Already an experienced facilitator, using play and design thinking methodologies within large organisations, Roman Schoeneboom came to the Scriberia Academy to improve his ability to communicate with drawing. But he came away with so much more.
Roman Schoeneboom is a UX Design Systems Lead at a global wealth manager company, based in Zurich, and a boxfresh graduate of the Scriberia Diploma.
Tell us a bit about your work:
I’m a UX Design Systems Lead and, in reality, this is a hybrid role: I support my team with projects or feasibility studies, and I plan and facilitate design thinking workshops. One of my first projects at the bank was helping HR to understand how easy (or difficult) it is to apply for a job there. Straight away, I found myself using visual metaphors or visual maps - a service blueprint or customer journey map, perhaps - to help them understand the situation from the customer or the business perspective. I’d try to show, visually, where the gaps were, where the holes in our communication with the candidate were, and how this impacted their emotional journey.
What are the benefits of drawing out an idea:
Drawing allows you to quickly bring your ideas and your intentions out of your head and onto a whiteboard or a piece of paper where everyone can see it. Then you get everyone gathered around and quickly aligned because they can see what you mean and give you feedback on it. I find it super important to bring visuals to that process, because it’s the best way to be really clear and really efficient. When I’m working with colleagues in a large organisation, trying to get to grips with their challenges, I say: “What would help me is if you can draw this out. Draw out your thoughts. Draw a little bit of the process. Make very simplistic boxes.” You don't have to be Michelangelo to convey meaning.Through drawing, I think you can connect really quickly with people.
Where do you see the greatest value in drawing at work?
In businesses where you have meeting mania -- meeting after meeting after meeting - people come in with agendas, everybody is talking… but, in the end, if you ask them how much they really have captured, how aligned they are, you’ll find it’s a very low percentage. They will need another meeting to align on this. But, by drawing and visualising those conversations -- visualising exactly what we are currently talking about -- you get people straight away to give you input. Within a very short amount of time you’ll gather differing opinions, and this will lead to a conversation on what we need to agree on, in a much more controlled and, hopefully, much more positive way. And that’s why I use visual thinking. And why it’s so important within a business context. You can invite people to your world.
What was your biggest takeaway from the Diploma?
The takeaway for me was that I need to simplify things. I tend to overthink and overcomplicate. And the course helped actually to say, okay, so what elements are really essential you want to communicate, and how do you arrange them?
And this kind of thought process going through the grid, or how you structure the page, and how you align the content towards it to it make it simple and easy for my audience to pick it up. I think that was number one.
What would you say to someone who was considering the Diploma?
If you like drawing and you want to get better at it, the Diploma is for you. And, if you don't draw at all, but you want to - the Diploma is for you too! Just jump in. Throughout the six weeks, they will take you through really well-structured, well-facilitated sessions where you learn a lot and where you can apply most of these learnt abilities and methods straight away to your day-to-day work. And so it’s very beneficial.
When I reflected on the course, all of the sessions were great, the exercises were great. It really got my heart pumping. It was a lot of fun. It was a great cohort as well, the people who participated, what they shared. I really liked that we had this constant feedback availability, and looking at the work the others did. I very much liked that we brainstormed as a collective.
I thought the resources after each session have been amazing. A great course, brilliantly delivered. Really well done.
Want to know how to use drawing and visual thinking to make complex things simple and hard things easy? Our next Diploma course is enrolling now.