Documentation and Presentation

Perhaps one of the areas of greatest challenge and advancement through this research was that of documentation and presentation. Previously much of my work in crafting strategy and designing products, services and social processes, has been within organisations in collaborative teams. Our research, rationale, decision making and execution of concepts was all done within these collaborative coalitions, so the need for documentation and presentation of ideas was rarely required.

As I developed this research, I found this was a discipline which needed some work for me - I relied heavily on written documentation, which was often dense and hard to synthesis or communicate quickly and effectively.

Having spoken with various designers who engage in systemic, strategic and ‘fuzzy front end’ practice, it feels there is a common challenge is in how to present research findings which:

  1. retain the richness of complexity, whilst also,

  2. capturing the findings in a way which are able to be communicated and worked with as a temporal artefact to inform design decisions [73].

So throughout the project I played with a variety of approaches to share the outcomes of the research phase, from metaphor to animation, and systems maps to notated graphics. In the end, I found storytelling in the form of visual artefacts, supported with a narrative, the most pragmatic and clear.

I am quite content with the visual depiction of the layers of the systems intervention, and how they interact in this case. Whilst I never trained in visual communication design, I feel like there is significant opportunity in the future to explore how to communicate systems interventions, and the various data, insights and decision which are collected and made along the way.