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Aug 24, 2016

Visual Intelligence: Sharpen Your Perception

Amy Herman visited Google's office in Cambridge, MA to discuss her book "Visual Intelligence: Sharpen Your Perception, Change Your Life".

In her seminar, the Art of Perception, Herman has trained experts from many fields how to perceive and communicate better. By showing people how to look closely at images, she helps them hone their “visual intelligence,” a set of skills we all possess but few of us know how to use properly. 

She has spent more than a decade teaching doctors to observe patients instead of their charts, helping police officers separate facts from opinions when investigating a crime, and training professionals from the FBI, the State Department, Fortune 500 companies, and the military to recognize the most pertinent and useful information. Her lessons highlight far more than the physical objects you may be missing; they teach you how to recognize the talents, opportunities, and dangers that surround you every day. 

Apr 22, 2016

Project Mind Mapping with XMind

Mind mapping software can be a powerful tool for managing, Browsing the XMind blog, I came across this interesting and useful mindmap about a Project Plan.

Nov 11, 2015

Why people believe they can’t draw - and how to prove they can

Why is it that so many people think they can’t draw? Where did we learn to believe that? Graham Shaw will shatter this illusion – quite literally - in a very practical way. He’ll demonstrate how the simple act of drawing has the power to make a positive difference in the world.

Graham specialises in the art of communication and has helped thousands of people to make important presentations. He is perhaps best known for his use of fast cartoon drawings to communicate ideas and is the author of ‘The Art of Business Communication’.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

Sep 14, 2015

Video: a fascinating history of visualizations

A few weeks ago my good friend and Visual Thinking fellow Walter Maes pointed out to me an interesting video: A Visual History of Human Knowledge. The image above is the sketchnote I took  while watching the video.

In this fascinating TED presentation, Data  expert and founder of Manuel Lima explores the thousand-year history of visualising information and explains the increasing shift away from using tree metaphore to networks of information.

Aug 12, 2015

Rediscovering the Webbing Technique

You may have heard about a visual thinking technique called "Webbing", also called "Clustering". 
This technique is not derived from Mind Mapping. The first uses of the Webbing technique bring us back to the 18th century in Europe. As shown in the image below about mythology dating from 1741. 

This technique involves entering key words or short phrases in bubbles. They are connected to one another around a center, which is the main subject.
No, or very few, colors or images. The tool is simple, it helps to organize ideas in a visual way and to get a synthetic map
The first publication explaining how to use this technique, "Writing the natural way" was written by Dr. Gabriele Rico, a professor of English and Creative Arts during the eighties. Focusing on creativity, split-brain research, and the writing process, she developed clustering in her doctoral dissertation at Stanford University in 1976. 
A tool used recently for culinary innovation
More recently, in Spain, "El Bulli", one of the world most famous restaurants, has implemented the Webbing technique.  For several years, the chef Ferran Adriá and product designer Luki Hubber encouraged the use of Webbing. A large amount of Web Maps were created  to explore new recipes, flavors... in a collaborative way.  The technique was part of the innovation process of the restaurant.    
The result of these experiment is a new  methodology called "Manual Thinking", where the bubbles are materialized by removable labels we can place on a foldable blank map.  Manual Thinking allows all members of a team to be at work at once, writing and drawing their ideas and opinions on these labels. The maps offer a large support to organize the labels and visualize the content in its context.  
Here are below a Web map I built using this method:
Click on image to enlarge
 The Webbing technique is intuitive and less restrictive than mind mapping but also poorer in its visual rendering.
It is used by the largest number in multiple situations: brainstorming, note taking, meeting, team work, learning ...

We can also discover the use of Web maps with the famous Canadian sommelier François Chartier in his book "Taste Buds and Molecules" , as shown in the Web map below.

This is a simple way to represent the ideas in a non-linear and divergent manner. In  my opinion, the Webbing technique represents also a useful step to then access to more complex tools such as Mind Mapping or Concept Mapping. For these reasons we make us of the Webbing Technique during the first part of our Visual Mapping workshops in Paris and Madrid.