Invest in the Story, in communication.

Setting a scene is about the view placement, considering background, props, lighting and so much more to tell a simple clear story. Cropping the image can let the viewer fill in the gaps and also and bring the action closer to the viewer. Comic books often say the “action is in the gutters” (gutters being the empty white space between the frames). This means to leave some interpretation to the viewer, let them participate in the story. Storytelling in visuals communicates in an intuitive and emotional way that text and data just can’t. Spending time to craft, model or prototype a story in visuals has communication value that saves time. Often teams assume everyone is “on the same page” and it is just not the case. Innovation is about sharing insight and building on shared knowledge. The better the communication the better the development process. It is the visual story that demands details in order to draw a scene, decisions need to be made, priorities set. Invest in the story, the human-centered, emotional, messy, and interesting part of the process…document the who, what, when, where and how first.

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Pick Me Up...

Visual Story and layered context. From left to right we see a story unfold. Getting a parking ticket, to loading up the car after shopping, kids and family comfort and even grandma using tech to plan her route. A visual story to capture many aspects of a concept, creating a narrative to engage.

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The Need...

Painting a mood or set of circumstances goes a long way in describing need. What would an autonomous car mean to you here? In an assisted living environment with access to ride share, but uncomfortable with the service. Context, flowers and pictures of the kids, unopened mail, and a microwave meal in front of her. The driver with clipboard shows he is checking a list and not really engaged. All feed a narrative to highlight a very real need often referenced in research. Visual storytelling.

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Brainstorm Map

Mapping out the brainstorming conversation in visuals. Creating a visual map of an idea or concept helps show complexity and relationships between ideas. It connects the dots. Beyond Ideas, these studies show the relationships between users, technology and context to hint at the systems that need to integrate in order to function.

The Review…

Visual storytelling and context. A meeting many of us have had, discussing a proposal or product with stakeholders a little less involved. Storytelling with visuals, to suggest context. Showing expression and emotion with facial or physical clues helps convey a message. Props, and backgrounds also help set the stage.