Macworld 2009 BOF: Keynote

Saturday, January 10, 2009

I was fortunate enough to meet Les Posen at his Birds of a Feather get together on Wednesday. We had a good cross-section of Keynoters; tinkerers like myself, those who use Keynote in Educational settings, others making use of Keynote for Business and Scientific presentations and even those who have taken our beloved Keynote and pushed it to it’s live presentation limits (4000 pixels wide across three screens)!

We discussed those things we’re glad to see in the new version, and Les mentioned how it seems that Apple is interested in taking complex tasks and enabling them with the least number of clicks and doing so intuitively. We also talked a bit about those things that still vex us about the app, for example, that Keynote’s slide display is still stuck to the upper left of the editing window. We’ve got these great new motion effects in ’08 and ’09, but moving an object from offslide top or offslide left is a chore. There was a lot of good feedback on clever ways Apple could make some of our features happen while still maintaining the ease of use Keynote is known for.

We had a group of users that regaled us in their tales of using Keynote in areas where one would have thought more multimedia centered apps should reign. However, it’s Keynote’s ease and quality of transitions (and Smart Builds) that make their customers happy. Their corporate presentations have become “Business Theater”!

It was a lively informal chat and it was good to meet other users that share in the excitement about this fantastic app. It was so much fun, that, alas, the hour went by far too quickly. Here’s hoping that Macworld 2010 happens even without Apple and that sessions like the ones Les gave, educating and bringing users together, can continue.