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Pinterest is courting an audience of professional designers with its latest acquisition

Pinterest is courting an audience of professional designers with its latest acquisition | VizWorld |

Pinterest is acquiring visual organization tool Icebergs. Pinterest will discontinue the Icebergs service in September, according to Icebergs’ website.

Dean Meyers's insight:

Will this make Adobe concerned about building Behance's network? Or suggest a re-design to their site and community?

I think not. Designers will have an opportunity to participate in multiple communities. Let the culture shake out who decides to spend the most time in one or the other, and let's see if Pinterest will turn its curating platform even more directly into a marketing platform through this acquisition.

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Autodesk acquires NYC design studio The Living

Autodesk acquires NYC design studio The Living | VizWorld |
High tech meets green in projects like having mussels “vocalize” changes in water quality.
Dean Meyers's insight:

Autodesk is bigger than you think...and not the only company in the graphics/design/cad/animation/3D space with big reach, wide reach, and big ideas that have threads that link together.

The interesting choice is finding a company that seems to have a good grasp on Biomimicry, along with 3D printing and robotics.

Read the article, and tell us what you think...

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Oculus suspends Rift sales in China after "extreme" reselling

Oculus suspends Rift sales in China after "extreme" reselling | VizWorld |
Oculus has suspended sales of its Rift virtual reality headset in China because people are reselling it.
Oculus recently began shipping the latest version…
Dean Meyers's insight:

From a Kickstarter campaign to a Facebook purchase, the Oculus Rift story is probably the biggest news in Augmented Reality since... well, ever! 

But the device is still only available "for development", as that's the agreement you'll have to sign when you purchase units from their site. 

Never mind that, apparently the number of "developers" in China is so overwhelming, Oculus has decided to suspend selling units to China for now, as they fear the massive resale of these very same development units and the profits generated (not to the Oculus people, of course).

A consumer unit is in the works for later in the year, but in the meantime, sales are for developers only in (undeclared) moderate quantities, please. But not to China.

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In Depth: Adobe Creative Cloud 2014 Plug-in Compatibility & Resources

In Depth: Adobe Creative Cloud 2014 Plug-in Compatibility & Resources | VizWorld |
Here is information on Adobe Video Apps and it’s plug-ins. We’ll update this list as we have new information, so bookmark this page!
Dean Meyers's insight: has made a pretty complete list of plugins for Adobe Creative Cloud 2014 (with particular attention to After Effects CC 2014  version 13) and gives us the news on what works, what's about to be updated, and what's not working yet.

They suggest checking back on their page, as they promise to update it with changes as they happen.

Please note, I don't see the FX Factory Plugins listed or FXHOME's HITFILM plugins either.

The list can be found here:

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Movie-Going Decline: Challenge or Opportunity for Theaters? | Compete Pulse

Movie-Going Decline: Challenge or Opportunity for Theaters? | Compete Pulse | VizWorld |
Movie theaters/online ticketing sites have been forced to find creative ways to reach consumers online.
Dean Meyers's insight:

Big screen, digital projection in high resolution, 3D... what will save movie theaters from more empty seats? 

As sound in movies has been polished to multichannel surround (and often near-deafening volume levels), visual effects and CGI dominating blockbuster movies (AVATAR comes to mind), and James Cameron is filming in high-speed rates that surpass what the eye (brain) can follow.

On the home front, 4K and curved screens to pack in better pictures (higher clarity, richer blacks, and wider viewing angles), combined with OTT, on-demand, binge-watching is probably the strongest pull away from theaters... not to mention high-priced tickets and having to go out and catch the movie on the theater's schedule.

It could be said that the decline has been going on for a long time: few readers will remember going to the Drive-In theater, an American habit that sprung with the growth of the 1950's suburban sprawl that seemed to peak by the mid-1960's. Color television, Cable TV: these have all been attributed with the continuing decline. 

I believe the more relevant question becomes "how can we best tell stories visually, in a compelling and memorable way? Is one venue better than another for the story? And what do I need to do to tell that story through that medium in the most effective way?" 

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Tableau Software Helping Data Become More Visual

Tableau Software Helping Data Become More Visual | VizWorld |
When data stops being slowly written into rows and columns and starts moving quickly online from sensors, Internet browsers and smartphones, other things change too. We are starting to see the information in more dynamic ways.
Dean Meyers's insight:

Covering Tableau's forthcoming update to their flagship data visualization software, the key features for Tableau 8.2 will drive users to build more dynamic displays: Time, in particular change in data over time, always a difficult factor to add in data visualization, will be shown through interactivity more prominently accessable—and, hopefully, in a friendly and intuitive way. 

