If you’ve owned your mobile phone for more than a day or two, you’re probably familiar with the app DrawSomething. It’s basically a digital version of Pictionary where two players draw pictures of words and get points if the other player guesses them correctly.
After playing it for a while, it became apparent that it’s much more than a game: It’s a very interesting study of visual communication that could help you become a better designer.
While drawing or guessing other’s drawings, you start to see how ideas can be conveyed visually and how much information a simple element like a color or shape can add to the message. Drawing a black line at the bottom may imply the ground, but making it green will suddenly imply grass or the outdoors. It’s amazing how such a simple change can conjure so many associations so quickly.
The conclusion I’ve come to is that every designer and marketer should play this game. It’s an effective tool to hone your graphic design & visual communication skills. Not so much for the drawing part (although I’m sure it can help with that too), but the ‘essential information’ part. Great design is about taking complex things and making them simple. Some of the best design strips away everything that is non-essential and leaves us with what is necessary, functional and beautiful. I believe that playing DrawSomething can help you learn how to be better at this.
So next time you’re in the app store, download a copy of the game a play a few rounds with your friends. It’s fun and hey, you may become a better designer too.