Communications from the Washington, DC — Baltimore Chapter
Information about the visualization of a subject in technical communication such as a drawing, painting, photograph or other work of art. Information may include exhibitions, examples, art schools, and professional organizations.
I love IKEA. Do you know one of the things I love most about IKEA? Their instructions. They are universal and easy to understand. This $10 billion dollar company has nailed one of the factors that I think contributes to their success: Simplicity. This Scandinavian company located in 38 countries primarily uses pictures in their instructions, and these pictures rival the artwork of most ten-year-olds. The instructions are surprisingly straightforward and universal, so everyone from the astrophysicist to the 18-year-old college freshman can follow them with little-to-no trouble.
How important is simplicity in communication? Very. Taking a page out of IKEA’s book, the short and direct approach, which in their case includes pictures, is key. (On a side note, I find this approach key when it comes to explaining to my husband how to properly separate clothes before he washes them, but I digress.)
If a picture is worth a thousand words, learn from IKEA and make sure you can communicate a comprehensible message to the widest-possible audience.
Our Flickr account holds photos from conferences, banquets, and meetings. These are collected in photo albums on the Phot Albums page. In addition to the chapter's photos, we are connected to several groups in Flickr that contain interesting images to use for your blogs and other writing related to technical communication. Scroll to the section on the Photo Albums page called Group Photos and review the collection for each group. You'll be sure to find something you can use or get a few laughs. The groups are listed as follows:
Writing Machines – Photos of typewriters, printing presses, and movable type—anything to do with the mechanical reproduction or creation of the written word.
Writing – Photos about writing and the life of writers. If you are a writer/journalist, you can show fragments of your writing life. Includes photos of handwritten pieces, pens, notebooks, Moleskines, and so on. Photos of people writing and artworks if the theme is “words, writing, writers”.
Written In Stone – Photos of inscriptions (i.e., words, phrases, names) carved into stone such as on tombs, monuments, and buildings.
Camera Toss – is a particular form of kinetic photography— the camera must be airborne and unobstructed by the photographer or other means.
This is a “technique” group, and the technique here is regarded by some as insanity. For we are the reckless folks on flickr that enjoy the abstract, chance, generative, physical photography that results from throwing our cameras into the air (most often at night in front of varied light sources). It is about trading risk for reward in the pursuit of art. It is not about being a photographer, it is about enabling the photography that happens naturally when you let go of the process, give up control, and add a hell of alot more variables. It is about physics, gravity, angular momentum, acceleration, direction, chaos, and timing… most of which you have tenuous control of at best!
You Have to be Wealthy Everything that represents wealth – expensive cars, luxury houses, interiors, expensive furniture, rich man’s food, expensive yachts, etc… If that’s something that rich person would buy, eat, visit, sit on, rent, drive, wear or even talk to – get it here! The photos of actual rich persons are welcome too (but it has to be obvious from the photo that he or she is rich).
Flickr API – Photos related to Flickr API projects. The group’s aim is to drive awareness of the Flickr API, projects that use it, and those incredible ideas that programmatically exposed systems produce. Think Google API + Amazon API + Flickr API with a bit of GMail thrown in.