Visual Thinking Definition – What is Visual Thinking?

When conducting a brainstorming session, some of the most successful techniques are usually to visualize information, sketch it out, or create a diagram to explain a concept. These are not simply brainstorming tools, but are actually visual thinking strategies. In this article, we will define visual thinking while walking through some common examples and applications of it in the real world.

Visual Thinking Definition

Visual thinking is a unique style of learning that collects and sorts out ideas by depicting them visually. Alternatively called picture learning, it helps us to sort thoughts graphically. In its most essential structure, the importance of visual thinking is entrenched in the ability to convey ideas and concepts through a visual medium rather than over text.
Our minds are prepared to create pictures, regardless of whether we’re thinking verbally or envisioning an idea. This perspective also helps prompt innovation, which comes from visual as well as verbal thinking. Accordingly, visual thinking can prompt a more impressive and noteworthy experience than verbal thinking alone, and it’s well known that people learn best through visual aids.

Examples of Visual Thinking


Brainstorming through mind maps or spider charts is a good example of how visual thinking can be applied through online whiteboards. These diagrams are some of the most famous visual exercises and are what usually come to mind.
Brainstorming is a method by which we can isolate thoughts into topics and see associations not seen previously. Many individuals go to the dependable pen and paper to conceptualize, yet one more approach to brainstorming is to utilize an internet-based platform, particularly while working together between many individuals. Fresco is a platform that permits numerous individuals to work together on one screen and utilize these popular brainstorming techniques.

Presentation Slides

One more type of visual thinking regularly utilized is presentation slides. They permit us to guarantee that our crowd comprehends us intelligently, and provide a shared understanding to multiple people rather than having individual discussions. The spotlight here isn’t on the presenter, but on how the people take in a presentation.
Using visual thinking during a presentation can be helpful to ensure you eliminate possible errors in your flow. Guaranteeing that presentations are kept clear and compact is one more manner by which visual reasoning can be helpful when presenting the material. You can use a slide library and creative designs to keep your presentation clear every single time.

Flash Cards

Utilizing visual thinking can likewise be an incredible method for consolidating a little sensation learning into your routine. Sensation learning is the process of memorizing things by doing an actual activity. Sensation learning is one more manner by which our minds can review data, and visual thinking is an important part of this process.
By adding visual aids to the flashcards, or creating separate versions that are visually significant, you are more likely to remember their meaning without even reading the definition. This shows how visual thinking can be incredibly impactful when learning new material, especially thought flash cards.

Characteristics of Visual Thinking

  • Visual Thinking organizes ideas graphically.
  • It helps to recall and memorize data more clearly.
  • Adds visual comprehension to detail-based.

Visual masterminds likewise depend on a few apparatuses, for example, pencil, paper, record cards, whiteboards, and programming devices. They externalize their inside interaction, that is to say, transform it into a substantial visual configuration so that it’s unmistakable and noteworthy.

Importance of Visual Thinking

Regardless of whether you’re a student or a business owner, visualizing information is fundamental for sorting out your thoughts and breaking down information. Independent of the business or the job you’re in, visual thinking is a profoundly important quality for everyone, especially in regards to innovation. Regardless of whether you’re working freely or in a group, this visualization methodology can assist you in evaluating thoughts and participating in significant meetings to generate new ideas. It assists you with painting a clearer image to interior or exterior partners, in this way, providing creative and impactful ideas.
Advantages of Visual Thinking:
We’ve already discussed some of the reasons visual thinking is helpful, but here are some clear advantages to implementing it into your daily routine.

Visual thinking strategies are imaginative, and they’ll offer valuable new viewpoints and help track down innovative answers.
When people think visually, they brainstorm thoughts by spreading them out graphically, which further supports collaboration and joint effort.
Clarifying objectives or project aims is more straightforward when they’re visualized graphically (through presentation slides).
With the progression of digital advancements, visual thinking is turning into a critical process across associations. Organizations are likely to accentuate plan thinking and framework thinking, among others.

