Aesthetic preferences in humans have evolved over the extensive timespan of evolution, and in turn, have shaped different cultures.
When it comes to landscapes and desirable spaces to live, most of us show a marked preference for savanna-like settings. An environmental and psychological study on evolutionary influences combined with extensive survey data support this notion.
The savanna hypothesis
Why do we favor open and uniform spaces with scattered objects in the background over complex or simpler surroundings?
Popular and accepted theory considers this as a throwback to the time when our ancestors lived and thrived in the grasslands of East Africa. The survival advantage has imprinted a natural desire in modern humans to recreate a similar landscape wherever they live. Our love and affinity is reflected in the layout of resorts, garden, parks, and residential and modern campuses.
Typical features of savanna design
The savanna has a vibrant setting with ample scope for movement. This layout stimulates visually, provides you with a layer of safety, and encourages you to wander around and explore. Savannah inspired designs arouse your curiosity, help you process information and find new paths.
Can this design pattern affect your audience in the same way?
Information foraging theory
Researchers Pirolli and Card used the optimal foraging theory to explain how people search for information on websites. According to them users hunt for online information in much the same way that many species, including humans, foraged for food.
Connecting the dots in presentation design
Combine people’s data access methods and their affinity for wide spaces strewn with object clusters to create a familiar yet intriguing user experience.
When you choose a savanna design layout, your slides have ample white space with groups of elements sprinkled across. By not cramming your slides with details, you avoid subjecting them to data overload. Your audience remains interested and interacts with the presentation.
How do you arrange these clusters within your page?
Follow the rule of thirds used by artists. Divide your page vertically and horizontally into thirds. Place important objects at various intersection points to create a scattered effect. The end result is an eye-pleasing layout that directs audience’s attention to key elements.
Have you used the savanna design technique in your presentations?