplicates, the number is still over 1600. A quick check for one of my colleagues gives almost identical results. Given the number of “30 million PowerPoint presentations created per day (Khatri, 2015)” these stats seem about right. Although I will add that while the “30 million number” is in some refute (Bajaj., 2013), further examination asks how old is this ’30 million’ number? And is it actually higher in 2016? To me this begs the question: Why is this important?
And the answer?
Over the past almost 20 years since PowerPoint came into existence there have been numerous studies and articles written about its benefits and dangers. Does it enhance the message or detract? We have also looked at using PowerPoint for a variety of tasks besides slide presentations.
For example, I have worked with PowerPoint to create basic wireframes for web texts and have seen others do the same. I have taught business writing students over the years about the benefits of electronic portfolios and have worked with PowerPoint to help them create these. And most of us at one time or another have completed employee training in workplace safety, diversity, and various policy and procedures that was based on interactive PowerPoint slide shows. (In fact I have one of these in my email inbox right now that I must put on this week’s ‘To Do List’…).
However, it was my own quick, anecdotal check of the existing PowerPoints created by one of my colleagues and myself for meetings, conferences, and educational/informational purposes that convinced me there is a wealth of information falling through the cracks. These old PowerPoint presentations, wireframes, and basic digital texts represent an undiscovered resource that could be leveraged for a variety of purposes within an organization.
Example One – Missed Opportunity
About a year ago I was tasked with the job of creating a slide presentation on the specific topic of ‘federation’ of identity standards. Putting aside my ‘trekkie’ roots, I did all the normal research before attacking the piece. This included Interviews, reviewing current information given by the client in terms of slides and written material, and database research. What I discovered only recently is that there were two existing decks from a few years previous in the ‘archives’ of one of my colleagues on this very topic. These would have proved very useful if I had known about them at the time because the existing material could have been easily reworked and repurposed to help with the new presentation. They also provided an interesting history of the topic from the time these earlier slides were created to the present day. Clearly this was a missed opportunity.
Example Two – Accomplishment
Most recently I have accepted the task of preparing a short informational video for a corporate website. Again, as in the past, I will engage in standard research – interviews, reviewing current information in terms of slides and written material as well as database research. However, with my newly formed perceptions of PowerPoints, I asked about past presentations and, voila, found several that go back as far as ten years. In reviewing these, there are two that have proved most useful. They provide material that I can use to create the first half of the video. In addition, they helped me set-up the organization of the piece overall. This is material that, at one time, I would not have acquired or used. Now, instead of a missed opportunity, these old PowerPoints are adding a depth of information and helping with the end goal of the project. I’d call that an accomplishment.
Now that I’ve discovered this valuable source of information, as I move forward creating new materials for this or any other project, I will always ask the main SME’s involved if they, or any of their colleagues, have old presentations that could be used in overall development. And as far as my own office, I intend to implement a simple database system that tracks all our PowerPoint presentations. After all, there is a tremendous amount of work that is represented by each of these. Work that could be successfully utilized again in some other way.
Bajaj., G. (2013, February 11). 30 Million PowerPoint Presentations? Retrieved from Indezine.
Khatri, R. (2015, August 13). Aug 31, 2015. Retrieved from Linkedin.
Written by Andrew W. Tarbox
EMV reminds me of the Laurel and Hardy line – “Well, here's another fine mess you've gotten us into…”
Twenty plus years ago the goal of EMV was to improve security, reduce fraud and maintain consumer confidence that cards and transactions were safe. The business case was largely driven around supporting offline approval of low value transactions. EMV was designed to support the issuer’s transaction requirements at the point of sale in a mixed online/offline environment. This included offline transaction dollar limit, card authentication and card holder authentication as well as signing the information to prevent altering the amount, replaying the transaction, or fraudulent transaction denial after the fact.
The business case for most of the world was straight forward; expensive regulated telecoms, limited bank processing and growing fraud. Indeed, when you did the math, migration to chip had a solid business case for most of the world. Unfortunately, here in the US the business case was always harder. This is because in the US virtually all the transactions were online, fraud was manageable, and moving to chip would cause a rise in card cost.
