Even if you can only draw stick people…

Even if you can only draw stick people…

Even if you can only draw stick people…

During the holidays, I finally had time to read some “long form” blog posts of more than three sentences…

In my “to read” archive, I found this fully entertaining example of how to use simple illustrations — primarily stick people and timelines — to help tell a story. A TED Talk, plus a blog post about the excruciating process of creating a TED Talk if one happens to be a procrastinator.

Thank you to Tim Urban of Wait But Why  for the intelligent, light-hearted inspiration.

 

Using sketches in daily business

Using sketches in daily business

Using sketches in daily business

In preparation for our 2020 Hands-on Forum for Strategy Visualization, I’m collecting examples of how business leaders use simple illustrations to communicate more effectively — as inspiration for others to try.

Here is a good explanation from Basecamp founder Jason Fried, that appeared in Inc. Magazine (US) this quarter.

Any sketch that a team discusses can increase mutual understanding of a concept and plan.

We will have some fun practicing this skill as non-artists during our Forum next June!

Any of us can use a sketch this way

Any of us can use a sketch this way

Any of us can use a sketch this way

Nearly every time we start a visual discussion with a blank sheet of paper, at least one business participant looks up in horror –

I cannot draw! It totally stresses me out!

Here – in the Value of Quick Storytelling – Joshua Wold, Product Designer with Automattic (which owns WordPress) shares examples of how to use sketches simply to create more clear understanding in conversation.

Scrolling down Joshua’s post, one notices that most of the sketches are rectangles, squares and single lines of various types. He even adds a few tool tips near the end.

While these examples have an artful touch, any of us can draw a box!

Shall we try?

 

Designing with words

Designing with words

Designing with words

Kevin Hoegger created hand lettering-style illustrations to help us show how simply using words, letters and design could effectively get across a strategy.

He started by suggesting inspirations from which we could choose – in this case architecture – and built the visual from there.

Of all of the Forum case study sketches, participants related to these with the fewest questions. Maybe as business people, we easily “get” words and linear organization.

Kevin also brought examples of how to expand on the visual with hand-out template variations. Practical and pragmatic.

Here, his resulting “taster” put movement into the growth.

One word, designed. A visualized reminder of the full conversation.

 

About the artist

Kevin Hoegger, represented during the Forum through Visualeyes International, has worked globally with clients such as Nike and RedBull, especially for promotional designs and exhibits. His passion for typography ranges from three-dimensional concrete letters to ancient calligrapy and digitally-generated forms.

Do you have a Prezi?

Do you have a Prezi?

Do you have a Prezi?

Science sports reporter David Epstein does! He used it cleanly and clearly during this 2014 Ted Talk:  Are athletes really getting faster, better, stronger?

Considered one of the most viable business presentation software competitors to Microsoft PowerPoint, we find Prezi worth a mention if you haven’t already looked at it.

Prezi makes it easy to create presentations that zoom in and out from an initial overview page. Having explored examples and created our own “taster Prezi,” our view is that – as with all strategy communication – it works best with three to five key points supported by thoughtfully selected data (i.e. maximum two zoom-ins).

Even more intriguing is Prezi’s recent acquisition of Infogram, which offers templated data visualization.

While Infogram cannot compete with more sophisticated data visuals, such as those produced by Interactive Things, we look forward to trying it on some typical uses – such as showing data by geographic region.

We continue to follow Prezi and similar platforms with interest, as they attempt to compete with the powerful Microsoft Office 365 channel to market.

Presentations that zoom

Presentations that zoom

Presentations that zoom

Business leaders suggested transforming one of Silvan Borer’s energetic Forum case study visuals into an interactive, explorable digital tool.

We also wanted to find and test an accessible format that businesses can quickly create and use.

So Silvan created a “taster” with online presentation platform Prezi. Click here to explore – ignore the slide mover bar at the bottom and instead use your mouse to click and zoom / or the arrows to the right on your mobile device.

We looked at it as adapting an original strategy presentation into a follow-up tool. Was quick to build from the artwork, if limited in custom visual options.

For a cleanly-aligned visual, we simplified the original illustration into an overview page with five points in a journey – and given it is a taster – included only one detail zoom for each. Maximum would have been two.

An interesting use. Could be evolved…

 

About the artist
Silvan Borer is an award-winning children’s book illustrator, represented during the Forum by Visualeyes International. In 2018, Silvan won the e.O. Plauen Award for young and upcoming illustrators.

For more thoughts about the possibilities of Prezi, see this post