I believe that there’s a bit of confusion out there about the term visual thinking. If you ask a bunch of people what visual thinking is, you’ll get a range of answers. Some will answer, “graphic recording” or “sketch notes,” while others will point at infographics as the definition of what visual thinking is. Meanwhile the hard-core information designers and data viz conservatives, will scoff at those answers, referring to those examples as “chart junk.” I think that people need to understand that the term visual thinking covers a broad spectrum of disciplines, any one of which may resonate with their personality and communication style.

So, in my spare time I’m currently working on an animated explanation video about visual thinking that shows examples of types of visual thinking and provides a preview of some of the kinds of things that may be discussed during local VizThink events.

I’m currently in the animation phase of this, as well as seeking permission from several visual thinkers to use some of their content in the examples/montage section of the video. So, far I’ve got Sunni Brown’s, Mike Rhode’s and Eva-Lotta Lamm’s permissions to use for examples. Thanks guys!

In the meantime, I thought it might be fun to share some of my pre-production sketches with the visual thinking community. So here’s some of the sketches from the storyboard showing examples of how people are using visualization and visual thinking every day.


These are also on Flickr.

I’ve also put these sketches and some Keynote slides together to create a rough animatic (series of still storyboard images edited together and displayed in sequence) of the project.