Product Evaluation of Evaluation Reports

Okay, people, I just endured another heartwrenching conversation about the state of slideshows in evaluation. We all get it, right? Death by Powerpoint is a common affliction. Point well taken.

But if it is such common knowledge that our slideshows and our reports are an utter bore to endure, why are we still churning out the same thing like it was produced on an assembly line instead of by a team of inherently intelligent and creative people?

I propose the problem is that we really don’t know how bad our own work is. We are generally really good editors – we can critique another’s evaluation report like we are preparing for late night stand up. But we are nowhere near as adept when it comes to looking at our own report, fresh off the printer.

As a step toward a solution I say we speak our own language, assuming that will be the best way for evaluators to listen and learn. I say we treat our evaluation reports as the products they are and submit them to product evaluation. Perhaps we do need to treat it like an assembly line item for a moment to accurately assess – rather than conjecture about – the state of affairs.

I’m going to develop a checklist (and please don’t point me to Miron’s evaluation reports checklist) for what good use of graphic design should look like in our evaluation reporting. But I need your help. What are the graphic qualities of a good evaluation report (let’s think of strictly the written modality for now) that make it interesting and engaging for the audience? Email me, comment on this post, or send me a message on Twitter.

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