A collection of videos of workflows for designing a vision map. More to follow!
In preparation for two upcoming courses on how to design Vision Maps, we designed this explainer video using Google TiltBrush VR.
The first pilot class will be offered through NOVA Scribes on Feb. 16 at 6:30PM in Chantilly, VA. https://www.meetup.com/NOVA-Scribes/events/235519650/
The second class will be offered through the Mid-Atlantic Facilitators' Network on Feb. 24 at 8:30AM in Washington, DC. http://www.mafn.org/event-2317338
Thanks to Heather Martinez, Trent Wakenight, and Ben Tinker for fantastic feedback!
A vision map can serve as a powerful tool for stakeholder engagement and buy in.
Schedule a working session to review the vision map with a small selection of your key stakeholders. Prepare by printing the latest version of the vision map on 11x17 placemat-sized paper, one for each participant, and a single wall-sized version. Introduce the vision map to the group by saying, "A few of us got together and sketched out some ideas. This is the way we see it. We're not saying it's the only way to look at this, but it's what we came up with, and we're sharing it with you to hear what you think about it."
Resist the temptation to present it as a well-polished, complete deliverable. Most of your stakeholders will be seeing this for the first time, and they will feel intimidated and pressured to provide insightful feedback in a few minutes while others have had hours or days refining their ideas. This isn’t the time to impress your stakeholders by how much time and thought you’ve put into the project, or how much knowledge and experience you bring to it, or what creative solutions you’ve thought of. Be authentic as you ask for their help and insight.
Give a very brief walkthrough of the vision map, but don’t read every detail. Cover only the high-level themes. Then say, “It’s important for me to hear your feedback and get your ideas. And because you read a lot faster than I talk, I’m going to be quiet for the next five minutes and let you explore the visual on your own. Take notes. Mark it up. Then, we’ll go around the room, and I’ll capture your input and edits.”
After your stakeholders have time to read, solicit their feedback. You could choose a structured model for feedback, such as I Like I Wish What If, or One Breath Feedback, or One Word Feedback, but it’s best to have an open, facilitated discussion. Make sure every participant is given air time to avoid spending too much time on one aspect of the vision map. Capture the feedback using a combination of graphic recording and direct edits on a version of the vision map large enough for everyone in the room to see. Have a note-taker on hand to capture the discussions between stakeholders. These notes can serve as raw material for more detailed content for the vision map.
Remind yourself that the feedback your stakeholders share is coming from the perspective of their fresh eyes. You have been in the thick of designing and refining the vision map, and it’s easy to lose perspective while working the details. Trust that what you hear is the honest opinion of those who are sharing it.
Thank your stakeholders for their feedback. At all costs, resist the urge to explain or defend. Just make note of what you hear. After the feedback session, meet with your core design team and discuss what you captured, point by point. THIS is the time to go into detail. Decide among yourselves how to incorporate the feedback you received. This may be in the form of edits to the vision map, or in depth discussions with the individual who offered the feedback to better understand their perspective, or in the scope of the vision map overall.
When the next version of the vision map is ready, invite a larger selection of your stakeholders to another feedback session, as well as the original group. They’ll see that their voices were heard, as they see their words reflected in the next version of the vision map. As they see themselves as helping to shape the vision for the future, they’ll be more engaged in the changes to come.
Wash, rinse, and repeat the process.
Here's a neat idea for both visual templates and vision maps: use the shape of words to create objects and elements.
On the topic of Visual Templates, Bas Bakker just released a free ebook with 99 visual templates AND ideas for how to design others. They're simple, "one function" templates that you can draw with a moment's notice and use to facilitate a discussion. Good stuff in here!
Advice from Tiffany Forner of the Grove Consultants on storymapping.
"I’ve worked on many Grove Storymap® projects during my 18 years at The Grove. In the beginning, it felt like wading through a swamp of data, struggling to find a way to communicate a client’s complex situation in a clear and simple way. This kind of information design was not like anything I learned as a design major in college.
"After years of practice and collaboration with my esteemed colleagues, Laurie Durnell and Rachel Smith among others, it has gotten easier. Below is a summary of some things I have learned."
Examples of Visual Templates
Here's a method to get a handdrawn vision map with the precision of a digital design.
Sharing the bottom line up front (BLUF) isn't always a best practice. Participants may have zero context around the issue you're about to share. Especially when you have a lot of information to share, it may be tempting to jump into the "need to know" info. An ounce of framing a conversation properly is worth a pound of trying to convince someone who's not ready to listen. Context, purpose, and WHY THIS MATTERS is everything.
