Created by Tom Curtis 2011, all pictures taken by authorContent originally appeared as a blog seriesBlog: www.onimproving.blogspot.comPresentations: on www.slideshare.net/onimproving Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgTwitter: @onimproving
Introduction Well designed visuals facilitate action. Poorly designed visuals create waste.This slide set contains questions to review nineelements of effective visuals. They will help usimprove our existing visuals and help us create better and more effective new ones. Let’s start bettering our visuals. --Tom Curtis
When we think about creating Lean visuals we need to think about position, about where we are going to post the visual. Here are some questions to help: Where is the visual to be posted? Can it be seen by those who need to see it? What is posted around it? Does it need to be updated? Does it need to be accessible? Is there an alternate location that would be better that the original spot based on the answers above?In thinking about the positioning of the visual we are creating, we can improve its impact and usefulness.
We need to look at size in two ways. 1. The size of the visual itself. (How big should the visual be?) 2. The size of the elements of the visual. We should ask these questions: Is there a space limitation based on positioning? Is there an industry standard? Is there a plant or ofﬁce standard for this type of visual? Does the visual need to be read or interpreted or just seen? From how far away? What limits are imposed by our choice of the visual size?Picking the correct size will help in the development, implementation, and interpretation of our visual.
Some help on picking a shape: Is there a standard shape for this kind of visual in industry or workplace? What shapes will our decisions on position and size allow? Is there a shape that adds to the message (example arrow pointing which way to go)? Is this a visual that will be replicated? If so, is our shape easy to create?Shape can help dictate the effectiveness of our message.
The goal in creating visuals is to covey a clear message that leads to a speciﬁc action. Below our questions to help us in this clarify in process. What message are you trying to send? What action do you want taken? How are they connected? Is the connection strong enough for the message to drive the action? If not, how can we strengthen the connection? What form should the message take? Written? Visual? Combined? What can we do to reﬁne the message?The message is the focal point of the process. We need to ensure it is strong enough to facilitate the action desired.
Meaning is the interpretation and understanding of the message. We need to create a visual that can only lead to the intended understanding. Some things to think about. What meaning do we intend? Is it clear to us? Who is the audience of the visual? How might they interpret the words or images differently? (we can ask them) What are the consequences of those interpretations? A couple of helps: Invite the end users to help in the design. Review ﬁnal product with users. Train and audit to ensure meaning and action is consistent.We must ensure that the visual is interpreted and understood in a standard way.
Context is the situation and surrounding that the visual will be viewed in. Understanding context helps us ensure our meaning will not be altered or missed. Do you know the context for the visual you are creating? Some questions to help. Do you know in what setting (during process, in meeting, or in passing) the visual will be viewed? Do you know what other visuals are posted around it? Do you know what else it might be reviewed with? When will it be normally viewed? By whom will it be normally viewed? Do any of the answers above require a change in the visual? Do we need to change the context it will be viewed in?Understanding and getting the context right will help our visuals effectiveness.
Color have can grab our attention and can help us signal. What color or color scheme should you use?Is there an accepted color for you message? (i.e. Red for stop or abnormal, yellow for warning, green for go or normal) Is there a standard in the facility or area? Are there colors you should avoid? Are there colors that would make the visual more visible?Color done wrong can distract and detract, while color done right can enhance and impact.
With contrast we think about what the physical surroundings of our visual are. What we can look for: If with other visuals: What other visuals will exist around the proposed? If there are other visuals, should they all look a standard way? If not, should this one stand out? If yes, which elements should be adjusted? (Shape, Size, Color, Position) If by itself: If the visual is alone, what do the surroundings look like? Should it stand out? If yes, should the surroundings or the visual be changed? If the visual, which element? (Shape, Size, Color, Position) Getting the contrast to the environment right will help our visual be its most effective.
The other 8 elements lead to this ﬁnal one: clarity. This is the goal of our visual. Review the other 8 elements you have worked through and the visual you have designed: Does the visual get the desired result? If not, what needs to be changed? Have we made it as effective as possible? If not, what needs to be changed? Is the visual clear? If not, what needs to be changed? In working through these 9 elements we have strengthened our visual. We need notmake this a difﬁcult or long process, but if we will use this process we can create clarity and impact through our visuals.