Today’s postcard comes to us from Leni Matthews, a User Experience Librarian at the University of Texas at Arlington in Arlington, Texas, USA, who uses info walls to help visualize projects and expand thinking. We love this idea (and her thoughts of using the ceiling as well).
You have probably seen pictures like these thousands of times. Sticky Notes, drawings, and doodling all over the wall to show a process or plan, for brainstorming or organizing. Here’s another, but I want to share with you why this “info wall” is important.
It provides an endless space. I can go up as far as I need to (with a ladder of course) and as far wide. Our thinking patterns are more robust and stretches out in different directions that a computer screen or sheet of paper cannot reach. A larger surface to work on helps us to visualize and create more. On this info wall, I can see my ideas as one unit, all of its interconnectedness and non-connectedness. It is like a panoramic view, like having a large screen. I do not have to flip through sheets or scroll; the wall keeps it all together. I can add as much that is necessary with all this space. This wall is merely touching the beginning stages of what the mind is really doing while trying to conceptualize and organize. No telling what could happen if I start using the ceiling…
This info wall also stands as a constant reminder of what I need to focus on, what I need to remember, and things that have to be done in the near future. I read that visualizing design, actually drawing experiences is helpful in seeing situations from the perspective of others. As a User Experience Librarian, this is meaningful to me, to visualize from the user’s point of view because it helps me meet their needs. And what better place to start this visualization process other than a huge wall. Draw it, write it, doodle it. Get all your ideas out in the open. Literally. Use the space around you and get creative. So, the next time you see pictures like these or actually visit a space with stuff all over the wall, remember that it is of the mind, not just a wall. You should try it.