When we think about design, we often think of something visual. That’s for good reasons.
The visual culture is the explicit expression of everything designed. As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words.
But another reason is more important: visualizing thoughts actually helps us think.
That’s why so many techniques and tools are focused on visualizing abstract concepts – mental models, journey maps, LEGO blocks and walls of sticky notes.
Visualizing something changes how we think about it, and it becomes a creative dance between what we think it is and what it could be.
One way to think about design as a craft for solving problems is through three pillars: framing, visualizing, and making.
We come up with different ways to /frame/ the problem at hand, and we explore the problem by visualizing those frames.
Once we have some potential frames, we start /making/ things – a sketch, a mockup, a story, etc. We explore the potential solutions by putting those frames into imagined or real contexts and see how that works and feels.
When a proper frame is determined for the problem, we start /crafting/ the solutions, creating the solution by making things, and creating the interface by visualizing the interactive logic of that solution.
In a sense, designing always starts from “drawing it out”.
How do we start drawing?
Fortunately, some people have figured it out:
- Pencil Me in: The Business Drawing Book for People Who Can’t Draw
- Visual Thinking: Empowering People and Organisations through Visual Collaboration
- Visual Doing: Applying Visual Thinking in your Day to Day Business