It’s pretty cool living with someone else who’s also a visual thinker. Just had lunch with my wife and we were discussing visual thinking and VizThink ’08, specifically some of the differences between the work of people like David Sibbet who do a lot of graphic facilitation, and information designers like Karl Gude who create infographics.

Both deal with visualizing ideas and concepts. The difference seems to be that graphic facilitation, graphic recording, sketching, etc. focus on getting ideas and concepts OUT of people heads and capturing them in a visually engaging way that facilitates better ideas and problem solving. In these disciplines, the group process of creating that visual is as important (and one might argue even more important) than the resulting graphic.

On the other hand, the goal of people creating infographics is to get ideas IN to peoples heads. In this process a designer creates a graphic that is then dispersed to a larger audience to aid in understanding an idea or a concept.

I think that understanding the purpose and the goals of the various visual thinking disciplines is important to help us appreciate the values of each.