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Why do we crave visuals?

November 10, 2020
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Julie Chandler
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It’s no random chance that we crave visually stimulating content; we process visuals 60 000 times faster than we process text.

We are genetically wired to respond better to images! In terms of human evolution, we only developed language and words relatively recently.

Here is an example of information conveyed only with text, followed by information (some text) accompanied by appropriate illustrative visuals. Compare your reaction when perceiving the two formats...

Text only format:

Here are the facts; humans are visually wired.

Visuals improve memory. Learning improves 400% when visuals are added. Almost 50% of your brain is involved in visual processing and 70% of all your sensory receptors are in your eyes.

Visuals aid comprehension. People who follow directions with illustrations and text do 323% better than people who only have text. Anyone who has tried to assemble furniture without any visual guides can attest to this.

Visuals are simpler to process. 1/10 of a second is all it takes you to understand a visual scene - versus 60 seconds to read 200-250 words.

Visuals reduce potential misunderstandings. It takes us only 150 milliseconds to process a symbol, and 100 milliseconds to attach a meaning to it. When people see a word, they may have different interpretations of it, but when they see a picture – they all understand it.

Did you read or even take in any of that? Let’s try that again.

Now, the text plus visuals format:

The difference is dramatic. Visuals are powerful! The visuals undoubtedly enable us to grasp the meaning in a shorter space of time. There is also less opportunity for misinterpretation, especially when we consider that those reading the text may not have it as their first language - or at all.

And if we look around us, our daily lives are filled with examples of visual communication - the emoji you used to send your friend love this morning or the road sign you obeyed. It’s clearly more effective to use visuals to communicate and we as humans crave it more!

At Jincom, we recognise the power of visuals where it matters most: We specialise in health and safety infographics that inform and protect the most valuable resource in every company, their employees.

Allow us to protect your company and its workforce by creating clear, concise and powerful visual messages for your workplace. We believe visuals improve safety.

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