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Wednesday, August 7 • 10:45 - 12:00
Visual Thinking for the Visually Reticent (Michael Keeling, Rebecca Wirfs-Brock) POPULAR

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The best designers make complex ideas understandable. Whether you design algorithms or user experiences, architectures or team processes, understandable ideas are easier to share with teammates and to reason about. Visual thinking is one of the most powerful tools in our silver toolbox for helping us create understandable ideas. Drawing is a natural ability we all have. As kids we had little trouble expressing our ideas visually, but we’ve noticed that lots of adults have trouble putting pen to paper (or marker to whiteboard) to draw a picture of what’s on their mind. At some point along our journeys to earn diplomas and advanced certifications, many of us lost the ability to think visually. We became masters over textual information but drawing complex ideas became difficult. Luckily, visual thinking skills can be improved with practice. In this session we will reawaken our visual minds and learn how to put those skills to work to help us design software better. By the end of this session you will be well on your way to being able to select abstractions to visualize, draw different perspectives of a system, use your sketches to tell interesting stories, and sketch your ideas more confidently. This is a learning by doing session that you won't want to miss!

Learning Outcomes:
  • Use at least two visual thinking frameworks to help decide what to draw under varying circumstances.
  • Describe the benefits of visual thinking in the context of software design.
  • Explain tips and strategies to teammates for practicing visual thinking and sketching.

avatar for Rebecca Wirfs-Brock

Rebecca Wirfs-Brock

Wirfs-Brock Associates
I'm best known as the "design geek" who invented Responsibility-Driven Design and the xDriven meme (think TDD, BDD, DDD..). I'm keen about team effectiveness, communicating complex requirements, software quality, agile QA, pragmatic TDD, and patterns and practices for architecting... Read More →
avatar for Michael Keeling

Michael Keeling

Staff Software Engineer, LendingHome
Michael Keeling is a software engineer at LendingHome and the author of Design It!: From Programmer to Software Architect. Prior to LendingHome, he worked at IBM on the Watson Discovery Service. Keeling has a Master of Science in Software Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the College of William and Mary... Read More →

Wednesday August 7, 2019 10:45 - 12:00 EDT
National Harbor 3