A study of behavioral graphics in the learning process. Where behavioral science and graphic design meet. Desire funding to create behavioral graphics, conduct surveys, and publish results. Goal, to enhance communications learning process thru behavioral graphics.
How can a toddler still in diapers that can barely read, be able to navigate through an interactive program on a tablet without help? What strikes the imagination for that child to push certain buttons to get thru the program? It is simply the graphics.
In a child's blissful innocence to playfully interact with a program on a tablet, the child is subliminally conditioning their memory to recognize pictures to navigate the game. As the child is enthusiastically browsing the program he or she is learning at the same time.
As a behavioral graphic arts specialist, I am always looking for ways to minimize the learning process thru graphics. I have been a lifelong designer thru work in the high-tech sector and am now interested in the research and development of techniques to communicate with graphics for education and universal communications.
An infographic is a visual graphic representation of information, a picture with a message in it, sketches that tell a story. We learn from them, we teach with them, they are the most used and probably the most un-noticeable form of communication we take for granted. Prehistoric cave drawings are the earliest forms of infographics.
Fast-forward to present day, with the introduction of the Internet, digital design technology has emerged as the new medium for infographic design. The emergence of Social Networking has propelled the desire for infographic design on the Internet. Graphic arts evolved into multi-media digital design. With so many programs to choose from it was obvious for me to choose the programs most used in the industry.
It was somewhat cumbersome changing from hand drawn sketches to digital design and the transition was at the same level of difficulty I experienced migrating from drawing with a pencil on a drafting table to drafting on a CAD system. As soon as I got the hang of creating digital graphics the reward came when making design changes. The payoff is in how fast and easy you can make modifications. The learning curve was quite an undertaking but the changeover was well worth it in the end.
Functional design became essential to train the viewer’s eyes in recognizing features that will help in navigating through web pages, menu displays, shopping mall directories, museum tours, and maps to name a few examples. I believe if there is a discipline to developing infographics it is the goal to make the infographic as simple as possible, straight to the point and more in the communication sense and less in the artistic sense, a working graphic metaphor.
When I first attempt to create an information-graphic I imagine a message theme first and try to create a graphic as much as possible without text explanation. But if text is necessary to help explain the fundamental characteristic of the graphic message then as a designer it’s up to me to find the right balance in the graphic to text combination and achieve the best infographic result. If I can get away without using text in the graphic-message then I feel I have created a successful Graphic Metaphor.
Imagine yourself in a situation where you’re trying to communicate with an extraterrestrial, you wouldn't be able to speak to him-her-it and you most certainly wouldn’t understand each other’s writing, so what would you do? The only natural thing you are forced to do is to draw a picture in the sand, so to speak, and use silly erratic body movements to emphasize what you're trying to say. When verbal communication and body motions have been exhausted the next thing is to draw something to help aid in the effort to communicate.
Infographics are created just for that purpose to aid in communication. Good examples are stop signs, public bathroom characters on doors, and app icons on your phone. They subliminally teach the viewer to recognize that graphic symbol for future use.
Just think about how difficult it would be to live in a world without graphic symbols. Imagine how difficult it would be to explain something without graphics. Infographics are an important part of our daily interactions and they bring life to all forms of communications and the graphic metaphor is the non-text component of the infographic.
Communicating with pictures................... To be continued.