Clickable narrative boxes that course the trajectory of change over time above a chart is the particular method described in the article. Having not seen the new software, I'm hoping there's more interactivity offered in different ways, such as movable bars that, when pushed or pulled will show data changes over time, or clickable hot spots that allow for deep diving in and out of content for greater exploration.

I also haven't heard about a Mac OS X desktop version of Tableau, which was on the horizon months ago, but remains to be seen (supposedly in Q2 along with this Tableau 8.2 release).

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Corcoran, Olesen to present projects at Cross Video Days

Corcoran, Olesen to present projects at Cross Video Days | VizWorld |
Cross-media project market and conference unfolds June 19-20.
Dean Meyers's insight:

This 5 year old event, Cross Video Days, which takes place June 19th and 20th in Paris, will feature 59 transmedia projects, out of the 350 submissions from 40 countries.

Representatives from major players in distribution will be pitched, including Channel 4, Arte, Rai, Tribeca Film Institute, IDFA, YouTube/Google, IDFA DocLab and Power to the Pixel (PttP).

Interesting to note that there are a wide variety of documentary subjects, including Korean filmmaker Jero Yun's ongoing transmedia project with various self-contained pieces with the North and South Korea divide as their subject: Mrs. B. a Woman, The Smuggler (a web documentary), and Secret of My Father, and  Adrift, a multi-platform project revolving around Italian adventurer Alex Bellini’s attempt to survive on an iceberg for 12 months as part of a campaign to draw attention to climate change. 

More information about the Cross Video Days can be found at their website,

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LDV Vision Summit: |

LDV Vision Summit: | | VizWorld |
The LDV Vision Summit be an exciting event taking place next Wednesday, June 4, at the NYU Eisner & Lubin Auditorium in New York City. The summit will focus on how digital imaging and video technologies are empowering people, businesses and creating disruption.  Even the format of the summit will be disruptive: besides talks and panel discussions, there will be competitions for entrepreneurs and startups. VizWorld shot an exclusive video with Evan Nisselson, Founder of LDV Capital and the Summit's presenter. In the interview, Evan says, Evan Nisselson, Presenter of the LDV Vision Summit "There's not one event that is talking about the visual web as we're talking about it today. More and more people's lives are capturing images, distributing  video...businesses are quickly getting either disrupted or moving quickly and becoming empowered by using certain technologies. We're trying to inspire everybody... and hopefully make some magic where people can learn about new technology a
Dean Meyers's insight:

Disruption caused by people taking pics, selfies, videos? Yes, indeed, and this summit is by and for people who want to cause disruption through visual thinking. 

And there will be two graphic recorders doing a graphic jam of the event as it happens, live and showing up online.

NOTE: there is a 40% discount code off the full ticket price for readers of enter the code VIZWORLD for the discount.

Discount tickets are limited and offered on first-come first-serve basis.

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'Do I have to draw you a picture?'

'Do I have to draw you a picture?' | VizWorld |
On a sunny late afternoon in April, the offices of Santropol Roulant are festooned with fresh murals. You would never suppose that the artists responsible - participants in a graphic-facilitation workshop led by Paul Messer - had started out in the morning with little or no drawing experience.
Dean Meyers's insight:

Graphic facilitation continues to rise in interest as a game-changer for defining and improving business strategy and growth. The article talks about 'artists' learning graphic facilitation, but that isn't where graphic facilitation lives. It is the capacity of people to do visual thinking, often before logical or rational thinking comes into play, that makes employing visuals or visual patterning to drive more effective meetings or problem-solving work valuable for decision making. 

The article discusses Paul Messer's work as a graphic facilitator and workshop leader, teaching graphic facilitation for Montreal-based Percolab. He starts from the visual building blocks that are foundational for graphic facilitation: writing (yes, text counts!), capturing content, using icons to represent objects and ideas.

 As the complexity of facilitation increases, so do the skills taught: mapping, illustrating processes and visualizing objectives and, one would assume, outcomes.

Read the article to hear the answer to the age-old question, "Do I have to draw you a picture?"

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Systems Thinking Resources - The Donella Meadows Institute

Systems Thinking Resources - The Donella Meadows Institute | VizWorld |
Graphic Facilitation, visual language in real time explained by @loosetooth Brandy Agerbeck
Dean Meyers's insight:

Here's another explanation of the power of graphic facilitation, rooted in graphic recording (lately called a large-scale form of #sketchnoting), which invoves visual thinking in a group setting.

