About This Project
@SketchTheDocs is a project to explore visual storytelling as a tool to learn, and teach, complex technology concepts. I’m motivated by two stats:
- 65% of humans are visual learners. We absorb information by sight, detecting patterns and making connections that can improve our retention and recall of what we learn.
- One third of students are visual-spatial learners. We think in pictures, and can learn better when we see “the big picture” (concept or workflow) before we dive into the details.
Visual storytelling is about using illustrations, colors, fonts and composition, to present information in ways that can support visual and visual-spatial learners. I view it in two contexts. First, as a communication skill (like public speaking or technical writing) that lets you convey complex ideas using visual cues and vocabulary. Second, as a content creation tool that lets you to use those skills to learn, or teach, complex concepts to diverse audiences.
A visual storytelling toolkit can include many skills like:
Doodling | developing a visual vocabulary and consistent sketching style that enhances spoken or written content and communications.
Sketchnoting | using those skills to capture, summarize, and synthesize, large amounts of information into a visual, in real-time.
Anthropomorphism | adding human traits to visual objects, employing a known storytelling device to build connection with audiences.
Visual Metaphors | applying familiar mental models to reimagine complex concepts, enabling thw audience to transfer knowledge.
Projects have a core objective, and a body of work that explores the value of visual storytelling techniques in service of that objective. The project name is linked to a blog tag tracks the related plans and progress.
#VisualizeIT | Objective: Build visual storytelling skills. Help others learn to sketch & build visual storytelling toolkits through talks and workshops.
#ABSee | Objective: Explore Game-Based Learning. Use visual puzzles to build awareness & improve recall of tech concepts, names and terms.
#VisualGreenTech | Objective: Build sustainability IQ. Grow understanding of sustainability principles and resources with visual campaigns, guides.
#VisualGuides | Objective: Create illustrated Study Guides. Create hi-res “big picture” visual summaries of learning resources or documentation.
#Visua11y | Objective: Accessibility for Visual Storytelling. Explore ways to make visual content inclusive to people with a visual disability.