How to draw a car

Part of my exploration of visual literacy is looking at how we might teach people to express themselves visually. Part of this is learning how to draw simple objects. This video shows how you can draw a car using very…

Some rules for effective business communication

Here are some basic rules of communication that could improve communication flow in a business. Some of them are fundamental “rules of engagement” that could set the overall tone for a company. Others are specific concepts for categorizing and measuring…

Q-tools: An approach for discovery and knowledge work

What is information design? And in a world where, slowly but surely, everything is being translated into, and expressed as, information, how do you begin to think about organizing the massive amounts of information we’re generating every day? What are…

Why PowerPoint rules the business world

A CALL FOR VISUAL LITERACY In many organizations, the beginning and end of any business activity is marked by the PowerPoint presentation. In the early stages of an initiative, PowerPoint is used in strategy sessions, to present proposals and put…

The whirl

I talk about some of the cognitive challenges of the information age, and why visual language is an important tool for dealing with them.

Forms, fields, and flows

In this short video (about seven minutes) I introduce some basic principles of visual language: Forms, fields and flows. I think of this as the “alphabet” of visual language. This set of principles is the primary set of marks you…

What is language?

Before we ask what visual language is, it makes sense to ask what language is. Here’s an attempt to visualize some current thinking on language. The image below summarizes my synthesis of some ideas from a book called Using Language…

How to draw a stick figure

Cliff Atkinson asked if I would show how to draw a stick figure, so I decided to let you in on a little trade secret: All stick figures are not created equal. Today I’m going to teach you to draw…

Affinity mapping

Affinity mapping, originally uploaded by dgray_xplane. Affinity mapping is a way to sort large amounts of data into logical groups. Existing items and/or new items identified by individuals are written on sticky notes which are sorted into categories as a…

Interview: User Experience podcast

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…