Tufte joins SlideShare board of advisors; No more bullet points on SlideShare

April 1, 2008

Edward Tufte, the renowned author, academic, and speaker best known for his pioneering work on the display of quantitative information, has joined the SlideShare board of advisors. Tufte is the author of "The Visual Display of Quantitative Information" and several other books of about the same size and shape. He is also renowned for his groundbreaking essay on presentation design, "The Cognitive Style of PowerPoint" ( summary available).

"SlideShare offers a unique platform to influence the world of presentation design" said Tufte in an interview at his tastefully appointed office at Cheshire, Connecticut this morning. "Thousands of people upload PowerPoint presentations to SlideShare every day. But no one is providing people with guidance as to how to improve their work. It's often as simple as hitting the delete key!".

Welcoming Tufte to the board, Jonathan Boutelle (CTO of SlideShare) noted that from today, presentations containing bullet points will not be supported by SlideShare. Special algorithms based on Tufte's groundbreaking work will parse the PowerPoint file and remove all bullet points, deceptive "chart junk", and other elements that distract from a presentations effectiveness.

"By implementing algorithms that leverage Tufte's unique approach to PowerPoint design, we'll make all of the presentations on SlideShare more compelling and influential than ever!" said Boutelle. "And a unique side effect is that the algorithm compresses the resulting files better than any previous technique we've ever tried. Not only does this conserve bandwidth, but (what's left) of the presentation should download in record time!"