A leader in infrastructure technology, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Citrix Systems offers a complex software solution for large companies with global operations. To explain its technology, the company needed to create a visual story to show how its products manage the process of organizing, protecting, and delivering secure access to an enterprise network for all users in an organization.
To tell the Citrix story, Duarte Design focused on how Citrix's technology integrates into a customer's datacenter infrastructure and how its products provide the proper access to that data.
Duarte captured the company's story visually in a series of graphics and animation. All graphics were created in PowerPoint for its ease of use and its ability to make changes quickly. While these graphics pushed the boundaries of PowerPoint's drawing tools, they were enhanced by PowerPoint's advanced timing animation options.
The transparent graphics, combined with animation that could be timed precisely to the speaker's talking points, were programmed to play through as a continuous segment similar to an embedded motion clip. These animation schemes helped emphasize Citrix's core messages with added drama.
A clean, white template design was used, allowing the graphics and animation to take center stage on the slide. This kept focus where it should be — on the process of how Citrix's solutions work.
The end product captured the Citrix strategy in a visual manner that dovetailed with its brand campaign and corporate vision.
Software and system used: Microsoft PowerPoint XP, Microsoft Windows XP.
Color highlights key points
Duarte developed a cube model to explain Citrix's access strategy. A color-coding scheme was used for its strong visual impact to show the different infrastructure layers and the color cubes and piping show access between the servers. The model was developed entirely in PowerPoint using layers of transparent polygons. The slide opens with blue, green and gray blocks indicating the content, with pipelines between the two block structures. Automatically, orange blocks and pipeline appear consecutively, representing proper access to the infrastructure.
An animation that tells a visual story
Duarte worked with Citrix to develop a whiteboard concept for how its SmartAccess solution works. The spinning wheel animation creates the impression that the right combination is needed to access the infrastructure, while the arrow graphics indicate how Citrix's product tracks the access and produces the correct result.
The slide opens with the wheel on the left "spinning." When the motion stops, an orange line builds to connect to a dimensional ball that colorizes at the end of the sequence.
Consistent timing animation builds on concept
We extended the combination lock concept to show how SmartAccess is able to intelligently determine the appropriate level of access for users. Transparent PNGs were layered on top of one another and color coded according to possible combinations. The transparent "locks" were animated within PowerPoint and a series of spins depict SmartAccess in action. After a series of animated spins, each graphic "locks" into a stopped position to highlight the appropriate access solution.
Nancy Duarte's visual design team has developed presentations in the Silicon Valley since 1988. Duarte Design specializes in digital presentations for corporate storytelling. She can be reached at email@example.com or www.duarte.com. Michelle Chew, a visual editor at Duarte Design, also contributed to this article.