Minimalism

in Visual Communication

Introduction

Minimalism is a concept initially applied in the field of art. This contemporary concept has been creating enigmas in the viewer’s minds as its interpretation is left to the viewer with a hint.  This leaves the viewer by interpreting according to their own imagination by not force feeding the artist’s ideas. The minimalism in communication has been evolved from this concept and was put forwarded by Professor John .M. Carroll. He is the professor of Information sciences and technology and known for the theory of minimalism in communication. J.M. Carroll based his theory on the idea of gaining knowledge through self-understanding than imposing the ideas on to them and has concentrated his works on analysing how people responded to a new technology.

Minimalism

Minimalism is a practical approach. It flags the concept of learning through doing.  Rather than learning a new technology by reading texts, it is more effective through practical application. For a slow user, the technical text can be confusing is easily misunderstood and with the usage of jargons even the meanings can be misinterpreted. This creates the user to move away from learning anything new and will be perceived as difficult and time consuming. Carroll’s methods encourage a person to do things instinctively and by learning through using it. A person who does Photoshop himself will be expert than those who follow written instruction from a book.  This is because the people always try things out and relating it with the thoughts which they are already familiar with. So by converging the human mind’s vastness into simple steps, they might end up being reluctant to new technologies. People are appealing to meaningful interaction than following the instructions. For a computer based training self- understanding is the most effective method.

Scope

The minimalistic theory is mostly applied in understanding the people’s perception and learning of new technologies. The effectiveness of technological documentation among the people is analysed by applying this concept.

Example

Ryan was interested in graphic design and bought a book on new designing software. He found the book to be very confusing with the jargons and finally he gave up learning. When he got the software he began trying out various keys and codes. Many attempts were in vain. But finally from many unsuccessful attempts, he started to figure out the software. The excitement instigating from interpreting something new always insists people to learn and understand more.

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