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The State of Information Visualization, 2014

The State of Information Visualization, 2014 | VizWorld |
2013 was another exciting year for visualization. Between many new developments in data storytelling, a new wave of news graphics, new visualization blogs, better automated infographics, and visual...
Dean Meyers's insight:

Robert Kosara has summarized the exciting past year of both widespread growth of online tools and software that automates information visualization, but, and probably more importantly, the focus on Storytelling as the way to organize and focus the reader's attention. He choses the Kantor Information is Beautiful 2013 Bronze winning "US GUN DEATHS", which I reported on in September 2013, as a powerful example of storytelling through motion graphics combined with highly emotionally charged data.

With the proliferation of data-gathering devices (a/k/a "The Internet of Things") I would add that the commonality of Information Visualization on display for the commercial consumer will also be on the rise.  UX/UI designers and Information Architects, please take note!

HT @albertocairo for sharing this article, and I'll see you at Tapestry!


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Uncovering an Enigma Wrapped in a Doodle

Uncovering an Enigma Wrapped in a Doodle | VizWorld |
Sunni Brown’s new book, “The Doodle Revolution: Unlock the Power to Think Differently,” argues that visual displays like doodles lead to quicker decision-making and help clarify problems.
Dean Meyers's insight:

Visual thinking starts at home... a twist on a well known phrase, but apt. Many people who don't classify themselves as visual thinkers will sheepishly admit to doodling while on a call, or having drawn endless circles, spirals and other free-form lines while in the classrooom.

However, there are new thoughts about these random and supposedly purposeless drawings: doodling, looked upon with derision (note the story in the article about Ronald Reagan's doodling as being a sign of his lack of interest/attention) really can be a great tool for improving memory, stimulating new ideas, and helping clarify thinking in general.

This article  lightly covers applied visual thinking, from basic and very personal doodling to graphic recording, sketchnotes and graphic facilitation.

Mentioned in the story are Sunni Brown,[note: Sunni is a personal friend and doodling/graphic facilitation colleague] a major proponent of doodling for the purposes just described above, Dan Roam, author of Back of the Napkin, and David Sibbett, probably the chief architect of the practice of Graphic or Visual Facilitation, and founder of the The Grove, one of the earliest if not the first company dedicated to graphic recording and graphic facilitation.

The article suggests that there are probably thousands of graphic facilitators in the world. The International Forum of Visual Practitioners (IFVP) currently has just under 300 registered members, but the Graphic Facilitation group page on Facebook has over 1500 members registered.

Doodling isn't a waste of time, and can be the starting place for building thinking skills that apply across every field of knowledge.

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Best Graphics Cards For The Money: November 2013 - Best Graphics Cards For The Money, November Updates

Best Graphics Cards For The Money: November 2013 - Best Graphics Cards For The Money, November Updates | VizWorld |
The graphics card market has seen the release of five new products since our last monthly update: The Radeon R9 290, Radeon R7 270, Radeon R7 250, Radeon R7 240, and GeForce GTX 780 Ti. Read about these new models in this month's article!
Dean Meyers's insight:

For the gamers in the house... Tom's Hardward puts the latest cards through the paces. NOTE: if you're not in this market, these powerhouses deliver much more than you need for standard use, even for consistent multimedia watching.

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Comics, Dataviz, and a More Authentic Transmedia: The Ethics of Transmedia Fatigue

Comics, Dataviz, and a More Authentic Transmedia: The Ethics of Transmedia Fatigue | VizWorld |
Sometimes, as Stuart Moore writes in Wolverine: Under the Boardwalk, you just gotta disappear.
Dean Meyers's insight:

Where does cyber security analysis connect to comics? Article author shathley Q (@uuizardry on Twitter), in his attempt to step away from ComicCon, apparently stepped right back into the world of comics while watching a TEDx talk by cyber security analyst Cris Domas.

Domas, overwhelmed at looking through the massive quantities of binary code, discovered that the visual patterns this non-visual data creates could  surface regular patterns...images... shapes.. 

Furthermore, like comics, which depends on images that build on everything from visual symbols to symbolic (iconographic) imagery, it's possible to use the "sequential" side of the sequential art to further understand and recognize patterns, particularly, for the case of security, where regular, or expected patterns are broken. 

Shathley Q may, in this article, want to step back a little from comics, but the ethos seems to be everywhere he looks. As should we.

