Back of the napkin – BayCHI July

On July 14 Dan Roam gave a talk at Baychi as part of the monthly program. I had heard he was a great speaker and well worth seeing in person. I had flipped through the book but had not read it. But y coworkers were spot on. Dan was very engaging right from the begining and kept me interested enough to take copious notes.

The premise is that if you can articulate an problem or idea at all, you can do it better with pictures.

But why share them in a ppt or in a way that is no unnatural we all struggle. People should try using pen and paper, white board or other tool which focuses on the idea rather than the tool itself. I have started using a new tool to create wireframes. The tool called Balsamiq makes it easy to create an idea and share it with others.

In addition to a summary of his book Dan provided a could of other visual thinking rules that I would like to share back with everyone.

#1 The person who best describes the problem…is the most likely to solve it.

This makes sense right?! If you don’t know what problem you are solving and cannot explain it to you coworkers then how the heck are you going to solve it.

#4  The more human you make your picture, the more human the response.

Instead of having diagrams or objects try including a human element. It allows for people to more easily project themselves into the picture as well as something they can better relate to. Additionally, we like to look at things that match the way our mind sees it.

Not sure if these visual thinking rules will appear in his next edition of the book or website but I am definately interested in seeing the rest of the list. If you have not see the book you should definitely check it out.


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