Visuals, design and the eye
“A picture is worth a thousand words.” Or is it? Well there are some who would agree to the quote, whereas others would not. When I think about pictures in this context I think about cave drawings and even the ones done by Ancient Egyptians. Does that mean everyone reads pictures the same way? Of course not, each and every one of us have a different perspective, depending on how we look at it and then how we analyze it. And now how about ‘visual media’, does everyone see it the same way or differently? And what makes them perceive it in that way? If everyone communicates and interacts differently then what exactly constitutes a good design? Does it all come down to the ‘eye of the beholder’?
In Pre-K it is all about visual literacy. These three year olds are not ready or able to read words but they can very well read pictures. They gain knowledge by pretend-reading or picture-reading books. Our Word Wall is full of pictures under each alphabet. They can read graphs and charts, all because they are represented in pictures. And what appeals to them visually, appeals their hearts and understanding. And therefore our calendar is all about pictures rather than dates, which of course they could not relate to.
These kids cannot remember what happened on a certain date, but with the pictures they relate those activities and thus remember how their day or week went. The appealing power of the visual gives a stronger message to the student rather than the text or number in this case!
This fact is also mentioned in the article about preschoolers and brands
“Learning to classify things by name is a deep part of learning language,” says Alison Gopnik, author of The Philosophical Baby.
The child might connect a word with a certain visual, even if it does not make sense to the adults around them. And that is why one of my student’s calls a ‘marker’ a ‘colol’. She has just sorted it into the category of colors and not markers.
I remember when my son was little he was very fascinated with the ‘Golden Arches’. Every time we passed one, he would want to go to McDonald’s – not for eating but for the play area. He had not yet learned to talk but he could definitely spot the visual and know that he could go there and have fun in the play area. He had associated the visual with his feelings of happiness.
Us as learners
We are visual learners, some more so than others. Personally, I consider text a part of visual learning. So learning by reading something, looking at pictures or infographics, even watching a video or by following someone’s example makes us visual learners. We are capturing information through our eyes first and then analyzing with our brains.
I was just thinking, Pinterest is a good resource for many but at times I feel overwhelmed because there are so many things on a single page that my eye sort of runs all over the place. UUGGGHHH!!! This might not be a good example since Pinterest is a website and I am thinking about changing the appearance of my blog.
So what matters now is…
I look at all the other CoETaIL blogs and I think how interesting and appealing they look. I tried to make a couple of changes to mine by following the videos posted by the instructors and ended up making a jumbled mess. I have been pulling my hair out since I am not tech-savvy. So what do I do now?! I want my blog to be eye-catching in a professional way so that anyone looking at it would want to know more and read more and maybe follow it too.
When I look at the design elements mentioned in the article by Dustin Wax, and think about my posts, am I using the techniques mentioned under contrast for my text? Uh… at times I use headings, other times…uh…What about repetition? Check! Alignment? Check! Proximity? Still working on that. I guess the foundation of my blog’s face is okay but how to take that one step forward and make it interesting? Well that’s the goal I’m working towards.