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4K TV channels on the way as DVB-UHDTV standard is approved

4K TV channels on the way as DVB-UHDTV standard is approved | VizWorld |
New TV broadcasting standard will unlock Ultra HD TV broadcasts from BBC and Sky.
Dean Meyers's insight:

Although this news specifically pertains to UK and European broadcasters, the key element in the story is the standardization of the HEVC compression codec for over-the-air transmission, the same codec currently being used by Netflix for their 4K Ultra HD internet streams.

HEVC (H.265)  is a next-step up from MPEG-4/H.264 compression, but comes with a (licensing) cost: encoders and decoders will have a royalty fee imposed on them. Content producers don't have to worry about those fees, but box and software producers/vendors do, which most certainly will be incorporated into costs to the consumer. 

There is an open-source alternative, VP9, from Google. Open-source/free sounds good, but reports are that the quality of the compression results aren't as good as HEVC (see a good report on these codecs along with comparisions at

There are other codecs appearing, but it looks like we're in for another VHS vs. Betamax battle over standards. Betamax famously lost in the consumer market, finding its home in studios long after home units disappeared. But the dividing line isn't so clear this time, particularly with Internet streaming of both commercial content and billions of hours of Google-owned YouTube content, some of which is already being offered in 4K.

So keep downloading Flash or Quicktime or something else to play your AVI files, and start making 4K content.

Europe, show us the way to get that beautiful UHD video onto our big screens. 

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YouTube Creator Blog: Look ahead: creator features coming to YouTube

Dean Meyers's insight:

Are you ready to post 60FPS video on YouTube? more music to choose from in your editing? new features for YouTube look like it's meant for videomakers to get new things unheard of in broadcast.

There's more attention to mobile platforms and community as well, engaging co-creators through clickable credits, Fan Funding, and Subtitles added by fans.

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Meet Niice, a hip site that spouts images for the designer in you

Meet Niice, a hip site that spouts images for the designer in you | VizWorld |
With moodboards, upload capability, and other new features, Niice becomes more than just a fun search tool. It can become a professional necessity.
Dean Meyers's insight:

Should Getty images take a look at this for inspiration...or to buy, in order to plug in their massive visual libraries? 

It would be interesting to know more about the engine that's driving the results of searches, as well as the sources. reports that there are over 500,000 users, and received 11,000 requests for access to its beta version. 

It might not beat out Pinterest for curating images, but it seems to have designers in mind first and foremost offering a highly updated version of mood boards. 

We'll keep an eye on it, and potentially have our own report as the platform matures.

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The Wall Street Journal goes augmented reality and publishes a bar chart (with actual bars) for 3D printers

The Wall Street Journal goes augmented reality and publishes a bar chart (with actual bars) for 3D printers | VizWorld |
The Wall Street Journal ran a review of a 3D printer, the MakerBot Replicator Mini, yesterday. Nothing too unusual there, at least for 2014. But the paper went a few steps beyond the norm in presenting it.

First, it made a two-minute explainer video. De rigueur at this point.

Then it used a 3…
Dean Meyers's insight:

3D bar charts, often scourged by dataviz creators who follow Tufte's advice regarding clarity of design and avoiding creating chart junk, get a new twist in the Wall Street Journal's review of the MakerBot Replicator Mini.

This article shows the generation of the chart, from 3D modeling on screen to the printing of the chart with the MakerBot unit.

The model was also loaded to MakerBot's Thinkiverse for others to print.

Finally, the WSJ also used the augmented reality app Augment to embed the bar chart in the newspaper.


Joshua Benton, author of the article, does comment that it seems to be a gimmick, but it's an interesting exercise, and could be considered another way to approach creating #transmedia.

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RedShark News - Lightworks for Apple OS X is here: public beta is available now!

RedShark News - Lightworks for Apple OS X is here: public beta is available now! | VizWorld |
This is the big one. Lightworks for the Mac. Available for everyone to try today There's a new, industrial-strength editing system for the Mac. It's t
Dean Meyers's insight:

Exciting news for #transmedia producers, videographers, and other visual creators:

Lightworks, a high-end NLE, is now available in open beta for the Mac OS X.

This product has been a heavy hitter on the industrial side, but locked into Linux/Windows systems. They have rewritten it completely to maintain its look and feel (and power) on a Mac OSX device.

I have just downloaded it and haven't started using it yet to check on the speed of file transfer, effects, etc, and the biggest bottleneck of all, transcoding to popular formats once finished editing, but it does show the value attached to the Mac OS for editing., which is owned by the same parent company that released the product,  Editshare, was the first with the announcement,but you can download the new Lightworks Beta for OS X Here

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changeX: A culture of enabling

changeX: A culture of enabling | VizWorld |
Visualization is more than colourful images - an interview with Holger Scholz and Guido Neuland
Dean Meyers's insight:

Visual thinking put into action can be seen through graphic recording and visual facilitation, the two major areas that will be the focus of the EuViz2014 conference in Berlin, Germany this July.

