A picture speaks a thousand words - how to use visual research to enhance your business

Ben Furneaux - Principal Designer - Sony Playstation

Ben Furneaux - Principal Designer - Sony Playstation

I went to speak to the good people at Sony Playstation recently. Before I turned up to do the talk I sent some Fieldwork DIY Kits ahead with a challenge, to document working life at Sony Playstation over the course of a week.

Two workers took the challenge on and after my talk they shared their photographs and stories about working life. There was plenty to share, but one of the things that stuck out was the power of imagery in adding depth to the memories of a moment in time.

It stuck out so much that one team at Sony Playstation have decided to buy a camera and start documenting projects over time, to help them with project post mortems and to create an archive of working life at Sony.

If you were thinking about doing something similar, the process doesn't have to be complicated. You could decide on some things to capture, things that symbolise milestones in the project. You could capture any visual elements such as product research, design and post it note explosions. You should capture the people involved in the project along with representations of their mood, behaviour and any symbols.

The simplest way to capture is to try and act like you are seeing all these things for the first time and had to use the photographs as a way to tell the story of the project. Then at the end of the project, set up your post-mortem session and bring along prints of all the photographs and invite people to use them to tell stories. You could even ask them to create an exhibition using the photographs.

If you'd like to chat with us about this kind of exploration and deeper understanding of work, get in touch with us at Fieldwork. You can watch my talk here.

Curtis James