How to learn to draw behavior gap style diagrams ?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Post Reply
Topic Author
sharukh
Posts: 306
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2016 10:19 am

How to learn to draw behavior gap style diagrams ?

Post by sharukh »

Hi,

I have seen few people do a very good job of expressing message diagrammatically.
Here are few examples:

https://store.behaviorgap.com/collections/all-sketches

http://liminalthinking.com/book-snippets/

Any courses that will teach this ?
Any books ?

Thank you
Last edited by sharukh on Fri Sep 04, 2020 1:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
sailaway
Posts: 2822
Joined: Fri May 12, 2017 1:11 pm

Re: How to learn to draw behavior gap style diagrams ?

Post by sailaway »

Do you want to learn how to use visual aids well (a teaching issue) OR do you want to learn how to make these hand drawn style graphics on a computer (a technical issue)?

Part of the issue is that while there are plenty of resources about what kind of visual aids to use, there is something of an art to learning to simplify concepts into two or three basic components that can be drawn cleanly. If you take a look at this blog, they lay out different kinds of graphics you might want to use for teaching, but every example they give is overwhelmingly crowded with detail - they have a four way Venn Diagram, which results in 10 overlaps! It could be useful for certain situations, but it will take an hour, rather than two short paragraphs, to go through what is being demonstrated.

You will probably be best off with a teach yourself approach that gathers a few good examples of what you want to aim for, categorize the different types of charts and diagrams they use, how the information relayed varies, including the average/maximum number of components per visual, and start practicing on your own. There are quite a few financial youtube channels that use this style well.

For example, in the pages you linked, there were two bar charts intended to show the gap between to concepts and three circular flow charts to show cycles (or to show how to break a cycle), but a fourth timeline that shows a vicious cycle, where the poor result doesn't come in until the cycle has been repeated a few times.
deserat
Posts: 59
Joined: Fri Dec 27, 2019 5:08 am

Re: How to learn to draw behavior gap style diagrams ?

Post by deserat »

Agree with @Sailaway, there are some basic design guidelines for visual representations of data or ideas, but I've found that it requires use of both sides of the brain: analytical and creative. It's also like a professional athlete; they make many things they do look so simple and yet they are not easy (or vice-versa). There are people who are very good at the simplification and proper visualization of data (just like there are people who are wizards with language). What I've found is you need to figure out what you want as the focus/foci and then use that as the perspective or lens for the creation of the visual notation. Moreover, editing away that which is non-essential becomes the most important aspect: simplify, simplify, simplify.

I have taken classes in the visual representation of data and information - outside of the few websites you have shown (for tools,etc), I've found some classic books by Edward Tufte (Envisioning Information) and Manuel Lima (Visual Complexity-Mapping Patterns of Information) to be very inspiring (and beautiful). A more recent book, Dear Data by Lupi and Posavec, is a more modern take on how to visually represent display data in a whimsical way that shows two contrasting styles for the same data.

Note: just because you buy a tool, that does not mean you will necessarily do well at the task. Moreover, I've found when I'm a beginner, the tool can sometimes overly influence my perspective ('when you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail'). A good beginner tool (pencil and paper?) when learning a specific approach or task enforces the focus on the task. When one gets better at the task, one makes a better informed decision about the tools used to aid in the task.
User avatar
batpot
Posts: 1217
Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2013 8:48 pm

Re: How to learn to draw behavior gap style diagrams ?

Post by batpot »

Tufte is the first person who came to mind.

I'm always skeptical of people who show simple info graphics to explain complex situations...particularly when they have a product to sell.
e.g. a sine wave to express "buy low and sell high"....no thank you :x

I'd also refer you to Parkinson's Law of Triviality...here's a nice info graphic summarizing it: :mrgreen:
https://thecodersblog.com/assets/images ... effect.jpg
Topic Author
sharukh
Posts: 306
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2016 10:19 am

Re: How to learn to draw behavior gap style diagrams ?

Post by sharukh »

Thanks very much for the pointers.
Surely will work on it.
Fallible
Posts: 7696
Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2009 4:44 pm
Contact:

Re: How to learn to draw behavior gap style diagrams ?

Post by Fallible »

sharukh wrote: Thu Sep 03, 2020 9:06 pm Hi,

I have seen few people do a very good job of expressing message diagrammatically.
Here are few examples:
https://behaviorgap.com/
http://liminalthinking.com/book-snippets/

Any courses that will teach this ?
Any books ? ...
You have great ideas already posted here so I'll just say that your subject interest, the behavioral gap, will guide you to the best way to express that interest via computer or perhaps freehand drawing. It appears you're looking now for technical expertise, but what you want to express, your ideas and understanding of your subjects well enough to express them simply, is the starting point. First, know well what it is you want to express.

As the poster deserat noted: "...I've found that it requires use of both sides of the brain: analytical and creative. ... What I've found is you need to figure out what you want as the focus/foci and then use that as the perspective or lens for the creation of the visual notation. Moreover, editing away that which is non-essential becomes the most important aspect: simplify, simplify, simplify."
"Yes, investing is simple. But it is not easy, for it requires discipline, patience, steadfastness, and that most uncommon of all gifts, common sense." ~Jack Bogle
Teague
Posts: 2150
Joined: Wed Nov 04, 2015 6:15 pm

Re: How to learn to draw behavior gap style diagrams ?

Post by Teague »

A guy by the name of Richard Feynman was pretty good at this sort of thing. Apparently he was pretty good on the bongo drums as well.

Image
Semper Augustus
User avatar
bertilak
Posts: 8145
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 5:23 pm
Location: East of the Pecos, West of the Mississippi

Re: How to learn to draw behavior gap style diagrams ?

Post by bertilak »

The classic book on this subject is THE VISUAL DISPLAY OF QUANTITATIVE INFORMATION by Edward R. Tufte.

EDIT: I see Tufte has been mentioned above.

Here is his famous example. Brown: Napolean marches on Moscow. Black: Remaining troops go home. Width of lines represent number of troops. Ftom a behavioral perspective we can see it was a rough campaign.
Image
I wonder if Hitler ever saw this.

As Vizzini said in Princess Bride: "Never get involved in a land war in Asia.'
May neither drought nor rain nor blizzard disturb the joy juice in your gizzard. -- Squire Omar Barker (aka S.O.B.), the Cowboy Poet
Fallible
Posts: 7696
Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2009 4:44 pm
Contact:

Re: How to learn to draw behavior gap style diagrams ?

Post by Fallible »

Teague wrote: Fri Sep 04, 2020 1:46 pm A guy by the name of Richard Feynman was pretty good at this sort of thing. Apparently he was pretty good on the bongo drums as well.

Image
And fwiw, he was also an artist, with impressive drawings to his credit after taking art classes starting around age 40. He embodied both art and science, especially the creative aspects of both.
"Yes, investing is simple. But it is not easy, for it requires discipline, patience, steadfastness, and that most uncommon of all gifts, common sense." ~Jack Bogle
Lindyhopper
Posts: 28
Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2018 3:34 pm

Re: How to learn to draw behavior gap style diagrams ?

Post by Lindyhopper »

The samples you showed made me think of Dan Roam's book The Back of the Napkin, where he provides a methodology for knowing what types of drawings to use in different situations. There is quite a bit about it online, and the library probably has his books as well as Tufte (my signed copy of which gathers dust).
Post Reply