Holger Scholz and Guido Neuland organized the conference after attending conferences hosted by the IFVP (International Forum of Visual Practitioners), to "make visualization more widely known in Germany and Europe and to lay the foundation for a broader discussion of the topic."

Holger is a Certified Professional Facilitator and the CEO of Kommunikationslotsen Scholz & Vesper GmbH & Co. KG.  Kommunikationslotsen can be loosely translated into English as  "Communication Pilots".

Guido is the marketing and sales director of Neuland GmbH & Co. KG. Neuland produces a unique line of dry erase and water based markers for paper, and other graphic tools primarily to be used by facilitators, presenters, educators and anyone wishing to create visuals predominantly seen in large scale, full room use, such as meeting rooms and classrooms. 

Please read the article for a deeper look into the definitions of the practices and concepts that are making visualization in education change, and businesses go beyond using PowerPoint to have a "visual presentation".

To quote Holger on the disruptive power of applied visualization:, "I understand visualizations to be a variety of new forms of leadership and cooperation."

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POI: Abby VanMuijen, drawing her way to a better education

POI: Abby VanMuijen, drawing her way to a better education | VizWorld |
Person of Interest: Far from the lecture halls at Berkeley, on a study-abroad trip, Abby VanMuijen had an education epiphany by way of a set of colored pencils. Drawing her notes, instead of writing them, helped her think — and learn — better.
Dean Meyers's insight:

Visual note-taking for Abby VanMuijen, as described in this article, came as an evolutionary process. Beginning with simple "doodled" images alongside her written notes, she turned her note taking around completely into using visualizations (colored sketches, diagrams, and more complete drawings) as the primary combination of learning tools and memory aids.

She hasn't kept her visual notes to herself: through the keen eyes of one of her professors, one of her notebooks was published (the "Global Poverty Coloring Book"), developed from the coursework in the #GlobalPOV program from the Blum Center for Developing Economies at UC Berkeley.

Applying more visualization techniques to her skills, nine videos were produced, showing her sketching as well as adding objects treated as visual metaphors.

The takeaway from this story is that individual curiosity and creativity gave her a way to apply visual thinking to her practical desire to improve her learning and memory skills. Then she went further, transforming from student to teacher, now offering classes in visual note taking.

Hopefully, UC Berkeley will widen her teaching, giving more students access to her classes and improving education campus-wide by making visual note taking commonplace both for taking notes and as student output from their learnings.

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America Addicted to Binge Viewing (INFOGRAPHIC) |

America Addicted to Binge Viewing (INFOGRAPHIC) | | VizWorld |
 Side-Effects Include Missing Showers, Skipping Meals, Oversleeping and Having Nothing Left to Watch     In a new national survey conducted by strategic research, marketing and brand consultancy Miner & Co. Studio, seven out of 10 U.S. TV viewers consider themselves binge-viewers – an activity that the same percentage of respondents says is “addictive”.. The study – Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: Binge-Viewing is Our New Favorite Addiction* – identifies binge-viewing as watching three or more episodes of one series in a single sitting, with Frequent Binge-Viewers being those who binge a few times per week or more and Infrequent Binge-Viewers those who binge once a month or less. It showed that 17 percent of binge-viewers do so on a daily basis, 63 percent weekly and 90 percent on a monthly basis, with Frequent Binge-Viewers skewing younger (61 percent are Millennials) and more ethnically diverse (34 percent being non-white) than Infrequent Binge-Viewers (19 percent). As with
Dean Meyers's insight:

Interesting that binge-viewing is "totally normal" for 7 out of 10 of the survey respondents. Considering the lasting popularity of the serials of Dickens and other writers of the 19th century, movie serials in the pre-television age, soap operas on radio and then television, it just proves again that humans love story, particularly good stories. Whether or not it's "bathing optional" is another matter, however.

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TEDx Talk: What's Wrong With This Picture?

