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Archive for the ‘Visual Thinking’ tag

Creative Elegance: The Power of Incomplete Ideas

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Matthew E. May is the author of “In Pursuit of Elegance: Why the Best Ideas Have Something Missing“. A quick synopsis of his concept on elegance of incomplete ideas is published as a change this manifesto, “Creative Elegance: The Power of Incomplete Ideas” [PDF]. To quote -

It is nearly impossible to make it through a typical day without exchanging ideas. Whether deciding on something as simple as a restaurant for a long overdue night out, or as complicated as the design of an entirely new product, we are forever involved in sculpting and selling our creative thought. Conventional wisdom says that to be successful, an idea must be concrete, complete, and certain. But what if that’s wrong? What if the most elegant, most imaginative, most engaging ideas are none of those things?

Experiencing elegance is nearly always this profound. The unusually simple yet surprisingly powerful nature of any elegant this or that gives us pause, and the impact changes our view of things, often forever. Elegance delivers the power to cut through the noise. It can shake markets. It can change minds, and mindsets, as you’ve just witnessed.

When I read the manifesto, couple of things came to my mind. First, the context of visual abstraction level in comic books and use of graphics in learning contents. It’s an eternal dilemma for comic book artists of different genre- what should be the abstraction level of the illustrations? How much it should mimic reality? (Check out Scott McCloud’s TED presentation on understanding comics). Second thing came to my mind, this is THE reason why we almost always get disappointed by watching the silver screen rendering of a favorite novel. Words are the ultimate level of abstraction from visuals, which allows us to construct an image in our mind from the ‘incompleteness’ of the words. After reading a novel when we watch the movie version, a cognitive dissonance is inevitable.

What kind of abstraction level is OK for learning content design?

Written by anol

May 7th, 2009 at 9:49 am

Slagsmålsklubben: A fun and inspirational kinetic infographic

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A real cool infographical reinterpretation of the fairytale Little red ridning hood created by Tomas Nilsson. Enjoy!



Slagsmålsklubben – Sponsored by destiny from Tomas Nilsson on Vimeo.

Written by anol

March 25th, 2009 at 2:53 am

Inspirational Interactive Explainer: British History Timeline by BBC

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This is one of the best Interactive Flash Explainers I’ve seen so far. Awesome usage of Flash to display humungous amount of information (From Neolithic and Bronze Ages till modern days) in an effective and comprehensive manner. British History Timeline by BBC.

Explore all of British history, from the Neolithic to the present day, with this easy-to-use interactive timeline. Browse hundreds of key events and discover how the past has shaped the world we live in today.

‘Take a Journey’ when the timeline has loaded to follow themes such as Slavery, Women’s Rights and Technology.

Also Read : Interactive Visual Explainers-A Simple Classification by Maish Nichani and Venkat Rajamanickam

Written by anol

March 21st, 2009 at 10:16 am

Comics on Infinite Canvas : New possibilities for Learning Content Design

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Many of you might know Scott McCloud’s through his recent work on Google Chrome Booklet. I am a big fan of him since I read Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art. Till date that’s my one of my most favorite books. Also strangely, I consider that one of the best books for learning instructional designing.

In his 2005 TED presentation (posted at TED.com recently), apart from providing a brief introduction on ‘Understanding Comics’ Scott presented a different form of Comics for the web media – the concept of infinite canvas.



The core idea is to treat the monitor display as a canvas rather than a page, through which the comics panels can run infinitely, have parallel narratives, change direction with a twist in the story.

I am totally thrilled with the possibility of comics with infinite canvas for learning content design. What do you think?

PS: As far as I know, only Maish Nichani (elearningpost) experimented using comics for learning content. Are there any other examples?

Written by anol

March 2nd, 2009 at 11:32 am

Posted in Information Design

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How do you design? [Free eBook by Hugh Dubberly]

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How do you design? is Hugh Dubberly’s ‘unfinished’ book with a great collection of over one-hundred descriptions of design and development processes, from architecture, industrial design, mechanical engineering, quality management, and software development.

Everyone designs. The teacher arranging desks for a discussion. The entrepreneur planning a business. The team building a rocket.

Their results differ. So do their goals. So do the scales of their projects and the media they use. Even their actions appear quite different. What’s similar is that they are designing. What’s similar are the processes they follow.

Our processes determine the quality of our products. If we wish to improve our products, we must improve our processes; we must continually redesign not just our products but also the way we design. That’s why we study the design process. To know what we do and how we do it. To understand it and improve it. To become better designers.

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Written by anol

January 12th, 2009 at 7:31 am

Posted in Information Design

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