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The Back of The Napkin (Dan Roam)
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The Back of The Napkin (Dan Roam)

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From a nice book that teaches us how to use simple graphics in smart way to deliver information.

From a nice book that teaches us how to use simple graphics in smart way to deliver information.

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  • 1. The Back of the Napkin Workshop
    Solving Problems with Pictures
    Dan Roam
    MIX08 :: UX03 :: March 5, 2008 :: The Venetian
  • 2. 2008 © Dan Roam THE BACK OF THE NAPKIN all rights reserved
    2
    Visual thinking: what problems, what pictures, and who is ‘we’?
  • 3. 2008 © Dan Roam THE BACK OF THE NAPKIN all rights reserved
    3
    Rather than draw this:
    Let’s draw this:
  • 4. 2008 © Dan Roam THE BACK OF THE NAPKIN all rights reserved
    4
    Rather than focus on this:
    Let’s focus on this:
  • 5. 2008 © Dan Roam THE BACK OF THE NAPKIN all rights reserved
    5
    Exercise 1: the Who is ‘We’ self-assessment
  • 6. 2008 © Dan Roam THE BACK OF THE NAPKIN all rights reserved
    6
    a) I’m in a brainstorming session in a conference room that has a big whiteboard. I want to:
    Go to the board, pick up a pen and start drawing circles and boxes.
    Try to decipher whatever is already written on the board.
    Go to the board and start writing categorized lists.
    Add a little clarification to what’s already up there – you know, to make it clearer.
    Forget the whiteboard – come on here, people, we’ve got work to do!
    I hate brainstorming sessions.
  • 7. 2008 © Dan Roam THE BACK OF THE NAPKIN all rights reserved
    7
    b) Someone hands me a pen and asks me to sketch out a particular idea. I:
    Ask for more pens, preferably in at least three colors.
    Just start sketching and see what emerges.
    Say, “I can’t draw, but…” and then make a horrible stick figure.
    Start by writing a few words, then putting boxes around them.
    Put the pen on the table and start talking.
    Say, “No thanks, I can’t draw”, and leave it at that.
  • 8. 2008 © Dan Roam THE BACK OF THE NAPKIN all rights reserved
    8
    c) Someone hands me a complicated spreadsheet and asks me to look it over. I first:
    Glaze over and hope it will go away.
    Flip through the pages and see if something – I dunno, whatever – pops up.
    Read across the top of the columns or down each row in order, to identify the categories.
    Select a row and column at random and follow them to the data cell, then look for similar (or different) data results in other cells.
    Look for the largest or smallest values I can find, then trace them back to identify them.
    Notice that OPEX variance to budget is down for the second quarter in a row.
  • 9. 2008 © Dan Roam THE BACK OF THE NAPKIN all rights reserved
    9
    d) On my way home from a conference, I see a cute fellow attendee at the airport cafe, and he or she asks me what I do. I:
    Grab a napkin and ask the waiter if I can borrow a pen.
    Pick up three packs of Sweet-n-Low, lay them on the bar, point to one and say, “Okay, this is me over here, and this is the customer over here…”
    Pull out a page from my PowerPoint deck – a really good page – and start walking through it.
    Start to recite my original job description: “There are three things that I do…”.
    “What I do? Well, better buy another round, because we’re going to be talking a while.”
    Say it’s too complicated to explain well, but ask him/her the same question.
  • 10. 2008 © Dan Roam THE BACK OF THE NAPKIN all rights reserved
    10
    f) I’m an astronaut floating in space. The first thing I do is:
    Take a deep breath, relax, and take in the whole view.
    Pull out my camera.
    Try to spot my house… or at least my continent.
    Start describing what I see.
    Close my eyes.
    Find a way to get back into my spacecraft.
  • 11. 2008 © Dan Roam THE BACK OF THE NAPKIN all rights reserved
    11
    Now comes the math, I’m afraid…
    5-14
    15-20
    21-30
    On a napkin, write your pen COLOR, and then…
  • 12. 2008 © Dan Roam THE BACK OF THE NAPKIN all rights reserved
    12
    Draw a circle and call it “me”…
    Napkin exercise, step 1
  • 13. 2008 © Dan Roam THE BACK OF THE NAPKIN all rights reserved
    13
    Step 1b
    Now draw another circle (more like a cloud) and give it a name, too…
  • 14. 2008 © Dan Roam THE BACK OF THE NAPKIN all rights reserved
    14
    So, which problems shall we look at…
  • 15. 2008 © Dan Roam THE BACK OF THE NAPKIN all rights reserved
    15
    What’s the business strategy challenge?
  • 16. 2008 © Dan Roam THE BACK OF THE NAPKIN all rights reserved
    16
    Put into words…
    The challenge:
    • A new strategic vision
    • 17. A refined company mission
    • 18. A new operating philosophy
    • 19. New retail fundamentals
    • 20. New store standards
    • 21. New customer practices
    • 22. New training materials
    +
    100 new staff every month…
