This summer I had the pleasure of interning at a company located in NYC called Control Group. While there, my primary focus was on interpreting information visually. Sometimes that information was regarding concrete, tangible objects but mostly I was visualizing services and concepts.
I think every designer needs to have a strong ability to visualize information especially in service design, design consulting, or human-centered design. These types of design can have very few or no tangible components throughout their application, leaving designers with no deliverables for people to physically grasp. A great compliment to apply to these different types of design is the ability to visualize information, whether that’s a process, service, or raw data.
Above is the design process I like to show clients while I explain the way I work. It may be pretty vague and give no detail into what specific things I may be doing but it does allow my audience to focus on a visual explanation of what I am talking about. Below is an example of a calendar style I use when showing a workflow projection.
Unfortunately, there is a risk involved when leveraging visuals for communicating information. A designer can quickly be pigeon-holed into focusing on graphic design while not being able to exercise their skills in facilitation and human-centered design. I have had a hard time effectively communicating what design is capable of beyond creating polished visuals. Usually the more time I spend with a client, the more they understand. Considering that human-centered design is still a fledgling industry, it could be a while before people are familiar with its capabilities and versatility in applications. Until then, I’ll continue to work on my graphics.