Visual Communication

There are many ways to convey ideas or statistics of business. Different people respond to different forms of stimuli with varying degrees of success. In terms of a presentation, many people focus more on the states represented visually as opposed to the presenter’s actual words. This is because visual communication is something most people are used to. With the right tools, it is possible to display a larger volume of information in a way that most people can reference and understand. Tools like pie charts, bar graphs and other diagrams are commonly used because of their simplicity and ability to convey complex data in a simplified form that is more palatable to most. So we’ll be talking about visual communication, meaning the method of communicating information using visual tools.

Importance of Visual Communication 

So, what is Viscom or Visual Communication? One can define visual communication as the practice of visually representing information in a way that can be effectively understood. Visual communication can be interactive with different types of motion and transitions incorporated to add to the aesthetic value and the overall “smoothness” of the presentation. While presentations are often referenced here, they are not the only form of visual communication available. One will find that any image, video or other representation that conveys some specific information can be viewed as a form of visual communication. 

There are many types of visual communication: A simple chart or graph can be generated using data provided on a spreadsheet and this is usually available on any competent presentation software. Trends or behaviour are often easily tracked when data is viewed in such a form. Knowing the advantages and disadvantages of visual communication is also important as one proceeds to make full use of the same while also avoiding the disadvantages of visual communication. These many forms of visual communication, each have their optimal operating conditions based on the data on hand. Some Visual communications examples would be a line graph that helps track profits and a pie chart depicting the percentage of employees in each department.

In the history of visual communication, it has been used to convey carefully collated data with well-plotted graphs. The fact that it is used extensively even today is a testament to its efficiency. 

Advantages of Visual Communication 

  • Visual communication is a lot easier on the eyes and the mind as words tend to be tiring to process after a certain point of time. Visual communication not only gets the point across to a larger group but can also do so in much less time even when visual communication is only used to supplement a verbal portion of a presentation. 

  • Visual communication is a much easier way to track growth in numbers as it will be much easier to understand the scale of a graph rather than a string of numbers written down or narrated verbally.

  • Visual communication requires less mental resources to process allowing for more mental energy to be diverted to a discussion of the information presented rather than wasting energy and time to absorb information from a string of words/letters/numbers. It is a lot easier to review the results of any project and how to proceed with said results. 

  • Visual communication increases the aesthetic value of any presentation. It becomes easy to see and even easier to understand. Adding additional effects like multiple colour codes will make it easier to differentiate different streams of data in a way that won’t overwhelm those who view it. Visual communication bypasses the standard absorption limits of the human brain to convey information.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q1. Are there Any Drawbacks or Limitations to Visual Communication?

Ans: While visual communication is an effective way to communicate larger quantities of information, it also has limits on exactly how much information can be displayed at once. Given that information is usually displayed along a scale, it may be possible for abnormally large or infinitesimally small values will not be properly accommodated within the larger picture. For example, a graph representing a handful of values from 0-10 will be difficult to make if some of the values were too high. Apart from this, it is also possible for the mind to be overloaded by visual communication.

Q2. Can Visual Communication be Accompanied by Other Forms of Communication?

Ans: In an ideal world, visual communication would be the best and only way to convey information. However, a verbal presentation with attractive visual communication aids is also a preferred method of conveying data. While visual communication is a great way to present something, it should also be noted that there are many cases where assisting audio will also allow for easier understanding or in some cases can provide a form of emphasis.

Q3. How Does One Choose Different Types of Visual Communication?

Ans: Many types of visual communication are all capable of collating and representing specific types of data. For example, a pie chart is a great way to represent parts of a whole (like % of the population) and can be used to compare the parts of a single system with one another. Other tools like multi-toned line graphs are used to compare different systems on a single scale (for example, the budgets spent by multiple departments can be measured this way). While the same data can be displayed with multiple types of visual communication, it all comes down to how it is best represented along with personal preference.