I attended Kylie Hutchison’s excellent half day workshop on Better Evaluation Reporting at the American Evaluation Association conference last month. Her presentation gave me a lot to think about, especially about how reporting has changed over the past years and what clients really want to see.
Kylie shared her Pinterest board about evaluation reporting with us. Who knew Pinterest could be used for things other than recipes and crafts I’ll never do?
Her Pinterest board is called “Better Evaluation Reporting,” which you can search on Pinterest or go to the site: http://www.pinterest.com/evaluationmaven/better-evaluation-reporting/
Almost all of what she presented was also on the Pinterest board, so you could spend a few hours going through the board and see a lot of what I saw at her presentation. She has lots of links to infographics, places to download free fonts, how to make free comics, sites for stock images, and many more.
One of the best clips she showed was called Life after Death by PowerPoint. If you haven’t seen it, definitely check it out! It’s a hilarious take on what and what not to do with PowerPoint.
One statement Kylie said, which has stuck with me, is today evaluators are expected to not just be experts in social science research but also be graphic designers. This is extremely difficult for most of us because we don’t have the training or time to learn another skill. She said it’s important to not get stuck at what you CAN’T do with graphics, but instead, look at how you are graphically improving your reports. Learn how to do just one new thing for each report and apply that to future reports.
If you really need to knock someone socks off, a freelance graphic designer is always an option. She suggested, if you can’t find someone local, to use the website Fiverr. Fiverr is a website where creative people offer their services for $5. You can find people willing to make illustrations, design logos, or create videos, all for $5. The hope is that you will love their work and continue to use them, when I’m guessing their fee increases.
No matter how snazzy and graphic heavy your report is, if it’s not useful to the client, they still won’t use it. So remember that, as you stress about colors and fonts, in the end, it’s important to make some useful.
DR. EVERETT’S USEFUL TIP: Spend some time learning about free resources available to help improve your graphic design skills. And if you don’t have the time or inclination, try out Fiverr and let me know how it goes!