TEDx Talk: What's Wrong With This Picture? | VizWorld |
What's Wrong With This Picture?  
How doodling helps shape the unseen, abstract principles in order to create
real meaning.  
----Brian Tarallo 
What if you could see an idea? What if you could hold an idea in your hand
and shape it until it became solid and defined? Until it becomes so clear
that other people could understand it just by seeing at it? If you've ever
had the feeling that you KNEW something but just couldn't find the words to
explain it, you can imagine how powerful seeing an idea would be. 
Now: what if I told you that nearly everyone is born with this ability to
see ideas, that YOU have it, and yet for some reason, you are told by your
teachers, bosses, and maybe even your parents... knock it off? 
Up to now, you've seen me taking visual notes of the amazing talks we've
heard today. You probably had a few reactions: “What the heck is that guy
doing?” Or maybe, “Oh, I get it: that’s pretty cool.” And maybe, “Hey, I
think I could do that!” 
Well good news: I’d like to invite all of you to engage with the rest of
this talk in a way that might be new for you. Please take out the notebooks
and pens you were given, and DRAW WHAT YOU HEAR. Take visual notes. Don’t
try to capture everything you hear, just what stands out for you. Write a
short phrase and draw a quick icon representing that idea. Just try it. You
have a quick startup sheet from my colleague, Mike Rohde, with techniques
for this. And if you don’t want to take visual notes, please doodle. It’s
OK, you won’t have to show it to anybody, and I promise I won’t take it
personally if you’re not staring at me. 
As you get started, I’d like to begin with a question: What’s wrong with
this picture? What’s wrong with doodles? Why don't we let kids doodle in
school? All children doodle. It comes naturally. It requires no
instruction. And yet we tell them NOT to do it. Why? I was the kid who
always had two pieces of paper on my desk: one for notes, and one for
doodles. I got in trouble a lot. Especially in Algebra.  
I was told: “you’re not paying attention.” “That’s useless.” And “this
isn’t art class.” Today, I doodle professionally. And more than that, I
give people tools to help them see ideas, visual tools based on doodles to
solve really hard problems, problems that would be impossible to solve any
other way. So why do we teach kids that doodling is wrong? 
I believe doodling is today what left-handedness was not so long ago. My
grandfather was left-handed. His teachers would beat his knuckles with a
ruler if he didn’t use with his right hand. He got by, but as a result, he
developed a stutter. He got out of school, started writing with his left
hand, and immediately lost his stutter. But: I can’t help but wonder what
school would have been like for him if he'd simply been allowed to write
with his left hand, to do what came naturally.  
As a father of four kids who are just beginning their education, my biggest
fear is that schools will ignore the fact that different children learn in
different ways.  
My colleagues Sunni Brown and Rachel Smith have spoken at TED conferences
before about the power of drawing ideas. Take a note: check out their TED
videos. Sunni Brown and Rachel Smith. I’d like to build on their thoughts
along those of other visual practitioners, like Diane Durand and Dean
Meyers, who continue to evolve the conversation around using visuals in
education, healthcare, and business. I'd like to talk about why I believe
doodling can help engage students in learning, ready them for a complex
world, and make school fun. And I’d like to do so by turning the three
biggest misconceptions about doodling on their heads: that it’s
distracting, that it’s useless in the real world, and that it’s only place
is in art class. 
First misconception: it’s distracting. 
Doodles are black and white proof of a wandering mind. They are inescapable
evidence that “you weren’t listening.” And if you weren’t listening, how
could you have been learning? 
So here’s what we know. We learn by seeing, hearing, and doing. You’ve
heard of the visual learner, the auditory learner, and maybe you’ve heard
of the kinesthetic, or motion-active, learner. It turns out that no one is
purely one kind of learner. EVERYONE has SOME aspect of each of these
learning styles, and the more that you engage ALL of the learning styles,
the greater your understanding and retention. Doodling engages all three
styles. A doodle doesn’t even have to be related to the subject matter to
engage the kinesthetic learner. I love this quote by Sunni Brown: “there is
no such thing as a mindless doodle.” A study of people listening to
complicated phone messages found that doodlers retained 29% more content
than non-doodlers. Did you get that? Doodling keeps you from losing focus
when the topic is boring. Which is why I asked you to draw while I was
But when the doodles ARE relevant to the subject, you make a personal
connection with what you are hearing. You think: what does this concept
remind me of? What does it look like? What can I draw that represents it?
What metaphor could I use to illustrate it? You become an active learner.
You create an experiential memory that allows you to make connections and
see patterns that would have been invisible to the passive learner.  
We learn by doing and we learn by doodling.  
Second misconception: it’s useless in the real world.  
It’s not professional. You don’t need it to do your job. Your boss isn’t
paying you to doodle.  
Okay, for right now, we’re going to ignore the following professions:
visual practitioners like me, artists, illustrators, architects, engineers,
creatives, designers of all kinds, and anyone else who draws as part of
their job. Instead, we’ll focus on what my algebra teacher called “real
jobs.” Ever seen this before? It’s been called “The most famous napkin in
Texas.” It’s Herb Kelleher's concept for the original business model for
Southwest Airlines, and it was literally drawn on the back of a napkin.
There's a book about that if you're interested. It's called "Back of the
Regardless of what your job is, chances are you have to solve hard problems
or communicate complex ideas. Doodles are the pure language of ideas. One
of the pioneers in the field of visualization, David Sibbet, likes to say,
“you don’t build a house from a set of instructions. You use a blue print.”
When an idea is complex or ambiguous, words lose their effectiveness, and
visuals become more effective. Think about the last time you sat through an
80-slide PowerPoint deck, or read a 100-page strategic plan. How much did
you really retain? The University of Stanford studied the use of
