It is not unusual that the word “visualization” is so commonly used in various contexts. Our projects, products and services are also inspired by a “vision” of our organization – where we see it in the future. Some studies say that around 60% of people in developed parts of the world learn or remember content best with the help of some form of visualization. This can be a graphic drawing, a chart, a symbol, mind map etc. or imaginary visualization. A mental visualization of us achieving a goal or being successful or passing an exam, for example. Most people tend to be “visual thinkers”, meaning that they think through imagining (sequences of) pictures or symbols and this is how around 60% – 65% of us translate the information into meaning.
Another study says that adding visuals to a spoken lecture increases person’s retention after 3 hours from 25% to 80%. Also that, 2/3 of the electrical activity of the brain is devoted to vision when our eyes are open. So it is rather clear. Visualizations are an important part of our cognition.
Throughout the history visualizations helped people to better understand each other, made complex things look more understandable, encouraged creative solutions or just served a purpose of having more fun in the process. This last, “fun” part is rather important when trying to bring attention to our projects, products or services. Especially when working with youth.
Why do you need visualizations when developing a project/product/service?
Because you want to be seen, heard, noted and you want people to get involved in your idea. And as throughout history people always told each other stories, also a picture can be a great tool to tell stories. That is achievable also without visuals. But they do help. And they don’t need to be expensive. You don’t have to be an expert designer if you want to support your project idea with graphic visuals – or – simple drawings/symbols.
A good thing is that ANYBODY CAN DRAW! This is one of the first things we learned as children. It is also one of the first “languages” that we speak. And it’s universal, international and fun! Remember the children’s books? Or comics? Not to mention cartoons etc. Even when adult wants to learn a new language, for example, they learn from simple pictures or symbols at the beginning. Why? Because we understand and remember pictures better and easier than words. So if you want your beneficiaries to remember you, your project or service, at least a simple visual support is a “must”.
SIMPLE and EASY are also important words in visualization. Simplifying the complex processes or concepts is creative and appealing. And the process can be fun. Especially in a group, while brainstorming. And how to do it? By practicing! By enriching your visual vocabulary and developing your own visual style.
Also, some programs, tools and gadgets that are available on the market can help, especially for the digitalizing purposes, but also a sheet of paper, a good marker and a scanner or a camera will do it.
Now grab a pen and start practicing!
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Following: TASK VI – Gain your visual vocabulary