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Communicating Visually

University of St. Gallen

Sabrina Bresciani

on 21 February 2015

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Transcript of Communicating Visually

Social Purposes
David B. Berman (2008). Do good design, Peachpit Press
Communicating Visually
Nancy Duarte
Duarte, N., Slide:ology, Sebastopol, CA: O’Reilly Media, 2008: XVIII
“Presentations have become the de facto business communication tool.
Companies are started, products are launched, climate systems are saved –
Possibly based on the quality of presentations”
An Inconvenient truth, 2006: Documentary film
The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs (Gallo, 2010):
Plan in analog (thinking, sketching, planning)
Answer “Why should I care” question
Develop a messian sense of purpose (aka: passion)
Create twitter-like headlines
Draw a roadmap: rule of 3 (principle of persuasion)
Introduce the antagonsit
Reveal the conquering hero
Source: http://darmano.typepad.com/logic_emotion/visual-thinking-synthesis.html
Gallo, C., The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs, McGraw Hill: New York [etc.], 2010
Steve Jobs, quoting Leonardo Da Vinci
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”
Al Gore presentation:
created by Duarte Design
with Apple’s Keynote
+ Illustrator, Photoshop, AfterEffects
(for more complex animations) and videos

Why Apple’s Keynote?
- anti-aliases fonts and graphics
- scales vector objects
Gallo, C., The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs, McGraw Hill: New York [etc.], 2010
The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs (Gallo, 2010)
Slide:ology by Nancy Duarte (2008)
Keep it simple

Average: 1 slide every 2 minutes

Guy Kawasaki: 10/20/30 rule for entrepreneurs pitch: ‘ten slides, last no more than twenty minutes, and contain no font smaller than thirty points’

Depends on the style - fast paced presentations are intriguing
Seth Godin: ‘No more than six words on a slide. EVER.’

Presentation Zen: min. font 30pt

Slideology: depends on the medium
and distance of audience -> test!
Course 3,662.1.00
University of St. Gallen, Switzerland

Prof. Dr. Sabrina Bresciani
=mcm Institute

Source: http://www.ted.com/talks/hans_rosling_shows_the_best_stats_you_ve_ever_seen.html
Let's practice!

Use Gapminder

Develop an insightful visualization

Be prepared to present it
Course material:
Required literature:
Eppler, M.J., Bresciani, S. (2014). Working Visually. HSG =mcm Institute. (extracts)
Clark, T., Osterwalden, A. & Pigneur, Y. (2012). Business Model You: A OnePage Method For Reinventing Your Career. Wiley. (extract)
Emerson, J. (2008) Visualizing Information for Advocacy: Tactical Technology Collective.
Duarte, N. (2008). Slide:ology. The art and science of creating great presentations. O’Reilly: Sebastopol
50% individual examination paper written at home
50% group work with presentation

Note: you are not evaluated on your drawing skills
Group work:
Visual Communication for social purposes MINI CASE
Individual assignment
use visual maps and templates to help you/others discover your uniqueness, your leadership skills and develop visually a plan for a successful future (whatever your definition of success is).
Stat by deciding who/what is the object of the visual discovery: yourself (your career), a friend of you, your music band, your business idea, a student association you are part of, etc.
Note: it will be easier if you analyze yourself.

Format: word, rtf, pdf. Length: max 2000 words + pictures and references
Due: before December 1st midnight; submission by email
Visual Discovery & Leadership
Source: davidarmano.com
Figure and Ground
Gestalt: form or configuration

Idea: forms or patterns transcend the stimuli used to create them.
Why do patterns emerge?
Under what circumstances?
Gestalt Laws
Source: Koffka, K., 1935, The Principles of Gestalt Psychology, Harcourt Brace, New York
Reading patterns
1. Gutenberg diagram
2. Z-pattern
3. F-pattern
Increases the number of dimensions
Increase the appeal
Test for vision acuity:
Source: Duarte, N., Slide:ology, Sebastopol, CA: O’Reilly Media, 2008
Color deficiencies
Tip for testing: print in black&white
Advantages and Disadvantages
Why? Impact on emotional attitude (Huff, 1990; Buzan, 2002)
Source: Visualizing information for advocacy. An introduction to information design, John Emerson, Principal at Apperceptive LLC.
[Optional readings]
Source: Tufte, E. R., The visual display of quantitative information. Cheshire, Connecticut,
Graphic Press, 1986.
(a-ha effect)
Why? Visuospatial reasoning (Tversky 2004)
i.e. pattern recognition, search, overview-zoom
What? Reasoning, evaluating, problem solving
Why? Lower computational effort compared
to sentential representations
Source: Larkin and Simon 87: Why a Diagram is (Sometimes) Worth Ten Thousand Words
*Salience = how a representation facilitates focusing
and processing certain information, at the expense of others
Visuospatial reasoning
Tversky (2004) and Larkin and Simon (1987)

