The scientific poster needs attention! Approaching the design process as a scientist

Preparation and presentation of research findings at conferences are an important and time-consuming part of a scientist’s life. From a scientific perspective, the lack of time and orientation on how to create the poster one would like to present, can be very dissatisfying. Similar sensations are coming up while attending poster sessions at a conference: often, it’s just being overwhelmed by the amount of information presented in a non-reader-friendly way. Although a properly designed poster gains more attention, is easier to understand and can therefore improve visibility and the chances of having interesting discussions about one’s research, it is still difficult to achieve a well-designed poster. Why is this still the case in times where we can easily look up the Do’s and Don’ts of poster design online?
One reason is that there is more to professional graphic and information design than choosing the right font size or deciding upon the best color combination. Therefore, in this short course we will take a step back and have a look on how professional designers are planning their projects, starting their workflow and how this can help a scientist to design a poster for a conference effectively and properly. The design thinking process consists of a phase of emphasizing, defining the problem, ideating, creating a prototype, testing - and most important: improving again. Implementing this process helps to develop a detailed plan, which can give guidelines and structure when designing posters.
We will go through the design process theoretically and then discuss the different questions together addressing the scientific poster. All you need is curiosity when it comes to visual communication of your research and the willingness to discuss the topic with other participants of the course. Furthermore, it will be useful to bring something to note your thoughts during the course to create your own cheat-sheet to which you can come back to when starting the work on your next poster.

Convener: Dorothee PostECSECS | Co-convener: Linda SteinerECSECS

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