April 14, 2014

Thinking Through Hands – Visual Story Telling



Visual Communication is best form of communication. With the pace of technology getting faster and information load increasing with each day it’s even more pertinent to communicate effectively and succinctly. This idea may not be obvious to many professionals that operate in an environment where problems are often defined and predictable and communication needs to follow a protocol. But in a situation where most of the knowledge & creative work happens, visual thinking & visual communication is often the best form of communication. It helps us think conceptually and creatively about a fluid situation that is hard to be defined with limitations of written and spoken words alone.

When done right, visual communication can capture the attention (i.e. people to focus), leave an impression (i.e. establish the lasting mental model) and reduce the risk of misinterpretation (i.e. lesser deviation on common understanding).

Research shows that best way to memorize anything is to form a picture in brain. Using words play, associating things/situations or giving it a name. All of these are how non-visual things gets translated in brain and helps recall. There’s also research that suggests consumption of visual information is faster and efficient — so less cognitive load. And, it leaves less margin for error in interpretation.

Thinking through hand is my way of learning. I tell story by illustrating them, but illustrations are least of my goal. My goal always is to learn about a new areas by exploring it visually — drawings them by use of metaphors or rearranging them in a different pattern. The idea is to create something that is easy to communicate and consume. I am most creative when I doodle, sketch, and draw them in my mental sequence. I explain things better when I am talking through the picture. And what a coincidence (pun intended), I know people love learning more effectively by the picture as well.

Thinking through hand is effective learning — even if your audience are left brained. I highly recommend that when you get bored try doodling, draw a process diagram, or sketch the object in front of you. Use it as a force for learning and framing ideas in your mind. You will see a difference as you will start getting better at explaining ideas, concepts and phenomenons that are hard to explain.

Here’s some of the sample of my Thinking-Through-Hand —