Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Visualize, It Is What Our Mind Does Anyway...

The mind is totally visual... We don't think in words or number, we actually picture them in our little heads, interpret and speak/calculate/read. The value of visual thinking cannot be understated. In the business world, we use process maps, charts and logos to illustrate what we want to do, how we'll make money and our brand.


For example, check out this business map from www.business-literacy.com. Here, they present the argument that most people believe that out of $100 of revenue, a company keeps approximately 50-80% as profit. This finding results from the lack of opportunity people in organizations have had to learn about where the money comes from, where it goes to, and then how much is left over.

And the company presents the information how??? Through a visual! As humans are we that pathetic? No! Visual thinking is an evolutionary trait. Obviously, visual clues were more effective than written during the cave man era: see lion = RUN!

Salesforce.com, the nations leading CRM system, also uses visuals to detail the value of using their applications and services...

We just can't help ourselves... Without the visual we are nothing and can't communicate! A picture speaks a thousands words, right! So why is it that people still create long-winded emails, word docs and power points with too many words? Are they trying to fight evolution?

I've just run into a new blog that discusses this topic, but in a visual way. Called Logic+Emotion, the author David Armano does a great job explaining the value of visual thinking... Here he argues why it can help educate, especially if you are launching a new product, initiative or idea. What's more, Armano makes clear that visual thinking makes a point much faster than if you write it.
If you want to communicate something, you need to capture attention and communicate your point quickly. It doesn't matter if it's email, Twitter, Facebook, Ebay, Youtube, phone calls, or spreadsheets. The average person is inundated by information and doesn't have the time or the focus to sit and watch a 20 minute video or read through your 50 page document filled with nothing but text. The value of effective visuals is to stop someone in their tracks, engage them, draw them in and inform them as they absorb what it is you are trying to communicate.

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