Wednesday 2 June 2010

Book Review: The Back of the Napkin

Hey, you really like hovering images, don't you?Due to my profession I often find myself explaining something to someone and more and more times I catch myself on grabbing anything I can draw with and start visualizing my ideas. It’s just much easier to explain if you have some visualization points you can easily roll back to – just pointing at them with your finger. All I knew about visualization was intuitive so it was really great to find a book that covers visualization in depth – The Back of the Napkin by Dan Roam.

This book is very good in organizing your mess of intuitive visualization ideas into clearly distinguishable piles of sorted ready-to-use ideas. Dan is an expert in applying ideas visualization to solving business problems and throughout his long career he extracted some basic principles and patterns that are now presented in this book.

Dan explains the process of processing information and presenting it to other people. He describes how information enters our eyes, enters our brain, transforms into adequate understanding and then is presented to listeners. Then Dan looks at each phase in details, highlighting most important aspects of it. You’ll know what questions use to universally analyze any situation (the 6W principle), how to choose what edge to pick (SQUID system) and how to wrap this all with logic and defeat your current problem.

All these principles and patterns are wrapped with interesting real-life stories and are very easy to understand when reading the book. Go get one – you won’t regret it!

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