How to improve a project presentation with animated GIFs

Animated GIFs are a simple tool that can explain a large amount of intricate information in an easy to understand, streamlined manner.

August 09, 2016 |

Pixabay Public Domain

The ubiquity of animated GIFs on the Internet is sure to be familiar to anyone who spends a lot of time on the web, and while the image format lends itself perfectly to quick hits of animals doing funny things or people paying an often times humorous price after making a questionable decision, GIFs can also be very useful tools.

News outlet websites have been using them for years to trim the fat and show only the most important information. Did an athlete do something unbelievable? Use a GIF to show the exact moment it happened. Was there a police chase that ended in a spectacular crash through a store window? Put the window crash in a GIF and bring the reader right back to reading the story.

A GIF has the ability show a lot of information quickly and in a simple format, which is the exact reason why, as ArchDaily reports, they can make such useful tools to improve an architect’s project presentation. In fact, ArchDaily has come up with seven different ways animated GIFs can be applied to and improve upon a presentation.

In the same way a GIF can be used to show the exact moment the athlete hit that milestone homerun or precisely when the car crashed through the window, architects can also use GIFs to eliminate all the extra data and focus attention on the main asset, ArchDaily’s Danae Santibañez explains.

As a presentation tool, animated GIFs can be used to exhibit:

  • Context
  • Design concept
  • Spatial relationship between levels
  • Detail
  • Program
  • Construction and structure
  • General project view

For example, to show the context in which a building will exist (meaning the specific surrounding environmental characteristics) in one drawing can quickly lead to something more closely resembling a page out of a Where’s Waldo book than architectural plans. An animated GIF, however, can clean up and simplify the presentation while still showing the crucial information:


GIF courtesy GRND82 via ArchDaily


While GIFs may have a bit of a never-ending duck season/rabbit season debate going on with how to pronounce the word (is it a hard <g> or a soft <g>?) that even the creator of the format was unable to completely settle, their usefulness as a presentation tool to aid in clean, simple project presentations is not quite as contentious.

Read the full list of ways to use animated GIFs in presentations here.

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