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Visualization: not just for the communication-challenged

“Is kick-ass visual communication important for engineers?”  Tyler Disney, an engineer, asks this question in his blog.  He writes that the inclusion of visual communication often makes or breaks a proposal for engineers.

He highlights fields such as architecture and urban planning as those that use their job skills to make more compelling proposals, and argues that engineers should take it upon themselves to do the same.

But why just engineers? Everyone embraces visual communication as a means to a more persuasive argument.  Engineers are stereotypically “communication challenged,” but so are many others in the fields of math and science.  Even in the humanities, the professional space would be greatly enhanced by the incorporation of visuals.  If projects and plans were presented as graphic designs instead of word documents, they would be more compelling, persuasive, and inspire genuine interest in the project instead of a visceral negative reaction to pages and pages of text.

Visual communication guarantees a response.  Using creative, colorful images to demonstrate your point or show the flow of a project plan will elicit active interest and participation.

Sure, we in the humanities are better at communicating because of all those persuasive papers we have to write, but surely even they could have been improved with some visuals.  Engineers may be in the most dire need of a leg up in the communications realm, but everyone can benefit from a little more imagery in the business world.

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