Rich Pictures: Understanding collaborative communication through educative interpretation

Simon Bell, Steve Morse

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Our world is growing smaller and the need for communication grows acute. Pictures and symbols cross all barriers. Symbols have evolved over time to offer universal directions, information and meaning. Symbols are not a replacement language but instead they supplement existing language conveying meaning more readily and concisely.
In this paper we discuss the Rich Picture (RP), showing how powerful the tool is when exploring differing world views of a complex situation. The RP is a physical picture drawn by a variety of hands which encourages discussion and debate for groups. RPs consist of a set of entities we call icons. Icons can represent objects or processes such as action of emotion. The RP expresses, via a symbolic language, and aids group understanding by initiating problem investigation in a permissive environment. RPs have, to date, been seen as an enquiry tool in system design and their real usefulness expires after completion. Issues are with RP interpretation. We offer a new way of understanding the RP; Eductive Interpretation (EI). We suggest; through the use of EI, people gain greater meaning from the RP. We argue the knowledge value of examining the RP through the lens of EI.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMore than Pretty Pictures: The Aesthetics of Data Representation
Publication statusIn preparation - 1 May 2015


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