Problem #16 - Conversations are like drawing on water

“Most conversations are like drawing on water. When the interface of our conversation is just air, there’s no trace. You can draw a line in water it creates ripples, but then the ripples fade and thats a real problem because every conversation we have, certainly the ones we have at work are about something important and if we don’t have that track, record, visual of a shared pool of meaning that we created we run the risk of running from life ineffective from day to day.” Daniel Stillman, goes into detail about this topic

Visual conversations allow you to get a wholistic view of the entire conversation, connect ideas that you haven’t considered before and notice the gaps.

Communication is the act of organizing thoughts so they will result in an appropriate action (got example organizing web packets so that they transfer effectivly to your computer so you can see the displayed information) – because drawings, sketches and photographs can elevate the context of a conversation to be better understood, I will be switching the term [from visual conversation -> to visual communication] - to focus on using the visual medium in order to communicate better through the web.

I want to better understand visual communication, a general overview, some of the most prominent figures, the different types, and also how it compares to different methods of communication - to understand the benefits of each style. Once I narrow down on the benefits of visual communication - I can narrow those concepts into creating a simple visual interface that leverages off those specific components.


Measured by comprehension by the audience, not based on personal aesthetic - making it different than art, which is all about personal interpretation.

Besides two dimensional images, other ways to communicate information visually include - gestures, body language, animation and film. Visual communication via e-mail, a textual medium is commonly expressed with Emojis and embedded digital images.

When experiencing the web, one uses the eyes as the primary sense, and therefore the visual presentation of a website is very important for users to understand the message or of the communication taking place.


Eye of Horus, symbol for visual communication. It is said to b3 a representation of an eclipse.

It may be used either independently or as an adjunct to the other methods of communication.

Using Visual Aids - as a method to enhancing your presentation.

Types of visual elements:

Objects: For example, a speech about tying knots would be more effective by bringing in a rope.

Models: Representations of another object that serve to demonstrate that object when the real object is ineffective for that purpose: Architectural model buildings, human skeletal systems

Graphs: Used to visualize relationships between different quantities

Maps: Show geographic areas that are of interest to the speech

Photos: Photographs are good tools to make or emphasiz a point or to explain a topic: for example when explaining the shanty-towns in a third world country it would be beneficial to show the class a picture of it, so they can get a better underrstanding of how people live.

Drawings or Diagrams: Can be used when photographs do not show exactly what the speaker wants to explain. For example, a drawing or diagram of the circulatory system throughout the body is a lot more effective than a picture of a cadaver showing the circulatory system. But if not drawn correctly it can look sloppy and be ineffective

Screen Shot 2018-11-15 at 12.32.26 PM.png


So, I called Dad and asked -

“What are some of the ways you use visuals to effectively help in getting your point across?”

  1. Always bring renderings or image examples to sales and marketing meetings to probably convey his ideas

  2. Has specific visual design process when communicating with designers to create those renderings. First he allows the designers to come up with an iteration without much design direction. Next, he browses Google Images using key search words to find inspiration. He then prints out and marks up the designers renderings using text, sketches and image references.

I’m going to create a design to help the workflow for list item 2.

user creates forum.png
Test mockup one, need to do more user flows

Test mockup one, need to do more user flows

Flow where each reference becomes a main image and creates a forum/life on its own

Flow where each reference becomes a main image and creates a forum/life on its own

What is a forum?

Public medium (such as a newspaper column) or place used for debates in which anyone can participate.

A bulletin board is an example of a visually communicated forum


Forums are different from chat because it is almost never live and can be read at any time.


I’m going to shift away from creating a tool to maximize my dad’s workflow and start focusing instead on a publicly editable online bulletin board/forum - since it relates more towards my original intention. Also, i want to keep the designs looking and feel “rough”, “scattered” and “fun” like a bulletin board because that makes it more inviting. I will be using skeuomorphism to make objects like text look like “post its”, and the option for the user to add pins to their object or tape.

I started the process by collecting a set of bulletin boards that I would like to reference for visual or content purposes. I then developed a list of elements I’d like to include on the forum.

Ability to add

• Image -> picture frame hanging on nail, hanging picture on tape

• Text -> Choose paper color, Sticky Note, Large heading text and Different text styles

• Marker -> Ability to draw on top of everything on the board

• Links -> Paste webpage on the bulletin board

• Another bulletin board -> user can add a bulletin board inside another bulletin board

• Chart -> Users can create “smart charts” to reference data on the board

• Design -> Sparkles and lines and cutouts to add to the aesthetic of the moodboard

Screen Shot 2018-11-15 at 3.42.19 PM.png

I spoke to my professor, Tom, who is helping guide me through this specific project. And he teared it apart. But he gave me thoughts and inspiration that I need to spend time to understand. I’ve been waiting for critical feedback like this to help push me further - especially in the artistic realm. The first project he showed me was a collaborative art project by Ai Weiwei and Olafur Eliasson.

Using physical space as a “forum”

Using physical space as a “forum”

Buildings or homes suggest categories and each ‘space’ has projected images on the walls - to comprise up of different ‘projections’ where virtual meets the physical.

Until tomorrow,


problem #16 continued - 3D modeling

People Plotter...App #15 continued