Visual language as an integrated, multicultural medium for product design and testing: How to optimise the product-consumer-researcher client relationship

Date of publication: June 15, 1995


Visual language has become an invaluable integrated-multicultural communication medium between consumer and product, consumer and researcher, researcher and research user and research user and consumer. It is also a powerful aid for product design and testing. The 'verbal only' type of communication presents problems and limitations. The progressive internationalization of research, marketing and communication has created new challenges. Numerous examples from case studies will be given during this presentation to show how effectively visual language and verbal language work together during the research process, in analysing the findings, and their reporting to the research users. Interactive research techniques that use visual methods are the best equipped to optimise the whole research process, avoid cultural traps and communication gaps and facilitate dialogue and understanding at all stages. Moreover, visual language is by its nature user friendly, straightforward, easy to understand and extremely expressive. The use of visual language in research can be an option, a plus. In certain cases, however, it becomes indispensable. It certainly is the most universal language. It is possible to use visual language to bridge cultural differences, reveal unexpected new perspectives, highlight subtleties and nuances and translate symbolic meanings into marketing actions.

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