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Most people make the mistake of thinking design is what it looks like. People think it’s this veneer — that the designers are handed this box and told, ‘Make it look good!’ That’s not what we think design is. It’s not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.
— Steve Jobs
Design thinking is often used by tech giants such as Apple and Google to find solutions and drive innovation—but many still don’t know what it can do for their business. This is where design strategists like Stefano Messori come into the picture. A self-described “designer of thinking, not of looks,” Stefano helps organizations of all sizes visualize their strategy in order to organize their thinking, present creative solutions and better address customer needs.
Instead of using pro design software such as Adobe Illustrator to create visual strategy templates, Stefano uses Visme, which gives him enough tools and flexibility to create what he envisions in his mind and, at the same time, is easy enough to master in a few minutes, with no design training.
We had the chance to speak with Stefano about his experience with Visme and how he uses it to create all kinds of business strategy templates. Here is what he had to say, in his own words:
For the last six years, I’ve been working as a trainer and design strategist. So what I do is help companies visualize their business strategy through a set of visual templates, which I create with Visme.
I help all kinds of clients, from entrepreneurs to large companies, visualize different ideas in one template, whether that be the development of a new product or how they go about their sales strategy. This not only helps them visualize something intangible like strategy, but it also aligns strategic thinking within an organization. So, instead of juggling 10 different ideas about a product or strategy, I use a template to organize our thinking.
I also provide online training, which enables me to transfer knowledge to clients who are located in different countries across the globe. So I conduct webinars using these templates and show my clients how to implement these visual strategies within their organization.
One template I created, which was successful both with my clients and in my online training courses, was a visual description of the difference between incremental and disruptive innovation.
Since most trainees don’t have a clue of what I’m talking about because it’s an abstract concept, I needed a way to communicate this visually. So what I did was use Visme’s Financial Report template to create two graphs that highlight the difference between these two types of innovations.
Visme also allowed me to embed a presentation with animation effects on my blog, enabling me to visualize the dynamics of a process directly in my post. For example, using this same template, I embedded an animated image that illustrates the difference between these two types of innovations with a simple, 5-second animation that plays automatically.
As an entrepreneur, I use AppSumo a lot and purchased Visme through this daily deals website.
Before using Visme, I was using another similar tool called DesignBold, but I found it’s not as reliable and stable as Visme. I would spend two hours customizing a template in DesignBold and then when I would go to download it, all the objects would appear moved in the PDF. With Visme, I can render a presentation with 10 to 15 slides and get a perfect PDF in less than 30 seconds.
Other advantages that I have with Visme that I don’t get with other tools is that it enables me to animate projects and embed them on my site.
Since I offer professional training services, the templates I offer my clients and use in my online training sessions must be of high quality. Before using Visme, I used to create them manually, but they weren’t professional-looking visuals.
I’m not a graphic designer. I think I know three commands in Photoshop because it’s not something that appeals to me. I prefer to concentrate on deepening my knowledge of strategy and design thinking rather than become a graphic designer. You can think of it this way: I am a designer of strategic thinking but not of aesthetics.
The advantage I have with Visme is that it enables me to communicate the magic of design, not only because it looks good but because it enables me to inspire creative thinking in my clients and spark conversations within their organizations that would otherwise not exist.
The fact that you can save specific blocks of content from a presentation and infographic to reuse in other projects I think is terrific. For example, if I have a simple template that I use with a manager of an organization, I can then save that template as a block and insert it into another larger project (such as an infographic) that visualizes the overall strategy of a company.
For me, this is a great feature because it enables different people from different departments to visualize their work in light of the overall strategy of an organization.
Definitely. The unique value proposition that Visme brings to the table is the ability to use visuals to impact the way a company perceives their strategy and strategy engagement. For the first time in 10 or 15 years, strategy is becoming more and more visual, and tools like Visme allow me to think about strategy at different levels of an organization and then draw them together using a visual like an infographic.
The only thing I would like to see improved is a greater selection of templates in Visme. Sometimes I can’t find a specific presentation template for my needs, so what I do is go to the infographics section and save a portion of the project as a block and then insert that piece of content into my presentation project.
I think Visme’s presentation templates are very data oriented, which enables users to make numbers more visual, but in my case, I would like to see more conceptual diagrams and templates that visualize ideas more than numbers.
How is your organization using visual thinking to spark innovation and creativity or find solutions to challenging problems? Let us know in the comments section below!
And if you still haven’t taken Visme for a test drive, try it for free for as long as you like.
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