There is certainly a trend that is up and about, with the notion of “Concept to Collaboration”, but I strongly believe, we are still behind, and are potentially missing an opportunity in creating tools and aids that could help one to take a concept to visualization. It probably is the next logical step in trends, as we move closer towards Natural Human Interfaces (NHI) – as Speech and Sight are two major senses that we live by. Let me briefly explain what I mean.

Believe it or not, most people think in terms of pictures and mental visualizations. Think why using powerpoint is the easiest, and popular way to convey and drive a message across, and you’d understand. Mental stimulation, especially those associated with pictures, make a lasting impression and register in the mind well, to follow up with the person who is trying to explain them.

Here are some Statistics: [Source: Wikipedia]

According to L.K.Silverman’s research for over two decades, there is a high confidence (over 80%) that:

* At least one-third are strongly visual-spatial.
* One-fifth are strongly auditory-sequential.
* The remainder are a balance of both learning styles.

If you take a rough approximation of the first group of people who are mostly visually oriented, and the third group of people who are a mix of both, you have quite a critical mass of people that you could potentially cater to. It is said that most of the creative thinkers, inventors, designers and architects are visually oriented – which is all the more reason why “tools” which can be used to visually collaborate, prototype and manipulate, need to come into existence… soon.

let me a depict a couple of Professional scenarios:

In Web designing: It is often quite a struggle to quickly put together a prototype of the image and design you have in your mind, without all the routines and struggles of popular graphic design applications (such as Corel Draw, or PhotoShop, or AI) create stumbling blocks which deteriorates the thought process, creating a loss in the quality of the final work. The key is in understanding that visual thinkers aren’t sequential in their mental process, and even the slightest distraction can have an impact in the quality of the work produced.

I have been thinking about a couple of ideas for creating some promotional videos for Proto, for the last few days and there is no tool out that that will allow me to convey that to rest of the team members, without almost sounding maniacal.

For the case of a web designer, or User Interface Designer, there are absolutely no tools that cater to him directly, forcing him to use tools that graphic designers use, and there is a major discrepancy between the thought, the prototype and the final work.

I believe companies such as 360 degrees with their Product TracBac, are taking a step in the right direction, but there is still a fair bit of distance to go. Visual Collaboration will, in many ways create the push and the momentum for the next generation of interface design, both in software and in hardware causing the next leap of advancement ahead.