Daily Archives: July 10, 2009

More suggestions to the Apple Keynote team: EyeWonder’s Pagemorph and other attention-grabbing techniques

One of my RSS feeds I dutifuly check out each morning (and often when I have a moment throughout the day) is John Gruber’s Daring Fireball. Good, pithy Apple-oriented commentary, unafraid to speak his mind, and usually on the money with his opinions.

Today’s stories contain one about a newly released online advertising technique he bemoans, but one which offers up an exemplar of “one man’s poison is one man’s meat”.  Gruber draws attention to something called PageMorph (below):

PageMorph BMW advertisement

He quotes Gavin Malley from the Online Media Daily:

“And consumers thought a blinking banner ad was hard to avoid. Taking attention-seeking to a whole new level, rich media company EyeWonder on Wednesday debuted a new home page-takeover ad that appears to manipulate a surrounding Web page by shrinking, stretching, crumpling or otherwise animating a real-time screenshot of the page.”

Gruber himself adds: “The only way to beat this would be if they could figure out a way to get Flash to extend a finger from your display and poke you in the eye.”

So he’s not particularly enamoured of this form of advertising. I can understand this, as I’ve had my local Age newspaper have flash-based animation jump all over a story I’m reading online, and I have to wait for the thing to stop playing. I usually don’t and head off elsewhere.

But as I was reading more about the technology which you can too here, I got to thinking this would be a great Keynote transition.

There already exists a curtain animation from Keynotethemepark.com’s John Driedger, right: Keynotethemepark.com's animated curtains

In fact, John has created multiple colours in SD and HD sizes for a very reasonable cost, and I have used them in a number of Macworld presentations.

These are used as builds (curtains open is one build, curtains close is a second).

Jumsoft has a very interesting zipper animation which achieves a similar effect, in the sense it is a Quicktime movie you can hide an element behind, play the movie and reveal the next element.

Here’s a screenshot of it half way through its “reveal”:

Jumsoft's zipper animation

Remember, these are movies which play on each slide, and not transitions between slides. All they do is get out of the way and reveal what’s behind curtain number 1 or whatever you name it.

The animation Gruber talks about is one that could easily become a great transition in Keynote given its CoreAnimation capacity.

Here’s a movie screenshot I took with one of the first websites to use this device for BMW. The effect occurs about 20 seconds in, and then I click on the “close” (schleissen) button and the curtains roll back, below:

One of the things I also mentioned to the Keynote development team on my trip to them in Pittsburgh in early June which I blogged about was call outs: drawing attention to elements on the screen, in an engaging and “current” method, as compared to old world wooden pointers and laser beams.

The EyeWonder advertisers have a number of online promotional ads, where they tout the effectiveness of their use of callouts to draw attention to products which then become “active” onscreen for endusers to click on and follow through. Let me show you, because I described this desired effect to the Keynote team. Take a look below, where a hair product is highlighted, and becomes clickable, as an overlay:

EyeWonder ad overlay call out

EyeWonder ad overlay call out

If you want to see the entire 2.4 minute promotional video and see this effect and others in action (together with the CIO offering his tales of success), click on the video below:

Concluding remarks:

What to some people is an intrusion, and a sign we’re all going to hell in a handbasket, is to others an opportunity to grow a product, in this case Keynote because I’m not sure Powerpoint has the video cojones to manage such transitions. And here we have two possibilities to offer up to the engineering team as a challenge, but where the outcomes would be very worthwhile.