Design Tip of the Day: Use Compfight

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We know that death-by-bulletpoint is an effective presentation medium that leads to bored, disconnected audience members.  So what do we do with our slides instead of writing our speaking notes on them?

Our design tip of the day is simple: use Compfight.  When building your slideshows, you regularly go to Google, do a Google Image search, and use the first picture of a cat that pops up… likely some free, corny, terrible clip art like this:

Image Credit

Flickr is a place to share photos.  Most Flickr users are professional photographers.  Compfight is a Flickr search engine.  Instead of using Google’s Image Search, try using Compfight instead.  You will be able to search large, high-quality, high-resolution images.  If a Keynote slide is 1024×768, you want your image to be at least that large.  Consider the corny cat clipart above with this gorgeous image that will actually resonate with audiences:

Image Credit

A few musts for Compfight: you must search “all text,” and you must search the license that corresponds with your project.  If you’re creating a commercial product, you must search “commercial” licenses.  No matter what image you choose, you must always show attribution in the way the Flickr user asks.  Don’t steal, don’t plagiarize, and don’t pass an image off as your own!  Give credit to the photograph’s owner.

Google Images is often our fall-back option when we can’t find something immediately using Compfight. You don’t have to revert back to your evil old ways if you know one more visual design secret: think like a designer.

If you search “academic honesty” in Google Images, you’ll find 216,000 results in 0.02 seconds.  If you search “academic honesty” in Compfight, you’ll find 4 results.  Why?  Because photographers don’t take pictures of “academic honesty.”  So don’t get frustrated when your exact search term doesn’t appear in Compfight, and don’t revert back to using the first thing that pops up on a Google image search.  Thinking like a designer means thinking about other search terms.  Maybe you could find an image of a diploma, a cap and gown, or a graduation.  These all signal that someone has been honest in the academic world and will graduate.

What are some other places to get high-quality, beautiful images for your slideshows?  Please share your favorite resources with me!

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