Tony Karrer's eLearning Blog on e-Learning Trends eLearning 2.0 Personal Learning Informal Learning eLearning Design Authoring Tools Rapid e-Learning Tools Blended e-Learning e-Learning Tools Learning Management Systems (LMS) e-Learning ROI and Metrics

Thursday, November 13, 2008


I'm at the Dan Roam - The Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures
- keynote at DevLearn. You can find something similar here.

What problems can we solve with pictures? All of them. We all know how to do this.

Three quarters of our brain is dedicated to visual processing.

After you hit age six or seven, in education we stop emphasizing visual thinking.

The act of creating the picture forces us to think in new ways.

Whoever best describes the problem is the one most likely to solve it. (Much like asking better questions.) Subtext: whoever draws the best picture gets the funding. Southwest airlines started on the back of a napkin in a bar in San Antonio. They print all their cities on their napkins. Presidential Doodles: Two Centuries of Scribbles, Scratches, Squiggles, and Scrawls from the Oval Office squiggles & scrawls from the Oval Office. Pretty cool pictures.

Arthur Laffer - take place in a bar - drew the famous Laffer curve. Drew it originally for Rumsfeld and Cheney. Great story.

25% of the people in any meeting - black pen people - can't wait to get to the whiteboard and start drawing.

50% of the people say - "I can't draw", but can go and highlight. Good at highlighting important parts.

25% sitting back - red pen person - say - "Mapping out problem at superficial level." Too much detail.

Way to get red pen person to the board is to get them so upset that they feel they need to get to the board.

Why do we use PowerPoint to communicate? Just a tool. What PowerPoint allows to do, enables us to become lazy to turn off and fill in the squares in.

How to create an eNapkin? Can run PowerPoint in Adobe Connect, WebEx or other virtual meeting software. PowerPoint - launch it and run the best drawing tool - on screen drawing application within PowerPoint. Lower left corner icons. Touch sensitive drawing tool. Can see them at same time. Really crazy part is that anyone can participate.

I will have to try out the eNapkin.

By creating something on the paper, you get over the hurdle of where to start. He suggests a pattern with "Me" and "My Problem" ...

Bill Gates quote - The barrier to change is complexity.

Shows picture of MS Word with all the tool bars open.

Drawing pictures of interface ignored details and that actually got around common objections.

The more human your picture, the more human your response. The mind likes to look at things that match the way we see. The six ways we see:
  1. Who/What - identify the objects in the world
  2. How many - identified how many of them there are - more than three - more than 9 - thus it's a lot.
  3. Where - only tells us where things are - in reference to where you are. Only combined later in the brain.
  4. When - represent passage of time by seeing location of object in time
  5. How - looks for patterns
  6. Why - make sense of the patterns
Six ways that we see. Any problem can be broken into six pieces using the above. Only need to learn how to make six kinds of diagrams.
  1. Who/What - Portrait
  2. How much - Chart / Dots
  3. Where - Map
  4. When - Timeline
  5. How - Flow chart
  6. Why - Mutlivariable plot (diagram with multidimensional data)
Next time you face a problem - you use one of these types of charts or combinations of charts.

Wong-Baker faces chart Pain Rating Scale. Tufte - information visualization. Venn diagram shows conceptual spatial relation between objects. Hard to get something drawn in a circle.

Any problem is like a big layer cake. There are more flavors inside than anybody expects. Start with a general drawing and then drill down.

No comments: