One of the main pillars in design thinking and service design is the notion of ‘making things visual‘. This includes visualizing ideas and concepts to get a deeper, more valuable discussion by means of drawings, icons and diagrams. Additionally, it includes prototyping and creating low-fidelity representations for concepts, helping in testing and validating hypotheses.
Rabobank’s real-life software architecture
A great little example of how powerful visualizations and concretizing abstract topics can be, is shown by the Rabobank: they decided to build out their software architecture in scale, in real life:
Isn’t that a great way to discuss improvement, identify pain points and see where (quite literally) potential gaps exist? I was quite amazed by it. Some simple, yet effective.
It also reminded me of how people are often trying to visualize blockchain. As this technology is super abstract and hard to comprehend, numerous visuals have been made to better represent the concept of nodes and decentralized connections. This certainly helps in gaining more understanding on the topic, but they’re often still 2D and therefore hard to ‘touch’. The 3D Rabobank model goes one step further and does allow people to walk around it, tweak it and use that additional dimension to their likings.
Image: example of node visualization in Blockchain