Visually Inspire Communication

Create adaptive learning environments with your coworkers  – illustrate data with infographics and share a story with an interactive presentation.

Scenario #1: Create infographics using Piktochart
My objective is to make static documentation interactive. An infographic enriched with color, easy-to-follow data and hyperlinks to wiki content and videos or GIFs was the best choice.

Identify audience and the best way to present ideas to the user. How should users interact with the information? Determine what content to use; often times statistical data can be represented as charts or simple graphics. Keep in mind less is more, so chunk content with different colors or blocks to separate text like shown here:
image

You want a natural flow of progression when reading the document. Try to make eye-popping designs with little distractions to esthetics. Incorporate themes, embed graphics, videos and map plugins to engage users. In the end, you will have an infographic that is dynamic, appealing and promotes communication throughout the organization.

Piktochart is a free application available for download on my native PC. This program enabled me to choose preloaded templates or start a project from scratch. I enjoyed the user-friendly interface.

Use Also: visual.ly, infogr.am, Snag-It

Scenario #2: Create interactive presentations using Intuilab
Think Powerpoint2.0. Business presentations are no longer boring slides with lame animation or remote clickers with lazer pointers. Instead, presentations are interactive and reinventing communication.

Convey a message by guiding your users through a digital experience that tells a story. Interact with the slides; maximize the screen, highlight, swipe and draw over images.
Deliver and collaborate amongst coworkers in the cloud. Build presentations and distribute across multiple platforms and devices.

Intuilab appealed to me because of its touch screen capabilities. I also was able to learn this software quickly providing “if, then” statements that replaced code. Pros: All access sandbox. Cons: Compatible only with Windows 7 & 8; HTML release by the end of 2013.

Use Also: swipe.to, prezi, mural.ly

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Malcolm Sayer and Robin Williams as Dr. Oliver Sacks

I love the beauty of storytelling. Writers electrify words, encourage your imagination to grow with the events of a story, and make you connect to characters as if they were people you met in real life.

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My favorite actor is Robert DeNiro, and don’t worry this is not a story about Bob’s acting chops, but rather an introduction to the inspiration behind one of his film’s, Awakenings. (Sidenote: Although, he does have some range playing Michael’s father in the Godfather to Drew Barrymore’s father in Everybody’s Fine.) DeNiro plays Leonard, a man who after falling ill from encephalitis lethargica, is now in a catatonic state. We meet Robin Williams, a doctor at the residential hospital who discovers the drug L-Dopa (used to treat Parkinson’s) to temporarily waken the patients who had all been imprisoned by this immoveable plague. Characters, both patients and doctor staff exhibit an incredible amount of resilience and dedication to keep pushing through the obstacles faced before them. As a reader, I progressed with Leonard as he was relearning an old habit and felt his pain as he struggled with things that were once easy.

I’ve seen this movie and read the book many times, always finding a new way of looking at it. I enjoy Dr. Oliver Sacks’ storytelling because he takes me away to a fictional world where I care and sympathize for his characters. Through this creative conduit, I am introduced to real emotions of disappointment, admiration and compassion. To end, “[Sacks] opens to the reader doors of perception generally passed through only by those at the far borders of human experience.” –The Boston Globe

José Saramago’s visceral storytelling

Blindness tells the story of nature vs nurture when an epidemic hits a small town. Colorful characters become blind with a ‘white evil.’  They lose sight of who they really are in an environment that is crashing down around them.

Jose Saramago’s words escape from the page, into a maze of twists and turns, and the road less traveled. Yet I feel connected. I pause — and put down the book with a new perspective.

The doctor’s wife, whose eyes have borne all the burden of witnessing what the others in their sightlessness were spared, offers us a kind of answer:

‘Why did we become blind, I don’t know, perhaps one day we’ll find out, Do you want me to tell you what I think, Yes, do, I don’t think we did go blind, I think we are blind, Blind but seeing, Blind people who can see, but do not see.’

People who see, but don’t see… This story is about introspection; a progression of thought and that moment when you reached a revelation. And finally you have an answer.

NY Times writer, Andrew Miller wrote this of the novelist; a true, lasting thought.

‘There is no cynicism and there are no conclusions, just a clear-eyed and compassionate acknowledgment of things as they are, a quality that can only honestly be termed wisdom. We should be grateful when it is handed to us in such generous measures.’