Thursday, July 18, 2013

Thinking In Pictures

Temple Grandin, is a gifted animal scientist who has designed one-third of all the livestock-handling facilities in the United States. She also lectures widely on autism--because Temple Grandin is autistic. She thinks, feels, and experiences the world in ways that are incomprehensible to the rest of us. I believe we can learn from and adopt some of her approaches, even if we cannot think like her in pictures.

Thinking in pictures and using pictures to convey information leads to innovative and simpler design of systems. I have used this approach for a while now with significant success.

Here is a TED talk where she talks about thinking in pictures.


After I wrote this short post my colleague Mark Finnern asked me about some situations where thinking In Pictures helped me at work. Here are the examples.

Thinking In Pictures for Solution Architecture
I draw a picture and encourage colleagues and customers to visualize a solutions rather than show PowerPoint slides to them. This approach significantly reduced the time taken to make a purchasing decision. http://productdesignjournal.blogspot.com/2013/04/design-thinking-for-sap-successfactors.html

Conversation Using Pictures for Training
I also used a picture based approach for training purposes. http://productdesignjournal.blogspot.com/2013/02/design-thinking-for-training-content.html

Thinking In Pictures for Innovation
I have written more about this and other concepts in the book "Look and Flow". http://www.amazon.com/Look-Flow-ebook/dp/B0084IK1F4
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