Why Is Visual Thinking So Important in Business?

By Stella Huang Oct 21, 2020
Oct 21, 2020

Visual thinking is a way to help us organize our thoughts. It helps combine all the information we have in our mind into a complete picture. As we all know, it is hard to explain everything in only words. A lot of times when we think about complex ideas, we tend to take out a pen and a piece of paper and start expressing them through visual elements. Visual thinking is the process of making the invisible visible.

In this article, we will share with you some benefits of incorporating visual thinking into your workflow.

Deliver clearer and learn faster

It is well known that visual stays in the memory faster and longer. When we deliver a message using visuals instead of pure texts, it helps our teams and ourselves to fully understand each other easier and faster. Let's imagine we are delivering the following statement to the whole team: "On the week of Oct. 12th, we will be releasing 2 new features of video call and YouTube embed, 2 bug fixes of copy & paste shortcut not working well and syncing delay. And on the week of Oct. 19th, we will be releasing 1 new feature of Slack integration and 3 bug fixes of color pointer not detecting the right color, can't save real-time, and unable to export". It would have been a lot easier if we simply present the visual below to the team instead:

Connecting the dots

When the process gets complicated, all the information can be scrambled inside our heads. If we just transform them into texts, it is hard for us to see the connection between each piece of information. Visualizing helps us see the connection more easily. For instance, let's say we want to understand how customers think about our service. When we just list down everything they've told us, it might look something like this:

  • Customer 1
  • She uses our service once to twice a week
  • She likes that our service is free
  • She wants to change the platform color to her own brand color
  • Customer 2
  • She uses our service almost every day
  • She likes that she can use our service even without Internet
  • She wishes our service could be integrated with email apps
  • Customer 3
  • He uses our service every day
  • He likes that our service is easy to use
  • He wishes he could customize the color of our platform
  • Customer 4
  • She uses our service once to twice a week
  • She rather pays for the service instead of seeing ads in the platform
  • She hopes to receive an email when there are changes regarding her contents

You may think that it is not that hard to connect the information we have here together. But imagine if we have talked to 20 users and each of them provided us 10 statements. It would definitely be impossible for us to just read through everything and find connections and patterns among them. However, if we put it in a visual way like below, it becomes a different story:

Make faster and better decisions

We often face the challenge of needing to decide on only one or two options when there are multiple of them. We may be familiar with the idea of analyzing the pros and cons of each alternative before making the decision. Instead of listing everything down only in words, present them with a more visual way such as using tables can help us see things more clearly and thoroughly. We can then analyze the strengths and weaknesses of each alternative a lot more easily and efficiently.

Keep the team productive

Have you ever had the experience of not understanding what other people are saying, or vice versa, other people don't get what you are saying, because you're talking at the same time? Visualizing those thinking processes can clarify and help us deliver the message more effectively. We can save a lot of time from misunderstandings, and we can get everyone on the team aligned a lot easier. It then leads to a more productive team as a whole. Moreover, because the decisions can be made more precisely by analyzing the alternatives in a visual form, it helps the team to execute the decision faster and more confidently as well.

Don't know where to start your visual thinking journey? No worries, BeeCanvas provides a lot of visual thinking templates to help you practice and enhance your visual thinking skill. Get started with one of them, and enjoy a more efficient thinking process today!

An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.

- Benjamin Franklin -

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