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Designing Insight

The science behind visual design

Deloitte introduces a new tool to help our clients achieve their goals; the use of non-textual communication in a professional setting. How do people make decisions? Why do they exhibit a certain behaviour? And how do communication and imagery influence this? Because people's actions are shaped through their interactions with stimuli.

What is more effective than textual communication? Visual communication. Why? Because it is cognitively less straining allowing for a faster information processing process and 60% of the people prefer the visual learning system. Visualization works extremely well if time is limited and the issues at hand is complex or multi-faceted. Utilizing all the benefits that visual communication has to offer in a professional setting, can help you get your point across swiftly, yet correctly and memorably. Especially when the complexity of the message is high, as are the stakes.  

The picture superiority effect

Let’s dive a bit deeper into the advantages of visual communication. Communicating visually has advantages over word based communication when it comes to encoding and retrieving the information from the memory. The processing of words requires more cognitive exertion. Research into the picture superiority effect shows that if we only read a text, approximately 10% of the information is remembered three days later. If that same information is presented in a relevant combination of image and text, an astonishing 65% of that information is remembered three days later. 

Cutting to the core

Creating a visual representation of the information forces you to make decisions and become concrete. Managerial terms or jargon like ‘risk appetite’ are not suited for visual translation, forcing one to dig deeper and give substance to what that means. Visualization challenges you to really think about your core message first, and on how to communicate it effectively second. Bringing a visual to the table allows you to get to the point quickly and creates shared understanding which accelerates decision-making. 

Achieving your business objectives

The Deloitte Designing Insight team specializes in creating effective visual communication from a cognitive perspective in a business-to-business setting, where both sender and receiver are specialists and operate in a content-driven context. Situations where stake are high, the issue is complex and/or the stakeholder field is challenging. Communication with regulators, governmental bodies, inside or outside of court, or with the top management of your own organization. Leaning on the fields of communication sciences, behavioral economics and psychology the scientific approach of the team ensures that the designs communicate the key message and sort the preferred effect. Achieving the goals you set out for. Because every design choice is a strategic choice that can help you obtain the goal you set out to achieve.

Within the domain we distinguish between different kinds of designs. Do you need insight at a glance? Do you have to make sure the text of a legal contract cannot be misinterpreted? Or do you need to quickly run your stakeholders through different scenario’s? No communicative challenge is the same and some require a different approach than others do, tapping into different benefits of visual communication. 

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