collaborative, participatory group visuals in meetings and found that they
increase retention by 17%, improve consensus by 19%, and actually shorten
the time it takes to solve problems by 24%. Unfortunately, just putting
clip art in PowerPoint doesn’t count. This is about using visuals as a
medium to gather ideas, solve problems, and plan the way ahead.  
I want to take a minute and give you a quick list of visual tools you can
look up later that can cut through ambiguity and solve hard problems.  
You have your brainstorming tools, like mindmaps, word clouds, and concept
You have decision making tools, like force field diagrams, decision trees,
fishbones, and quad charts.  
You have your planning tools, like gantt charts, swimlanes, and process
You have your whole systems tools, like learning maps, vision maps, and
context maps. 
Plus, there’s all the cool STUFF that you use: whiteboards, groupware,
templates like the business model canvas or the graphic gameplan, and my
own personal favorite, paper and markers.  
What I just demonstrated is a tool called a mindmap. In my opinion, a
mindmap is the single greatest tool for brainstorming ideas, period. THIS
is something we should be teaching in school. You start with a central idea
and you branch outward, following key ideas as they occur. You move up and
down in levels of detail, adding new branches, going wherever your mind
takes you. You draw cross connections as ideas interrelate. One idea will
suggest another. You can imagine how powerful tools like these are in the
real world. 
Third misconception: This isn’t art class. This isn’t the time or place.
We’re not teaching art here.  
Let me ask a question: at the end of the day, what’s the point? Do you want
kids to have nice, neat, clean, sterile notes that copy verbatim what the
teacher says? Or, do you want kids to make sense of what they’re learning
and retain it? It’s THEIR notes. Let them take notes in a way that they’ll
remember. And yes: kids still get in trouble over this today. So do
grownups, for that matter. 
I’m not suggesting kids draw all over their homework or their tests or
anything they have to turn in. But how cool would it be if students turned
in a mindmap along an essay so teachers could actually see the thought
process that went into the final product? Isn’t teaching kids how to think
the point of school in the first place? 
There’s two studies I want to share with you on note taking. Tony Buzan,
one of the world’s leading authorities on learning techniques, asked
students what words they most associated with note taking. The top seven
were: boring, punishment, depression, fear, wasted time, rigidity, and
failure. THAT is how students feel about how they spend most of their time
in school. And it doesn’t have to be like that. By the way, Buzan went on
to create a new style of notetaking that he called, “mind mapping.” 
The other study I want to share is by Doctor F. Robert Sabol of Purdue
University, who looked at the effects of No Child Left Behind. You can
probably guess some of the findings: more of discipline and behavioral
problems, apathy and resentment, decreased work ethic, but here’s what was
surprising. When it came to drawing or other visualization, students
reported that it was “fun.” How about that? Students drew because they
enjoyed it, it relaxed them, they felt like they could express themselves,
it helped them deal with uncertainty, and that it helped them learn new
things and solve problems. NO KIDDING.  
So here comes my favorite question of all time: what if? What if students
were allowed to take visual notes in all their classes? What if we stopped
telling kids not to doodle? Because maybe the biggest loss here is that
kids who are told to stop doodling in class grow up to be adults who say
things like, "I'm not a visual person," or "I can't draw." 
“I can’t draw.” I want to do an experiment. This is a quick exercise I
learned from my friends at kommunicationslotsen, a German visualization
firm. Germans have some of the coolest stuff. These markers? German! OK:
take a deep breath. Release. Again. Close your eyes. I can see all of you,
I know who’s cheating. In your mind, I'd like you all to go back to when
you were a student. Think of yourself sitting in class. On your desk, there
is an open notebook. And in that notebook, there is a doodle. There was
always one doodle, one drawing, one picture you drew. You drew it over and
over and over. Now: open your eyes. Find a blank page in your notebook, and
draw that doodle. 
Here's what most people draw: an object, a person or a face, a word,
something abstract, or something from nature. What do they have in common?
It's not what you would call fine art, but that’s not the point. It's
quick. It uses simple shapes. It's iconic. It’s a symbol for an idea.
That’s not what a house actually looks like, and yet, people know it's a
house. It is the IDEA that matters most. When you use simple shapes and
simple icons, you have everything you need to take visual notes. 
Let’s do one more what if. What if you're a teacher and you catch a student
doodling in class, or you're a boss and you catch an employee doodling in a
meeting? Your first thought will be that they're distracted and not paying
attention. It’s OK:  despite everything you’ve just heard, you’ve been
trained your whole life to believe doodling is bad. But now, you know
And then, ask yourself: What’s the point? What’s important to you? Do you
want them to sit still as statues, eyes wide and locked on you? Maybe a
little drool going on? Or, do you want them to maybe learn something? 51%
of us are introverts. 29% of us are predominantly visual learners. 37% of
us are predominantly kinesthetic learners. With those numbers, chances are
more than a few of your listeners would really hear what you have to say
better if they were doodling. 
Here’s the message I want to leave you with. Doodles help you learn better.
Doodles have real world application. And doodles can make learning fun.
Anyone can do doodle, because at its core, it's not about artistic skill.
As you probably noticed as you were taking visual notes, the real skill is
listening and making a personal connection to the content.  
And here’s what I would ask of you. Think with ink. Think, what’s RIGHT
with this picture. If you have a pen in your hand, draw. If you're a
teacher, a parent, a caregiver, a manager, or a leader, create a space
where doodling is OK. I honestly believe that I have the best job in the
world: I help people see ideas. When you create a space where doodling is
OK, you allow others to see ideas, too. 
Thank you. 
Dean Meyers's insight:

