Sunday, October 3, 2010
I agree with this:
Clive Thompson on the Power of Visual Thinking
Wired Magazine / October 2010
When I went online to shop for a laptop this summer, I faced a blizzard of choices. Was an ultralight worth the price, or would a heavier model do? Did I need a big screen, or would it make the computer a pain to lug around? As I flipped from page to page reading screenfuls of specs, the options baffled me. So I picked up a different thinking tool: a crayon.
Using one of my son’s Crayolas, I drew doodles of all the laptops and covered them with little icons depicting the pros, cons, and cost of each. When I stood back and looked at the pictures, the answer leaped out. I could now “see” at a glance which deal best fit my needs and pocketbook (13-inch MacBook Pro with 8 gigs of RAM).
In essence, I used “visual thinking”—drawing pictures to solve a problem. And if you believe the visualization experts, a new language of pictures may be precisely what we need to tackle the world’s biggest challenges.
My crayon experiment was inspired by Dan Roam, a visual-thinking guru and author of The Back of the Napkin. Roam argues that our culture relies too heavily on words: Our school systems—and political systems—are designed to promote people who are verbal and eloquent. And text tends to encourage us to describe our problems as narratives or linear lists of facts.
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