When visualization is used, cognitive abilities for reasoning, evaluating and solving problems are enhanced

Visuospatial advantages (mapping):
Organizes information
-Reduce cognitive load
- Enhance representation of relationships among complex constructs
(O’Donnel et al. 2002)
Salience (Green Suthers, 2001)
Attention / Motivation
Bresciani, S., Eppler, M.J. (2009). The Risks of Visualization: a Classification of Disadvantages Associated with
Graphic Representations of Information. In: Schulz, P.J., Hartung, U., Keller, S. (Eds.), Identität und Vielfalt der
Kommunikations-wissenschaft, UVK Verlagsgesellschaft mbH, Konstanz (Germany), pp. 165-178 [Required reading]
Nightingale rose diagram (circular histogram)
Bitmap and vectorial images
Note: You can convert vectorial images into pixels but not vice-versa
Connect the visual to the physical
Visual Discovery
& Leadership

Global Communication
Design Thinking
Principles and Theories
Dual Coding Theory
Picture Superiority Effect
Gestalt Laws
(principle used also by NLP)
(Snodgrass Stewart & Stewart, 2001)

“the use of images in cognitive tasks leads to systematically higher recall than the mere use of words, thanks to the additional encoding enabled by pictures and their distinctiveness”
Choosing colors
Eye tracking
Information Visualization
Knowledge Visualization
Golden Section
Knowledge Maps
Visual Metaphors
Visualization Principles
Information is processed through one or two channels:
-the verbal/textual and
-the non-verbal or imagery (visual and spatial)

=> Using both channels together increases recall, engagement and attention (Paivio 1971)
Fishbone/Ishikawa diagram
Mind maps
Improving visualizations: NASA case
The evening before the launch,
the rocket engineers and managers considered the question:

“Will the rubber O-rings fail catastrophically tomorrow
because of the cold weather?”
Tufte, E. R. (1997): Visual Explanations. Cheshire, Connecticut: Graphic Press.
Challenger (NASA) 1986
Does it seem easy? Obvious?

7 people died
1. Aim: what is the story, the message that you want to convey?

2. Ingredients: which symbols, drawings, pictures, graphs, text, diagrams, tables help you convey the message?

3. Mix: Make a meaningful and pleasant graphic composition with the ‘ingredients’

4. Tools: Adobe Illustrator, Flash, HTML5, Javascript

5. Test: on at least 5 people of different backgrounds
tell complex stories visually: pictorial elements, graphs, statistics and text are used in combination to explain and persuade
2 Functions
1) position information graphically to organize and structure it
2) convey an insight about the represented information through the key characteristic of the metaphor that is employed

Mapping process: a familiar source domain (such as nature) is mapped unto a target domain (such as economics).
The interaction among the two domains activates insights
misleading term, as the key activity that it entails is not thinking but doing: doing things in a visual and varied way in order to spark new ideas

Action-oriented methods:
- sketching the problem
- inventing and describing personas
- creating user scenarios
- role-playing and testing out ideas

My Past
My Future
Who am I?
Lego serious play
If you were an animal,
which animal would you be?
De Bono's thinking hats
Projective methods
Wheel of life
Sweet spot
SWOT Analysis
Switch perspective
A metaphor for yourself
Your values
See yourself as...
Step 1:
Pick your top 5 values
Step 2:
provide the list of values to 4 friends and colleagues and ask them to select 5 values that best describe you

Step 3:
compare: are your values aligned to
how people perceive you?
Who do I want to be?
Personal Business Model Canvas
My history
Best time of my in life
Action plan:
a) timelines
b) inspiring metaphors
Visual Assessment
Information Visualization
Tracking progresses with a dashboards/apps
Reference: Few, S. (2006). Information dashboard design (pp. 120-206). O'Reilly.
Scenario planning
& decision making
Source: Business Model You
of time
of money
How do you spend most of your time?
Who/What inspires you?
Sankey diagrams
Which values would you like
that people associate with you?
Which animal/natural element would you
use to describe your "ideal you"?
Synergy map
Carlos Slim, Grupo Carso
Which is the purpose of your life?
Why should we care?
Some inspirational videos & books:
Meg Jay Why 30 is not the new 20
Randy Pausch Last Lecture:
Achieving Your Childhood Dreams
and many more:
Short time frame
Long time frame
It isn't normal to know what we want.
It is a rare and difficult psychological
Abraham Maslow
Cover Story You!
Imagine that it's 10 years from today, and a major media outlet has just run a big story about you, featuring quotes and photos of you!
1. Which outlet? Choose an actual magazine, newspaper or program

