What does it mean, when SME or ID provides a reference in the storyboard and says ‘recreate this graphic using this image as a reference’? In the following example we first see the original reference provided by SME as well as the graphic ‘recreated’ by a graphic designer.
Original reference provided by a SME, considering he/she is not a ‘graphic designer’, is worth appreciating. BUT…
…What this graphic designer did with that reference raises many questions and concerns.
Today, tools like PowerPoint provide so many user-friendly visualization features to non-designers. So will the role of graphic designer become redundant?…something to think about.
How the second graphic is different from the one created by a non-designer, or is it really different? What value has the graphic designer added here? If this is not what was expected then what does ‘recreation’ mean after all – does it mean redrawing the same Clip Arts to match the course look and feel?
No! The expectation was to make it intuitively understandable and readable while making it consistent with the visual design style of the course.
“Readability” – That’s another confusing term! Most of the people relate it to only text in the graphic. “Readability” is the quality of design that allows the viewer to correctly interpret the information with optimum time and effort. Font size and style, colors, contrast between the letters and background, and layout all contribute to readability. But first, you need to organize the information.
Was the second graphic helping the learner understand the process more easily? OR…
Is the following representation of the same reference image easier to understand?
How do we get it right the first time?
So here are some simple steps:
- Simplify what you want learner to understand. Obviously to be able to do that you need to understand it yourself before anyone else.
- Organize information for easy understanding.
- Always begin by sketches on paper and try to simplify the graphic. DO NOT touch the mouse until it’s clear in your mind. It’s worth spending those few minutes and anyways, it doesn’t take more than 5-10 minutes.
- Get rid of redundancies i.e. labeling the ‘phone’ icon, duplicating the server at every point where the data is passed through the server.
- Ask yourself if there is a better way to represent something.
After all, visuals play a key role in making complex information – simple to understand. And if that’s what you do, nothing or no one can replace you.
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