Visualize this for me (no matter where we are)
There are a few tools I use that have powerful uses by themselves; combining them makes them a powerful force in allowing me to work creatively and visually with my clients regardless of where they are.
It’s wonderful to be able to work more and more transparently, moving nearly seamlessly from markers and whiteboard in a room with the client to a completely online environment, regardless of wherever anyone is located.
The Visualized Webinar – this isn’t your father’s conference call!
Webinar software is growing up. Or, increased bandwidth is making it possible to squeeze more goodness through the net, and that increases my ability to work visually with clients in realtime. I’ve used WebEx, and I’m currently using GoToMeeting more regularly. But that’s not where the creativity flows. That comes from turning on sharing my screen, plugging in my Wacom Bamboo tablet, and powering up SketchbookPro, a program that offers brushes, markers, pencils and other analog-style tools to create visuals.
I can see what you say— and then I can show it to you.
Like many people, I would doodle while making notes of lessons in school. Later, as a designer, I was expected to sketch quickly to demonstrate visual ideas. That shifted when I became more involved in strategy, business planning, researching customer’s needs…all areas that supposedly didn’t require a visual component. Too late: I was now making sketch notes all the time of these meetings, which I formally turned into graphic recordings, a form of visual documentation. This and visual facilitation are now the major focus of my work efforts, and my desire is to do this work using technology as easily as I do in the analog world. Combining an onscreen drawing program with visual conferencing makes the distance disappear between me and the participants, as they watch me draw as we speak, just as they would if they were in the room with me.
Now add the ability to let them draw along with me, or scribble a note or highlight something they see, and we are even more collectively creative.
There’s another web application that allows that to happen in my toolkit … part two here.