Some weeks ago someone asked me why I use images so extensively. Besides the fact that I am very fond of images and graphic design I took a course some years ago about how people learn which made many things a lot clearer to me.
So called infographics became very popular lately which seems like the answer to what I learned about learning.
There are three types of learners. These types only describe our predominant learning method and all of us possess all three channels which we can develop by training. But as soon as we come under stress we are back at “our” learning channel. (You would hear me screaming: “Explain this to me. NOW!”)
As you can see on the infographic above the eye is the most powerful tool if it comes to perception.
Alas, the brain is the limiting factor and the numbers on the right describe the bandwidth of what we actually consciously process and hopefully memorize.
3 Learning Types
The eye is the channel that takes the most information in the shortest period of time. Visual people like images, illustration and videos and learn well by reading.
These people retain information well if they are explained to them. Teacher-centered teaching is very practical for them. It is said that they are the most abstract thinkers and do not care so much about who is teaching but what is being taught.
These people learn by doing things. Our school system does not make their life very easy since the lessons are mostly based on theory. They are often very creative and talented if it comes to crafting things.
Although the tests we completed during this course clearly showed that I am an auditory learner images are still useful to memorize things. The rule is that the more channels we can activate the easier we learn new things.
My guess is the social media that cut us short make images even more necessary. A tweet – meaning a message in Twitter – must not exceed 140 characters. People who work with (social) media want their message to spread as much as possible. I created another infographic to demonstrate how images influence your articles to go viral.
There are at least two (statistical) reasons to use images
- Make articles more attractive so you’ll get more readers
- People will memorize what you have to say more easily
However, images are no substitute for research and well written articles.
P.S. My favourite social media platform is Pinterest which exclusively consists of images.
PPS Maybe you want to try this test about your learning style. It worked for me but I am not so sure about its accuracy.