CARP in design

If you’ve ever done a presentation you have been exposed to the principles of CARP-Contrast, Alignment, Repetition and Proximity.  These keep whatever you are presenting organized and easy to read.

Contrast- relative size or color to convey meaning or importance

Alignment- keeping text, corners or grids on the same plane

Repetition- keeping a predicable layout or pattern throughout

Proximity- having similar ideas grouped together and blank space to even everything out


What is the value of the CARP principles in your design work?

Each principle hold value in the design of the presentation.

If the slides are in a color that doesn’t stand out, the reader is less likely to read it.  If text is in bold or has a star around it, the human eye is drawn to it and knows it holds some importance.

If the text is all over the page or pictures are aligned with the appropriate text, the reader has to work overtime to try to find out which goes with which.  This causes confusion and eventually frustration.

If there isn’t a theme running throughout the presentation it distracts the reader, they are wondering which font will be used next, or what background will be on the next slide.  They aren’t paying attention to the content, but the surroundings.

If ideas or charts are grouped at random the reader will have a hard time distinguishing their significance, as opposed to being grouped with their like.  If the page is too busy and there isn’t any blank space to balance out the text, the reader will become overwhelmed.

Working together with each other, the principles of CARP can create an efficient and effective layout for your presentation.  When taking into consideration the text groupings, balancing blank and used space, highlighting important text and the alignment of the page as a whole- the presenter can give their participating audience just the right amount of information.

Which of the four CARP principles do you believe is most important to consider when designing visual materials for webinars? Why?

I believe the most important principle when designing visual materials is repetition.  Your presentation needs to follow a pattern; it needs to be predictable in order for your learners to absorb the information.  If there is an obvious track the learner can catch onto, it makes the content come more easily.  They can see that the presenter always poses a question and then applies it to the learners life, or the presenter front loads the class then backs off towards the end; whatever the set up, the learner can follow this pattern.


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