I've been on information and work overload for weeks, it seems. That's why my posting here has been sparse lately.
My school-work and legal consulting work, our Business Blogging Boot Camp workshops and blog, and helping Yvonne with business planning for the transition of her main consulting practice into a new "author-services" business that we'll be launching soon (lots more to come on that project; press; her book), all have left little time for sleep, let alone thoughtful posting.
But Yvonne's blog is among my must-reads and her recent post on the subject of strong women prompted one of her readers to comment and that led me to a quick observation on the relationship between writing and information design.
The comment came from Yvonne's fellow author and blogger, Rosa Say, whose book Managing with Aloha deserves a full post of its own for its teaching on nineteen Hawaiian values to inspire leaders. But for now, Rosa herself was inspired by Yvonne's post on "strong women" to re-examine her feelings about that term and shared this quote as descriptive of Yvonne's impact:
"The skill of writing is to create a context in which other people can think."
For Rosa, Yvonne had "created a context" in which to think, and even to re-think, her understanding of the concept: strong women.
Rosa's compliment to Yvonne immediately made me think that this is what we should aspire to do when we add information graphics to our writing.
The whole point of adding graphics is to expand the impact of our writing to the majority of readers who process visual information more readily than verbal. But it struck me as I thought about this idea of creating context in which other people can think, that "writing" and "adding graphics" should not be separate activities, but blended ingredients of good information design.
Words create pictures in the mind for some. Pictures stimulate the formation of ideas better for others. Together, they offer the best chance for effective communication — and for creating those wonderful, stimulating contexts in which others, no matter which their dominant learning style may be, can think.