With text-heavy presentations, borrow a page from Edward Tufte, who said, "People read four or five times faster than you talk. Rather than reading your audience the text of your PowerPoint, write a paper, print it, hand it out, and say, 'Take a few minutes, read this, then we'll have a discussion.'"
That transmits information much more quickly. It holds attention better than a briefing. It prevents people from asking premature questions that would have been answered later in the deck. And it gives space to people who want to expand and reflect on certain points time to do so (after the reading.)
The first time you do it, the silence may feel awkward, but that evaporates quick when people get into the reading.
One thing I do is to ask people to simply make eye contact with me once they're done reading so I know they're finished.
- Vision is a view of the future
- It is the long-term change that is desired
- It should be inspiring and memorable
- It shouldn't contain jargon and technical terms
- It can be easily explained...would your next-door neighbor get it?
- It is not frequently reviewed & revised...as one might do with a mission statement
- It is a Postcard from the future
- Aspirational, yet realistic and achievable
- Motivational enough to engage others on the journey
RESULT: The teams start thinking about how to apply their strengths to get there.
Brandy Agerbeck's The Graphic Facilitator's Guide
Beyond Words by Milly R. Sonneman
"The Functional Art" by Alberto Cairo
"Design for Information" by Isabel Meirelles
"Visual Complexity: Mapping Patterns of Information" by Manuel Lima
"Infographics Designers' Sketchbooks" by Steven Heller and Rick Landers
"Book from the ground" by Xu Bing
Infographics: The Power of Visual Storytelling by Lankow, Ritchie
Information is Beautiful and Knowledge is Beautiful by David McCandless
'Understanding Comics', 'Making Comics' and 'Reinventing Comics' by Scott McCloud
The sketchnote handbook
Edward Tufte, envisioning information
David Sibbett - Visual Meetings and Visual Leaders
Doodle Revolution from Sunni Brown
Stephen Few for practical advice on graphics for data viz
Dan Roam (Blah Blah Blah and Back of the Napkin)
Robert Mayer on MultiMedia Learning Theory.
Oceans of Data by Scripts Oceanography
Patti's TEDxRainier talk has an inspiring message about how to Draw Your Future using guided imagery and the brain's ability to envision realities to change the world around you.
complex visuals that tell a story, show context, share large amounts of information all at once, promote systems thinking, build shared meaning, show details, themes and patterns, and activates creative thinking.
what talents and experiences do you bring into the process?
- A Whack on the Side of the Head. von Oech, Roger
- Directing the Story: Professional Storytelling and Storyboarding Techniques for Live Action and Animation. Glebas, Francis
- Drawing Solutions: How Visual Goal Setting Will Change Your Life. Patti Dobrowolski
- Facilitator's Guide to Participatory Decision-Making, Second Edition. Kaner, Sam
- Gamestorming: A Playbook for Innovators, Rulebreakers, and Changemakers. Gray, Dave, Sunni Brown, James Macanufo
- On the Origin of Stories: Evolution, Cognition, and Fiction. Boyd, Brian
- Picture your Business Strategy. Chopyak, Christine
- Resonate: Present Visual Stories that Transform Audiences. Duarte, Nancy
- Sketching User Experiences: Getting the Design Right and the Right Design. Buxton, Bill
- The Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures. Roam, Dan
- The Graphic Facilitator's Guide. Brandy Agerbeck
- The Sketchnote Handbook: The Illustrated Guide to Visual Note Taking. Mike Rohde
- The Thinker's Toolkit: 14 Powerful Techniques for Problem Solving. Jones, Morgan D.
- Unfolding the Napkin: The Hands-On Method for Solving Complex Problems with Simple Pictures. Dan Roam
- Use Both Sides of Your Brain, Third Edition. Buzan, Tony
- Visual Leaders: New Tools for Visining, Management, and Organization Change. Sibbet, David
My colleagues have inspired me to make progress on the book. Here's a first revision of the table of contents:
See Your Ideas: A Guide To Crafting Strategic Visuals
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- The power of strategic visuals
- What is a storymap?
- Beginning with the Blank Page
- Knowing Yourself
- Planning your Approach
- Following Footprints
- Gallery Walks
- Graphic Facilitation
- Traditional Facilitation and Graphic Recording
- Visual Templates
- Visual Triage
- Identifying Themes
- Finding Landmarks
- Red Thread
Marking the Way
- Sketching the Journey
- Refining the Path
- Creating the Map
Sharing the Journey
- Showing the Way
- Holding the Space
- Engaging the Audience
- Record and Replay