  • 23. 2008 © Dan Roam THE BACK OF THE NAPKIN all rights reserved
    17
    How about a napkin map?
  • 24. 2008 © Dan Roam THE BACK OF THE NAPKIN all rights reserved
    18
    Product development: Why are we collecting all these numbers?
  • 25. 2008 © Dan Roam THE BACK OF THE NAPKIN all rights reserved
    19
  • 26. 2008 © Dan Roam THE BACK OF THE NAPKIN all rights reserved
    20
  • 27. 2008 © Dan Roam THE BACK OF THE NAPKIN all rights reserved
    21
  • 28. 2008 © Dan Roam THE BACK OF THE NAPKIN all rights reserved
    22
  • 29. 2008 © Dan Roam THE BACK OF THE NAPKIN all rights reserved
    23
  • 30. 2008 © Dan Roam THE BACK OF THE NAPKIN all rights reserved
    24
  • 31. 2008 © Dan Roam THE BACK OF THE NAPKIN all rights reserved
    25
    What are the three things the CFO does want to look at?
    Financial Drivers
    Date Cut
    Org Unit
  • 32. 2008 © Dan Roam THE BACK OF THE NAPKIN all rights reserved
    26
    So, what might *that* look like…
  • 33. 2008 © Dan Roam THE BACK OF THE NAPKIN all rights reserved
    27
    Or, when executed in Expression Blend…
  • 34. 2008 © Dan Roam THE BACK OF THE NAPKIN all rights reserved
    28
    Step 3
    Draw in the last circle, only make this one more of a hotdog…
    then add in a + symbol…
  • 35. 2008 © Dan Roam THE BACK OF THE NAPKIN all rights reserved
    29
    Step 3
    The universal visual thinking problem solving toolkit…
    Draw in the first set of 3 blades…
  • 36. 2008 © Dan Roam THE BACK OF THE NAPKIN all rights reserved
    30
    3 parts or ourselves to improve
  • 37. 2008 © Dan Roam THE BACK OF THE NAPKIN all rights reserved
    31
    Step 4
    Draw in the next set of blades, this time 4 of them…
  • 38. 2008 © Dan Roam THE BACK OF THE NAPKIN all rights reserved
    32
    Let’s think about ‘process’ for a moment…
  • 39. 2008 © Dan Roam, all rights reserved
    33
    The 4 steps of visual thinking:
    What is out there?
    What am I looking at?
    What are the limits?
    Which way is up?
    What do I see?
    Have I seen this before?
    What patterns emerge?
    What stands out?
    What seems to be missing?
    How can I manipulate these patterns?
    Can I fill in the gaps?
    Have I seen enough – or do I need to go back and look at more?
    This is what I saw, and this is what I think it means.
    Is this what I expected… or not?
    When you look at this, do you see the same things?
  • 40. 2008 © Dan Roam THE BACK OF THE NAPKIN all rights reserved
    34
    Step 5
    Now draw in a corkscrew, and give it 5 twists…
  • 41. 2008 © Dan Roam THE BACK OF THE NAPKIN all rights reserved
    35
    *whew* Time for a break on the islands…
  • 42. 2008 © Dan Roam THE BACK OF THE NAPKIN all rights reserved
    36
    How about ten apples?
  • 43. 2008 © Dan Roam THE BACK OF THE NAPKIN all rights reserved
    37
    Meet the SQVID… a.k.a ‘The 5 focusing questions’
  • 44. 2008 © Dan Roam THE BACK OF THE NAPKIN all rights reserved
    38
    Two ways to use the SQVID
  • 45. 2008 © Dan Roam THE BACK OF THE NAPKIN all rights reserved
    39
    SQV.. examples:
    Qualitative
    Simple
    Vision
    Elaborate
    Quantitative
    Execution
  • 46. 2008 © Dan Roam THE BACK OF THE NAPKIN all rights reserved
    40
    ..ID examples…
    Delta
    (change)
    Individual
    Status-Quo
    Comparison
  • 47. 2008 © Dan Roam THE BACK OF THE NAPKIN all rights reserved
    41
    Step 6
    Now draw in the last set of 6 blades…
  • 48. 2008 © Dan Roam THE BACK OF THE NAPKIN all rights reserved
    42
    The 6 ways we see:
  • 49. 2008 © Dan Roam THE BACK OF THE NAPKIN all rights reserved
    43
    <6><6>
  • 50. 2008 © Dan Roam THE BACK OF THE NAPKIN all rights reserved
    44
    Framework 1: “Portraits” for WHO / WHAT problems
  • 51. 2008 © Dan Roam THE BACK OF THE NAPKIN all rights reserved
    45
    Framework 2: “Charts” for HOW MUCH / HOW MANY problems
  • 52. 2008 © Dan Roam THE BACK OF THE NAPKIN all rights reserved
    46
    Framework 3: “Maps” for WHERE problems
  • 53. 2008 © Dan Roam THE BACK OF THE NAPKIN all rights reserved
    47
    Framework 4: “Timelines” for WHEN problems
  • 54. 2008 © Dan Roam THE BACK OF THE NAPKIN all rights reserved
    48
    Framework 5: “Flowcharts” for HOW problems
  • 55. 2008 © Dan Roam THE BACK OF THE NAPKIN all rights reserved
    49
    Framework 6: “Multiple-variable Plots” for WHY problems
  • 56. 2008 © Dan Roam THE BACK OF THE NAPKIN all rights reserved
    50
    Step 7
    Done: our
    very own visual thinking universal problem solving tool kit!
  • 57. 2008 © Dan Roam THE BACK OF THE NAPKIN all rights reserved
    51
    Step 8
    Give it to a friend, and help them see the power of visual thinking, too.
  • 58. 2008 © Dan Roam THE BACK OF THE NAPKIN all rights reserved
    52
    Speaking of airplanes…
  • 59. 2008 © Dan Roam THE BACK OF THE NAPKIN all rights reserved
    53
  • 60. 2008 © Dan Roam THE BACK OF THE NAPKIN all rights reserved
    54
    Dan Roam
    djroam@gmail.com
    Office: 415-695-0231
    Mobile: 415-823-5794
    39 Romain St.
    SF, CA 94114
    www.digitalroam.typepad.com
    www.thebackofthenapkin.com