About two years ago, Adaptive Path experienced an upwelling of analog approaches. We started using design tools that jumped out of the screen and into the real world. We started using our hands to make things. Alongside our computers there appeared slabs of blank paper. Rather than reaching for a mouse, we started reaching for a Sharpie. Large rolls of paper and drafting dots became part of the lingua franca of client working sessions. Sketching was the new black.
And we saw the impact of these approaches in many ways: more visibility for design solutions. More engagement in collaborative working sessions with clients. More design artifacts co-created in real-time. Our design solutions got faster and stronger.
There’s a lot of research to support the idea that visual thinking activates different parts of our brains than language thinking. Pictures allow a holistic view of something. “Seeing is believing” holds especially true when working with a diverse group of people.
Graphic elements create stronger memory and recognition points; it’s easier to remember an image than a page of text. Illustrations communicate ideas faster than descriptions, because processing pictures requires less “translation” than written language. This means more meaning in less time. In addition, there is a tactile pleasure to hand sketching that is rich and engaging.