Where’s Waldo Communication

by | Oct 5, 2019 | ICT4D |

Where Wally (aka Waldo) is firm favourite with our kids. They know what they need to find on each page. And while they like searching with my wife or I, they are also content to search on their own.

In a recent trip to the library before a road trip, there were no Where’s Wally/Waldo books. However, there are lots of spin offs, so we picked up a bunch of them about farmyards, jungles, and narwhals. We were all pleased.

Unfortunately, the narwhal book was the only one out of the five that gave clear, consistent, and image based instructions about what to find. The other four books had different, text-based instructions on each page. Not a big deal if you can read, but my 3 year old can’t and my 5 year old is just starting. So the peaceful car journey in which the kids would be content looking for Wally became slightly different. Every two minutes the sound of ‘found it’ was followed by ‘what does this say?’ or ‘what do I need to find next’.

I found a similar experience on a recent flight. Every airline has the instructions about what to do in an emergency on a laminated piece of paper in the seat pocket in front of you. Every one of the instructions is image based with very little, if any, text. On my flight, there was an extra piece of paper, this time from Barclay’s bank. The card gave a few suggestions about choices to make when travelling abroad. For example, pay in local currency not your home currency when given the option. Again, this was primarily image based.

There are countless other examples of how messages of various types have been communicated by images rather than text. They become more accessible to different age groups and different linguistic ability.

So in our ‘going digital’ work, how can we exponentially improve how we communicate the issues of consent, protection, privacy, sharing, and so on using images?

The choice is ours.


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