2. What is the story about? Why are you featured?

3. Write some quotes and passages from your story, including images or diagrams.
Source: Business Model You
Source: The School of Life's Guide to Realizing Your Potential
www.ted.com/ talks/alain_de_botton_a_kinder_gentler_philosophy_of_success.html
Alain De Botton, founder of the School of Life
Source: Business Model You, based on David Sibbet (the Grove)
Source: The School of Life's Guide to Realizing Your Potential
Source: Your Personal Brand Workbook. PWC.
Source: Business Model You
Clark, T., Osterwalden, A. & Pigneur, Y. (2012). Business Model You. Wiley.
The School of Life's Guide to Realizing Your Potential.
The Personal Compass. Visual Planning Systems, The Grove Consultants International.
Your Personal Brand Workbook. PWC.
Source: The Shifting Meaning of Happiness (2010) Mogilner, Kamvar and Aaker.
Projective techniques
The animal metaphor test was developed by Dr. Albert J Levis at the Center for the Study of Normative Behavior in Hamden, Connecticut.
Source: Bresciani, S. based on:
Blackwell, A., Phaal, R., Eppler, M., Crilly, N. (2008) Strategy Roadmaps: New Forms, New Practices, in: Proceedings of Diagrams 2008, Fifth International Conference on the Theory and Application of Diagrams.
Buzan, T. (2004). Mind Maps at Work: How to Be the Best at Your Job and Still Have Time to Play. U.K.: Thorsons.
The animal metaphor test was developed by Dr. Albert J Levis at the Center for the Study of Normative Behavior in Hamden, Connecticut.
Lego: Schulz, K. P., & Geithner, S. (2011). The development of shared understandings and innovation through metaphorical methods such as lego serious play (tm). In International Conference on Organizational Learning, Knowledge and Capabilities, Hull, UK.
Source: Eppler, M. J., & Pfister, R. A. (2012). Sketching at work: 35 starke Visualisierungs-Tools für Manager, Berater, Verkäufer, Trainer und Moderatoren. Stuttgart: Schäffer-Poeschel. (available in English, German and Portuguese)
Source: The Personal Compass. Visual Planning Systems, The Grove Consultants International.
Source: The Personal Compass. Visual Planning Systems, The Grove Consultants International.
Source: The Personal Compass. Visual Planning Systems, The Grove Consultants International.
Source: Business Model You

Aka: SWOT Matrix
Invented by Albert Humphrey in the 1960s at the Stanford Research Institute
Popular coaching technique
Origin: Buddhism
Some remarks on
goal setting theory
Management by objectives
Does it work?
Gain in productivity of 56%
Increases productivity and satisfaction
- Direct attention
- Regulate effort
- Increase persistence
- Task strategies and action plans
1. Difficult goals lead to higher performances
2. Specific hard goals lead to better performances
(90%!) than do your best or no goals
3. Feedback enhances the effect
4. Participative = assigned = self-set goals
5. Goal commitment and monetary incentives affect outcomes
Imagine Leadership | By XPLANE
www.youtube.com/ watch?v=TuuTlQ0FzEU
"Knowing your purpose simplifies your life.
Your purpose becomes the standard you use
to evaluate which activities are essential and which aren't. What you do and what you don't.
The purpose driven life pg. 35
The most damaging aspect of contemporary
living is short term thinking
The purpose driven life, pg. 41
And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.
O Alquimista, Paulo Coelho
Peace and justice
...and you don't need a big budget
How many words? Which font size?
How many slides?
Source: Emerson, J. (2008) Visualizing Information for Advocacy: Tactical Technology Collective.

Develop a brief case study on a positive use of visual communication for a social purpose.
You should identify and describe a case in which (static or interactive)visualization has successfully been used for a positive social change.
Step 1. Identify a case.
Step 2. Research.
Step 3. Presentations with reference to the course content.
Be creative! Use innovative presentation techniques and avoid use PowerPoint or Keynote.

