Visual Thinking School Colombia: What is SKETCHPLANATIONS and why did you started this project? How did you have the idea to do SKETCHPLANATIONS?
Jonathan Hey: Sketchpanations are the simple idea of explaining a single concept in a sketch.
I started Sketchplanations as a way to continue a daily effort to improve my drawing while working how to explain things concisely with visuals. Always a handy skill.
VTS Colombia: What is the impact in the people with these SKETCHPLANATIONS? How is the reception?
JH: I do Sketchplanations for myself, but since I started publishing them they’ve picked up lots of people following on online and by email. I find I can very rarely predict which ones will be popular.
VTS Colombia: Do you think other people might use visual thinking as a tool in their work?
JH: Absolutely! Almost every time someone picks up a pen in a group conversation and starts to make the thinking and conversation visible it improves things. It’s also a great way to communicate your own ideas. Some people work well with words, but some do better with pictures. Being able to do both maximises your chances of communicating well.
VTS Colombia: What benefits would it bring to them? Do you use that for your job?
JH: People like working with others who communicate clearly. And if you can explain your ideas and others’ then you’ve got a better chance of your ideas being adopted and the team getting on the same page about the task. Sometimes it takes a little courage to pick up a pen in a meeting but it’s almost always worth it.
VTS Colombia: Did you get inspired by someone else in the use of visual thinking in your work?
JH: Growing up, and as a budding engineer, I always loved Da Vinci’s drawings which are beautiful, technically impressive and useful. I learned a lot from the team at Jump Associates in California about the value and technique of capturing conversations real time for better conversations and useful records afterwards. Mike Rohde has done a huge amount for sharing and encouraging visual thinking as has Dan Roam. I have also learned a lot from Edward Tufte’s books about data graphics. For an earlier inspiration I love the book Experiences in Visual Thinking by Bob McKim.
VTS Colombia: What would you ask to the next speaker that the Visual Thinking School Colombia interview?
JH: What’s the best set up for visual thinking using digital tools? I’ve still not cracked anything that’s as good as pen and paper.