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Ging Visual Using Images Enhance Productivity Decision Making and Profits - Gerard A.

Gerard A. Ging Visual Using Images Enhance Productivity Decision Making and Profits - Wiley publishing , 2005. - 257 p.
ISBN 0-471-71025-3
Download (direct link): visualusingimagestoenha2005.pdf
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When dealing with a topic that involves technology, we recognize that businesses need to rely on rock-solid, proven products that are available now. For that reason, these examples we cite are founded entirely on currently existing, affordable technology. We also provide a realistic three-year perspective—a time frame chosen to match common strategic planning cycles—on technology developments that will further expand the possibilities for visual communication. Nothing you read about in this book is science fiction; these products already exist in working versions that we have personally seen, and they are on product release schedules that will make them widely available to the public.
Perhaps most gratifying to us, we were struck, time and again, by the high level of enthusiasm with which the businesspeople we interviewed spoke about their experiences in using images to communicate. They were quick not only to describe the practical benefits relating to enhanced decision making, productivity, profits, and customer relations, but also to convey their visceral excitement at being able to communicate in such a natural, detail-rich way for the first time in their lives.
We hope you see a piece of yourself and your business in the stories that follow. You are invited to visit our web site, www .GoingVisual.com, where you can post your own visual communication stories and join an online community dedicated to exploring the opportunities, challenges, and innovative solutions that are
INTRODUCTION 13
emerging in these early years of the Visual Age. We wish you success as you embark on your own Going Visual journey.
PRACTICAL EXERCISE
Go to your kitchen and stand in a spot that gives you the most complete view of the space. Try to describe, in a written document, everything you see from that single viewpoint: the appliances, cupboards, dishes, glassware, sink, floor, lighting, walls, knickknacks, and so on. You will quickly discover that this process could take a very long time indeed and could fill many pages of text. Now stand in the same spot and snap a picture. In a split second, all those details are captured. If you have used a digital camera, the information is instantly in a format that can be easily shared with virtually anyone so that they can see what you saw. You have a common point of reference to use in discussing the kitchen’s details with an interior designer, a painter, a plumber, an electrician, a floor refinisher, or a cabinetmaker. You have just experienced that a picture is worth a thousand words.
CHAPTER 1
Visual Communication: A Short History
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At its most basic, the notion of Going Visual is rooted in overcoming the limits humans have faced throughout all of history when attempting to communicate what they see to another individual who is in another location.
One way of thinking about all of life and civilization is as being about how the world registers and processes information.
—Seth Lloyd, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
One of the characteristics that defines us as a species is that we first and foremost process the world visually. Other species rely on different senses—many on smell, some on hearing, and others still on senses we don’t even have, such as radar. We are engineered to be highly sophisticated seeing machines. Our brain and eyes are so intricately connected that in some respects it’s hard to say where one ends and the other begins. More than a million axons (nerve fibers) are dedicated to the optical nerve; by comparison, the number allocated to the auditory nerve is approximately 32,000. The fact that more than 30 times more brain resource is budgeted for processing visual information than for sound information speaks volumes about the way we function. Perhaps the reason images move us more powerfully than other forms of communication is simply that they are the type of information we are best built to receive.
The implications of tapping into the power of images for use in interpersonal business communication are profound. As Adel Al-Saleh, IBM’s general manager of global wireless e-business puts it,
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18 GOING VISUAL
“Images are a natural interface for communication,” meaning we don’t have to be taught how to absorb images; it comes to us naturally. In a given amount of time, vastly more information can be communicated through images than through speech or text.
The challenge in using images to communicate is that, adept as we are at taking in and processing visual information, we must overcome our lack of built-in tools that would help us efficiently create and communicate images. Unlike speech, which we’re biologically equipped to produce, to create images we need some form of technology—a burnt stick, a pen, a paintbrush, or a camera. Therefore, throughout human history, technology and visual communication have gone hand in hand. While in some areas, technology is often accused of complicating business processes, Going Visual examines how the use of images actually simplifies and streamlines the interpersonal information flow, because individuals can absorb information in the way that is most natural to them.
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