25 July 2007

Visual communication - an interview with Dave Gray

I was recently interviewed on the User Experience Podcast:

Visual Communication - an Interview with Dave Gray

"Dave talks about giving ourselves permission to draw, about how the printing press led us to communicate in a particular way, and about how that can limit our communication in a digital environment, about how PowerPoint can be both inhibiting and comforting, and about how where we are with video today is where we were with PageMaker 20 years ago."

Would love to hear your thoughts.

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10 comments:

Daphne said...

How funny is it that as a culture we look back at heiroglyphics and label it a "primitive" form of communication? Yet as we move forward in this so-called information age, we work our way back toward that method of conveying ideas. Visual is so much more universal.

Very captivating and inspiring interview.

Mark Plattner said...

A good interview. I noticed when describing your internal thought processes that you use the words "I saw that..., "I felt that." more often than "I think that..."

In your physical interpersonal and group communications do you pay attention to how the other people speak and do you address that in your classes as a form of moving them from an abstract thinking mode towards a more concrete visual thinking mode?

I like your differences in Drawing as Snapshot vs Drawing to Convey Thoughts and Ideas. That helps the free us up from the pressure of perfection. Like other brainstorming techniques, first get the idea down, then work with it.

Are there plans to codify your Visual Thinking School in a workbook format?

Visual Literacy. Have you noticed that the Graphic Novel/Manga section at Borders has expanded greatly in the past year?

While it's easy to jump on MySpace as examples of crappy design, at least folks are starting to play with the tools. From there, there are no shortage of resources on-line to help them move to the next step. For the time being though, in this "No Child Left Behind" Era, I think Viz Lit will be ignored in terms of schools teaching towards testing, but eventually a tidal wave will flow.

Target vs Wal Mart Design: I've hadn't noticed it on an overtly conscious level in terms of their product lines. Good Eye.

Side note: Have you noticed in our business the increased use of the complement, "Good Eye?"

Congratulations on an interview well done. Australia was it? Then replayed back here in STL. Isn't Technology grand?

Bill Fehr said...

Great interview. It's good to associate a voice with a face and your body of work I have seen on Flickr.

dave said...

Hi Daphne, Mark and Bill,

Yes I agree, funny that we are moving back toward heiroglyphics.

Regarding my language, I do like to pay attention to learning styles, especially when working with groups. I think the best presentations/conversations engage people in visual, auditory and kinesthetic ways.

Yes, moving people to concrete visualization is key. I like to tell people "describe only what you could objectively see or hear if you were there."

regarding a workbook -- yes, I am working on a book. I have been thinking of it as a cookbook or book of recipes -- about 1/3 theory/principles and the rest practices/recipes.

I do think the tidal wave has started, even if many people haven't noticed it yet. YouTube is a great example.

deano said...

I loved the interview, it came at an oddly convenient time. I have just changed jobs from consulting onsite full time to traveling and working from home. I found myself working from home or hotel lobbies a lot, using my itty-bitty laptop screen to try to create the kind of diagrams, interactions, and plans that work so well in consulting.
The part of the interview where you stress big blank pages, pencil, white boards, putting your whole self into creating an image (no matter how wrong it is to begin with) wrung very true. So true I couldn't sleep until I got a 30x40" sketch pad and did a monster visual core dump of all the idea floating around my head. Anyway, great interview, very thought provoking and thanks for breaking me out of the small, screen constrained by tools mindset!

Bobby Hewitt said...

Great interview I just finished listening to it, in the interview a culture map was mentioned, I'd be very interested in seeing it. Is it available online?

dave said...

Hi Bobby,

Here's a link to the culture map, with annotations and comments.

Gabriel said...

Your comments are very interesting.

I gave me permission to be a drawer when I was a kid. Today my draws are not the best but I feel good with them.

I'll be waiting for your book.

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Gabriel said...
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