Using large format visualizations to iterate on concepts and communicate designs.

Ux • Graphic Design


There's a natural tension in communicating designs between presenting the details of a design while maintaining the context of the overall user experience. It's so easy to make decisions that are right at the detailed level but miss the mark in the overall scope of the experience.

One technique I come back to again and again is large print user experience diagrams. I typically map out an experience across a 4ft by 20ft - 40ft diagram and pin it up on the wall. This way it's easy to drill into the details at any given point while maintaining the overall scope of the user experience.


These diagrams are particularly helpful when collaborating with other team members. They’re great for presenting the scope of a design and they serve as a great working surface for brainstorming ideas. Not only does this get people out of their seats and away from their computers, it also provides enough space for people to organize in small groups and work though problems.

Once the meeting is done I usually take the diagram down and incorporate the decisions into a new version of the document which then become the working document for the next meeting. Once we've settled on an experience as a group the document can then be used as a communication tool for the rest of the company.


This image was created to communicate the design direction for a new version of and existing product. The top of the image shows the existing product with breakouts that show the new features to be added.

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This image was used to communicate the direction for a new product. On the far right is a summary of the target audience. The center shows the different areas of the new product along with a high level navigation. The last part of the image dives into the technical issues around data ownership when the user is online vs offline and licensing issues.

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This image was used to show all the projects the user experience team were working on. At the far right of the image are the user needs mapped agains the goals and objectives of the company. These are then broken out into more detailed information for each of the projects.

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As part of a product release I accumulate all the customer issues from customer service, training couches, quantitative research and business development and ranked them by severity and frequency. I then mapped the issues against the objectives of the company to come up with a set of priorities for product development.

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