Fresco Mind Map Example

How Visual Thinking is Applied

If you are a business leader or leading a team, visual thinking becomes a survival skill in the workplace. It not only makes your work exciting and engaging but also helps you solve critical problems in an efficient way. You can use the following tools to apply your visual thinking skills more efficiently at the work:

Mind Maps

Mind maps or spider charts are very helpful in the brainstorming process, that is, a smooth flow of thoughts, opinions, and ideas. It’s one of the most common tools that inspire critical thinking. You and your team members can link different thoughts and ideas to develop a web of ideas. An online whiteboard can be used to create a mind map easily along with a pencil and paper.

Presentation Slides

You can use presentation slides to present an idea in meetings with internal as well as external workers. It guarantees that the audience comprehends the material intelligently, and keeps everybody in total agreement.

Flow Charts

One more type of visual thinking, flow charts, permit you to be clear regarding your thoughts. It limits miscommunication as you can present your idea in detail by drawing it as a flow chart. This bit-by-bit approach lays out a detailed sketch as well as breaks down issues with more noteworthy effectiveness. Visual thinking can assist you with sorting out data, contemplations, and thoughts better. Also, it invigorates inventiveness and energizes new viewpoints.

How to Increase Visual Thinking

In order to be as efficient as possible, it’s important to implement visual thinking exercises in the right circumstances. While they can be helpful in a ton of different ways, if they aren’t applied properly they won’t be as effective. Here are some exercises that help to access visual thinking and creativity. For reference, these are mainly ways that teams and individuals can pursue a greater sense of creative thinking, and through these exercises, influence their work product in the future.

Completing the Incomplete Figure Test

The Torrance test of creative thinking is considered to be one of the best creativity tests. Users are given incomplete images and are asked to complete them. Higher marks were given to those, whose answers included rich imagery, obscure narrative, and fantasy. One can do this exercise at home using online whiteboards, rather than participating in a research group to gain the benefits of this thought experiment.
This exercise is very helpful for opening your mind to alternative possibilities and can help increase your innovative capacity both at work and in your personal life.

Blind Creativity Exercise

It is a direct observation technique introduced by Mark McGuinness, who is a marketing and creative coach. The aim of this visual thinking exercise is to work on a drawing that one can really see, instead of what you think you see. For this exercise, all you need to do is grab a pencil and some paper. Allow yourself 5 minutes. Now, DO NOT look at the page while drawing, turn around and hold up your hand and look at your hand only while you are drawing, not at the paper. Your task is to draw the creases, folds, and marks of your hand and not your full hand.
The challenge of this exercise is to not lose your focus while doing this. In the end, you will have an image that is unique and, while inevitably different than your desired drawing, will have some unique and familiar aspects that you can analyze.

Lori McNee Suggestion

According to Lori McNee, one way to increase visual thinking is to literally turn your world upside down (drawing upside down). To do this, take a picture of a person’s face and turn it upside-down and try to draw it that way. Forget that you are drawing a human face. Instead focus on the shapes, lines, and patches of light and dark.
This exercise is based on the concept from Betty Edward’s book “Drawing on the right side of the brain” this exercise allows us to get rid of conditioned perspective to look for recognizable shapes that make up the face rather than seeing, “oh this is where the nose is supposed to go, this is the place for the eyes,” we begin to draw more realistically.

Use Random Items to Make Useable Things

This is a brilliant and fun exercise where you pick up the junk material and use it in your project. Normally, we see the objects for their intended purposes while a child sees the cardboard box like a rocket ship. Try making useable things out of trash. This is intended to increase your ability to manufacture results and designs out of seemingly unimportant objects, something that can be very helpful in the workplace.


Visual thinking is the process of insight through visual handling, and it is frequently portrayed as considering words to be a progression of pictures. For visual learners, a picture or diagram can yield a considerably more impressive and essential growth opportunity than verbally expressed words or composed messages.

Visual thinking alludes to a way for learners to externalize their internal thinking cycles, making them more expressed and significant. It can likewise be a method for getting sorted out contemplations and developing decisive thinking and communicational abilities. If you liked this article, make sure you stay tuned to Fresco to express your visual thinking on our free online whiteboard.


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