BECAUSE I LIKE the stories revealed by selections of photographs, I'm trying the same thing by using Office Sway from Microsoft to share a storyline that originates during the last week of autumn. It's a work in progress that is going slowly because I'm trying to do the complete story using only Lumia phones.
While I edited my Sway, I embedded the work in progress on my blog. I want to see how it appears in various syndicators downstream. I'd like to see the embed updates itself when viewed several days after the unfinished work went public.
Sway is a cloud-based beta product that works well in Safari, Chrome and Internet Explorer. I used the Lumia 1520 as my primary editing tool and sourced the images and YouTube clip from online locations.
Some initial takeaways after my first hands-on session with Office Sway.
I realised it's important to have a plan in mind (i.e., a basic storyboard) when juggling dozens of images onto a storyline. I didn't permit myself to use random images that were not already automatically backed up onto my OneDrive because that is contrary to the practise we teach our creative video producers in the Limerick School of Art & Design. However, I did experiment with various styles throughout the editing process because some of the default text overlays do not work with Lock Screen screenshots.
Screen sensitivity is an important consideration. The larger screen size of the Lumia 1520 made the production easier than the relatively tiny screen of an iPhone 5C.
You should plan to crash Sway if you plan to delete items while making a Sway on a small screen. My Lumia 1520 wouldn't let me delete and change more than three characters at a time. Its memory couldn't handle the challenge.
If you move images around or rename them in your OneDrive while editing your Sway, don't count on them appearing in the final product. I challenged Microsoft's cloud services with some chopping and changing and succeeded in creating blank images in the Sway attached to this blog post.
After two hours of using Microsoft Sway, I believe it will serve nicely as the TL/DR version of my large slide decks. I need to run a few A/B tests with students to determine what kind of style works best in my key role as a third level educator. I think big images with large text is the way to go because I doubt many people will read the small text accompanying the images in this current Sway.
I appreciate getting access to this preview edition of Office Sway and have been able to share its functionality with a dozen creative multimedia students. If you want to see their commentary, please bookmark this blog post because I will link to their comments and their first Sway productions.
[Bernie Goldbach teaches cloud-based editing in the creative multimedia degree programme at the Limerick School of Art & Design.]