Groups: 3 or 4 students

Deliverable: Presentation of 15 minutes (+ optional 5 minutes of interaction with the class)

November 10th: Revision in class
December 7th before midnight: Case study submission by email
December 8th and 15th: Presentation in class (All group participants should present)
1. Color
2. Direction
3. Icons and symbols
4. Humor
5. Visual metaphors
6. Focus of attention
7. Nature of thought
7 main factors of cross-cultural differences
Visualization is a universal language.
Source: United Nations ESCWA public report
Jamae Mosque, Singapore
Conventions of pictorial representation are culture-bound (Scott, 1990)
In the United States it is typical and welcome to use humor in business conversations (Lewis, 1999),
but in many other countries it is perceived as inappropriate, offensive and might not even be understood as humor
Metaphors fulfill their function only if they can be understood cross-culturally (Hogan 2007)
Only a handful of sports are well known globally (Beamer & Varner, 2008)
Field dependence-independence (Witkin and Berry, 1975)
Change blindness (Masuda & Nisbett, 2006)
1. Overcoming linguistic barriers
2. Providing double cues
3. Seeing the Big Picture
4. Surface misunderstanding
5. Prevent personal conflict
Bresciani, S. (2013). Organizational Communication with Visual Mapping: Comparing East and West. In D. Ingenhoff (Ed.), Internationale PR-Forschung. Konstanz: UVK Verlag.
and the relations
* Power distance
Research evidence
Communicating strategy
- with text vs. visual
- with culture-specific visuals
Source: Bresciani S., Eppler M., Tan, M., (2011). Communicating Strategy Across Cultures with Visualization: An Experimental Evaluation. Academy of Management annual meeting, 12-16 August 2011: San Antonio, Texas. Carolyn Dexter Award nominee.
Source: Bresciani, S. (2014). Do you see what I see? The Effect of Culture on the Reception of Visual Communication. In S. Poutiainen (Ed.), Theoretical Turbulence in Intercultural Communication Studies.
Source: Nisbett, R. E., & Miyamoto, Y. (2005). The influence of culture: holistic versus analytic perception. TRENDS in Cognitive Sciences; 9 (10), 467-473.
Westerners favor reasoning that is:
-based on rules and categorization

East Asians:
-holistic view of the world
-focus on relationships
-focus on similarities
360 participants in Europe and Asia
- strategy is perceived as better

when it is visualized
- subjects are more committed to implement it!

Cultural preferences:
- Westerners prefer linear abstract diagrams
- Non-westerners prefer metaphors and story-telling
Intercultural Communication with visualization
West: red-green color blindness
Africa and Polynesia: blue-yellow color blindness
(probably due to amount of sunlight)
*SPSS original output
Managerial implications:
An appropriate visualization is equal or better than text in all cultures
Cultural differences in the effects of visual representations compared to text:
- Europeans more commited with the linear diagram
- Asians are more committed with a metaphor
East Asia
East Asia
East Asia
Cognitive attitude
Affective attitude
East Asia
East Asia
East Asia
The Geography of Thought:
consequence of the influence of prominent philosophers over 2500 years ago.
Ancient Greeks: emphasized freedom and individuality, viewed argumentation and criticism of others’ point of view as a way to advance knowledge

Ancient Chinese: concerned primarily with social harmony, therefore public criticism and disagreement were discouraged.
Relationships are the basis of
East Asians:
attend to the relationship between the object and the context in which the object is located

Favor reasoning that is:
-holistic view of the world
-focus on relationships
-focus on similarities
Focus on a salient object independently of its context

Favor reasoning that is:
-based on rules and categorization
“perceptual processes are influenced by culture”
East Asia
Fonts & Typography
Attracting attention
Use serif fonts for printed works and
sans-serif for the Web and graphic design
Optical illusions
Take the last 2 visual representations you created
(i.e., presentations) and evaluate them according to the principles just presented.

Which layout did you use? Which fonts and colours did you use?

How can you improve them based on what you just learned?

The limits of PowerPoint
Beyond PPT
Mapping Software:
Prezi, lets-focus.com, mind-maps

3D virtual worlds:

videos, and animated films

Flash animations

Posters, murals
Templates + post-its


+ holistic logic, zoom in-out
+ integrating simulations , holistic
- time-consuming to develop.
+ engage an audience emotionally
- require video editing skills
+ complex animations, interaction
- time consuming to prepare
+ personal touch, allows interaction
- cannot be seen clearly; need sketching skills
+ physical presence,
- cannot be seen clearly
Work with the participants of your group assignment

Discuss which presentation methods and tool you will use for the final group presentation

Plan a layout/grid/structure and color palette
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