Brian Tarallo doesn't just talk a winning argument for doodling, he doodles it, live, in front of a group of people at TEDx . I cannot speak for the participants whether or not he has convinced them of the benefits of doodling on learning, memory, creativity and reasoning skills, but he does back it with studies on education and learning styles.

I would recommend reading the text of his talk while looking at the finished graphic he created, and see if you are able to put the two together, as he uses visuals and key text to illustrate his talk.

The proof of his theory, however, will be demonstrated if you adopt his suggestion of using doodling, sketching and personal note taking with visuals whenever and wherever you need to capture information, reason through a problem or feel more engaged at a meeting or creative activity.

Uma Sundaram's curator insight, May 2, 2:45 AM

Don't let "I cannot draw" stop you from visualizing the meeting. All it needs is a blank sheet of paper and points from the meeting all around on the paper. You just cannot help finding the connections and the themes.

Scooped by Dean Meyers!

From CES 2014: Unteathered Wacom pressure sensitive graphic tablets allow creativity on the go |

From CES 2014: Unteathered Wacom pressure sensitive graphic tablets allow creativity on the go | | VizWorld |
Wacom came to International CES 2014 without making a major new project announcement, but with enough floor space to keep at least a half-dozen people busy at a time.
Dean Meyers's insight:

I interviewed Doug Little, Senior PR Manger for Wacom Technologies, at CES 2014, and he was very enthusiastic about both of the new untethered Wacom tablets, the Cintiq Companion and Cintiq Hybrid, allowing the user to work on the pressure sensistive tablet anywhere.

Although he didn't have a major new product launch to announce, it seems that Wacom's been quietly and steadily dominating the pressure-sensitive pen environment by providing customized pens for everything from smart phones to large screens and even Microsoft's pressure-sensitive Surface.

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The Journey of Documentary - the evolution of documentaries

The Journey of Documentary - the evolution of documentaries | VizWorld |
An online documentary about how to make an online documentary. Features a webseries, a crowd sourced timeline, an online testing cinema and resources for documentary makers. (@RobertCettl Hey, Robert.
Dean Meyers's insight:

Although this might become a meme, "An online documentary about how to make an online documentary" -  is actually an interesting resource for the aspiring film maker, visual storyteller who wants to follow this path. I'm not sure if it's truly a Transmedia property, as it does contain many cross-media types into a blended experience, yet I wasn't quite sure where the audience becomes participatory in the process of developing and contributing content.

If nothing else, it is a sure sign that journalism in the form of the documentary, is being embraced by another generation, one that takes acess and use of multiple forms of visual communication for granted as part of the storytelling toolkit.

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