314 - Linking the New with the Familiar Using Visual Metaphors

Wednesday, May 12, 2021
Video & Media

Vivid imagery has the power to spark the interest of learners, motivating them to pay attention and increasing their ability to retain information. Choosing images to illustrate abstract and complex content can be a challenge, and instructional designers with tight deadlines, strict budgets, and limited graphic design skills often prioritize words over pictures without realizing the cost of doing so. Adopting a few best practices of visual metaphor will help you create a visual narrative that leaves a lasting impression on your audience.

The application of visual storytelling is as much art as it is science. In this session you will be invited to consider why images are such a powerful tool in your instructional design toolbox and how you can use visual metaphors to illustrate abstract concepts. After exploring a strategy to quickly identify effective images, you will have the opportunity to work some metaphor magic of your own. Because the perfect image is a rare find (especially in stock photo repositories), you will also learn steps that you can take to make "almost right" photos even more compelling. Integrating these visual storytelling strategies into your next project will help you create a visual narrative that leaves a lasting impression on your learners.‬‬

In this session, you will learn:

  • Why images are such a powerful tool in our instructional design toolbox
  • What a visual metaphor is
  • How to find images to illustrate abstract ideas
  • How to evaluate images to decide if they truly enhance the content or if they might distract or confuse your learner
  • How to refine stock images to make them more interesting and more effective

Technology discussed:

PowerPoint, Adobe PhotoShop, online stock photo repositories like Unsplash, iStock, Pexels

Jana Brunken, Senior Learning Designer for Visual Design - ansrsource

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