Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Visual Representation of Complex Concepts

As some of you may know, people process their environment in line with one or a combination of three learning modalities/styles;

  • Kinesthetic: learning based on hands-on work and engaging in activities.
  • Visual: learning based on observation and seeing what is being learned.
  • Auditory: learning based on listening to instructions/information.

A confession - I'm highly visual and since the early '90s I've been loosely tracking a company called Xplane. I think I first read about them in Business 2.0 or Fast Company magazine. I found that since then, at least based on what they've made public, xplane has been consistently excellent at generating visual representations of complex information - often required for people to collaborate effectively.

Most recently I received an email from Parker Lee, vp marketing & business development, with a link to a visual they created to explain ... "Barack Obama is the first major candidate to decline participation in the public financing system for presidential campaigns. He has found a more effective way to raise money by leveraging the power of the American people through online Social Networks." Here's the link http://www.xplane.com/obama/.

If you'd like to see examples of some of their work, you can go to the Publications section of their web site and click on XPLANATIONS in the sub menu, or you can go to the problems we solve section of their site.

As organizations, contexts, processes and practices become ever more complex, the work of companies like xplane becomes even more valuable to inform, educate, sense make, and align work and decisions.

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