If I had to take a wild guess, I’d say the main thing that still makes you cringe when you hear the phrase “visual thinking” is the idea that whatever it involves must be too time consuming.
Maybe you’ve worked in software development for so long that anything “visual” would seem ambiguous or distracting. Or perhaps you’re fresh out of school, working remotely, mostly concerned with bridging the gaps between your work and that of your team members. So much so, that you’d barely find attention to allocate to anything else. But if you still get stuck in a rut every once in a while, it might pay to give visual thinking a better chance.
One of the principles behind Sketchboard is the idea that you can’t solve brand new challenges with old tools alone. Each rut you get stuck in is a brand new challenge. Thinking visually has never taken less effort than right now. After all, you’ve more screen time than ever, and if a pixel is worth 1024 bits, involving visual elements into your creative process is bound to save your team’s time and avoid frustration. Besides, as with most other things today, there have never been as many readily available tools. Visual thinking doesn’t require a special talent. You only need to start.
According to the very prolific Todd Henry, an author of reference on all things related to creative productivity, there are four great reasons to incorporate visual elements into your creative process:
Thinking visually will often get you to notice new and previously unforeseen connections. Sketchboard’s take on this lies primarily on an organic look and feel as a way to prioritize efficient solutions over a sleek and polished look. The more your sketch or diagram looks like part of a work in progress, the more compelled your team will feel to deconstruct it when necessary, shedding light on connections that could have been missed if you’d use a classical software development tool or a text or audio-based solution alone.
At this stage, text, audio or classical development tools have probably become second nature to you. These methods might make you quick, but the faster you move through, the more likely you’ll be to strain your attention span. And with a strained attention span you’ll likely miss your team’s next breakthrough. Sketchboard aims to make the visual leap less risky. With hundreds of sketch shapes to choose from, you can strip the purely “artsy” side of visual work to its bare essentials. This means you’ll be able to keep plenty of time and attention to dedicate to whatever goes into your team’s next breakthrough.
Perspective is everything. Your old tools may no longer encourage discussion in the team. And if you only see things one way, you’ll be blind to any quicker or saner ways out. Sketchboard encourages this by giving team members a chance to provide and receive feedback in real time, independently of location.
Visual thinking is not just the flavor of the month. It’s fun, and experts commonly agree play has always been and continues to be a fundamental pillar of innovation. Sketchboard encourages fun at work by giving you an endless canvas for a chance to let your creativity run wild, without a fear of judgement. Remember you’re going for efficient solutions and breakthroughs, not for a polished untouchable look. Have fun!
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