Fast forward to today and EMV migration in the rest of world is complete. However, US migration in many cases is moving forward with pain. And, there is plenty of blame to pass around from legislation to back-end system upgrades and more. Unfortunately, the result of this slow migration in the US is causing several problems for both merchants and consumers. For example:
Original Use Case
When we designed EMV, the process to get a transaction certificate (TC) was built to reduce two kinds of fraud. The first occurred when someone at the merchant organization changed the amount before submission. The second occurred when consumers denied a valid transaction causing a fraudulent charge-back. Therefore, having the TC as the final step ensured the amount was not changed and that the consumer had entered a PIN or another card holder authentication method.
Presently organizations are considering shortening the transaction time and flow by eliminating this last step (signing the transaction) so consumers can complete the transaction before the all the items have been scanned at the checkout. This will make the transaction process similar to what consumers and merchants experienced before EMV. One can argue that PCI protects against merchant modification of the transaction amount but this change will not address fraudulent chargebacks caused by nefarious consumers.
Without the TC, EMV in the US will be simply provide strong card authentication. I believe we should be very careful to consider the ramifications of this EMV process change and perhaps consider making it a merchant option rather than a wholesale change. Merchants should do the math. Will faster checkout with the risk of increased chargebacks save or cost money?
I believe that EMV at retail merchants is only a small piece in improving consumer payment. Truthfully, there is so much more that can be leveraged by this technology in order to increase merchant revenue and drive top of wallet for issuers. At Thornebrook we stand ready to help merchants, acquirers and issuers with EMV migration and much more.
As such, we are very excited to announce that we will joining the EMV Migration Forum this week at the meeting in Boston. We look forward to meeting as many members as possible and look forward to contributing to the implementation of EMV.
Finally, in my next blog I may tackle Signature versus PIN – “another fine mess” we’re now debating.
By Judy D'Ammasso Tarbox, PhD.
Over the years I have worked with Power Point a lot in a variety of contexts to achieve a multitude of goals. I have used it for formal presentations at conferences and in meetings, to present lessons in face-to-face classes, to form the basis of simple mp4 videos for online and hybrid classes, to create storyboards or wireframes for web design, and as an interactive platform for digital texts. However, a couple of years ago I began hearing about a new game in town, Prezi. I did some basic noodling with Prezi but haven’t spent much time working with it until today.
I am working with two general composition classes this week on final presentations. We are working with visual arguments and creating a presentation of some kind regarding their analysis of a visual argument. I say of some kind because they are allowed to work with Power Point, Weebly, a movie creator like Windows Movie Maker, or Prezi. The result, I decided to create a “Prezi” myself so I can demonstrate and compare and contrast the two platforms of Power Point and Prezi.
I started with an existing slide show on “Reports” that I created for a business writing class. This slide show is a simple introduction to the topic, has a short, embedded video and hyperlinked sample documents. It works great – very efficiently with limited maintenance – that of checking the hyperlinks to ensure they are working. I can upload it into the LMS platform for students in all types of classes – face-to-face, online, and hybrid. Having said this, while the video and links provide some interactivity and expand the message, it is just a basic slide show without movement. Enter Prezi.
In order to compare apple to apples, I worked with the existing slide show. I saved the Power Point as .jpeg, selected a basic Prezi template and began to build my Prezi text. After watching a brief YouTube video about developing a Prezi, I was able to pull my presentation together very quickly. The ability to transition and work with images that become part of the transitions was very nice and does give the presentation a sense of movement. However, the inability to download my short, mp4 video created another step of having to post my video to YouTube and inserting it through my YouTube channel. The other major issue I have is the inability to create dynamic hyperlinks the way I have them on Power Point. I found a way around the hyperlink situation, but I still cannot figure out how to have them open in another screen. I much prefer Power Point for this function.
My conclusion? If I am working with a dynamic text for lessons, I will continue to use Power Point because I can embed multimedia elements and hyperlinks much easier. If I want a simple presentation, I may work with Prezi because the animation that can be created very easily is nice.