Visualization and storyboarding

Learning Objectives

At the end of this learning unit, you will be able to:

  • Identify the types of images typically used in training products.
  • State the qualities of a good visual in instruction.
  • Identify the graphic strategies appropriate for a given type of content. 

Having discussed all the important strategies to design and write content for training materials, let us also have a look at some of the graphical elements and strategies that will make your content more appealing.

 
 

That’s great. It would definitely add value to the content and enhance its presentation.

What is an image

Also known as a picture or a graphic, an image is a visual representation of a real or an abstract concept. An image could be displayed using any media: a computer screen, a poster, a hoarding, a book or even a television. The various types of images are:

a.    Photograph
b.    Illustration
       •    Cartoon
       •    Line Drawing
       •    Computer Generated
c.    Map
d.    Diagram
e.    Chart
       •    Organizational Chart
       •    Flow Chart
       •    Pie Chart
       •    Bar Chart
       •    Line Chart
f.    Collage

Qualities of a good visual in instruction – a checklist

  1. Is there enough contrast between the foreground elements and the background?
  2. Are the foreground elements (like text and images) clearly visible?
  3. Is the visual appropriate for the target audience?
  4. Does the visual connect to the learner’s existing knowledge?
  5. Is the visual related to the content that is being taught?
  6. Are the highlights and pointers clear?
  7. Is the association between the text and the images clear?
  8. Does the visual contain only relevant information?
  9. Is there a consistency in the usage of various elements in the frame?
  10. Is there consistency in the way a style is used?
  11. Does the visual present learning guidance?
  12. Does the visual gain learner’s attention?

Graphic strategies

CONTENT BEST SUITED LEAST SUITED
Components of…

Graphical/screenshot/diagram presentation with emphasis pointers

Progressive disclosure

Shrunken focus

Color coding of an element + tags

Flow Charting

Individual visualization of frames based on a common base graphic or composition.

Features

Advantages

Functions

Shrunken focus

Highlight and Display

Flow charting

Graphical/screenshot presentation with emphasis pointers

Color coding of an element + tags

Individual visualization of frames based on a common base graphic or composition.

Types of …

Color coding of an element + tags

Progressive disclosure

Textual presentation with emphasis on tags (dimming or coloring strategies) if the idea is too complex to be visualized simply.

Flow charting

Shrunken focus

Comparisons/differences

Progressive disclosure

Graphical/screenshot presentation with emphasis pointers

Color coding of an element + tags

Flow charting>

Individual visualization of frames based on a common base graphic or composition.

Terminology/definition, Concepts/explanations of…

Textual presentation with emphasis on tags (dimming or coloring strategies)

Individual visualization of frames based on a common base graphic or composition.

Progressive disclosure

Flow charting

Small multiples

Shrunken focus

Graphical/screenshot presentation with emphasis pointers

Color coding of an element + tags

Sequence of steps in a process

Flow charting

Progressive disclosure

Textual presentation with emphasis on tags (dimming or coloring strategies) if the idea is too complex to be visualized simply.

Shrunken focus

Color coding of an element + tags

Individual visualization of frames based on a common base graphic or composition.

Guidelines or rules

Small multiples

Textual presentation with emphasis on tags (dimming or coloring strategies) if the idea is too complex to be visualized simply.

Color coding of an element + tags

Flow charting

Summary

In this learning unit, you learned that:

  • Images are of different kinds.
  • A good visual instruction has certain qualities. It should have clarity, contrast, and consistency in addition to providing learning guidance.
  • Various graphic strategies can be used to depict various types on content.
 

Wow. These visualization strategies would surely be helpful in enhancing the presentation of the content in our training materials.

Thanks a ton Martin for providing such valuable insights for designing and creating learning materials. I am looking forward to share these with my team of authors so that we all can benefit from these learnings and create resourceful learning materials.

I am glad that you found these to be useful. I wish you and your team good luck with using these strategies to create engaging documentation.