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Navigating complexity

Graphic vocabulary

Prepare a set of visual assets to speed up mapping activities

The context

Building visualisations is a powerful way to communicate research insights and enable collaborative work around solutions. Having a predefined set of graphics gives the possibility to quickly build maps and diagrams, as well as to create a shared visual vocabulary that everybody in the organization and the team recognize.

Suggested approach

The graphic library can be created already at the beginning of the project, by identifying key elements that need a visual representation (icons) and a set of colors with specific meanings (palette). The graphic library usually includes all the actors involved in the system or experience that we are dealing with and all the service touchpoints. The kit can either be created by drawing the icons in Illustrator and exporting them as pngs to be used across software, or assembled by downloading vector icons from the web.

Value added

Creating a shared graphic vocabulary at the beginning is a way to establish a common language, empower non-designers to express their thinking visually. The shared library will speed up the generation of all the visualisations needed, as well as enable other people in the team to contribute and build their own map or visuals in a consistent way.

Thinking ahead

The graphic kit can be the starting point for the preparation of a set of predefined templates (e.g. system map, customer journey,...) that allow the team to work even faster, giving them structures to begin with, so they don't have to reinvent the wheel every single time.

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