About visual language
The Short Version
We translate law into visual language. Our goal is to make law easier to learn, and easier to live with.
Law is difficult to learn not just because the subject matter is complex, but because it is presented in a way that makes it more difficult to learn.
Law is difficult to learn because it is almost exclusively presented in the form of text, and it is difficult to remember because it is almost exclusively a memory of words.
Furthermore, text is neither a good way of representing the relationships between rules, nor a good way of representing law as a process.
Finally, today’s learners are adapted to an image- based media environment.
Use visual language to present legal material in a manner that is clear, approachable, and easy to remember. Visual language is the combination of words and images.♦
Research shows that a combination of text and images is a more efficient way to communicate complex material than text alone.♣
Law is complex material.
Therefore, visual language is a more efficient way to communicate law than text alone.
♦Robert E. Horne, Visual Language: Global Communication in the 21st Century 8 (MacroVu 1998). We recommend this book to anyone who is interested in communicating effectively. And Professor Horne has an excellent website: http://www.stanford.edu/~rhorn/.
♣The research of Professor John Sweller and his colleagues has shown material presented as integrated text and diagrams is easier to understand than material presented as separate text and diagrams. In one experiment, students were tested on understanding from lab reports. The students who were presented with integrated text and diagrams scored 22% higher, and took 13% less time, than the students who were presented with separate text and diagrams. Horne, supra, at 233. For more information on John Sweller and cognitive load theory, please see the abstract of Professor Sweller’s article, Visualization and Instructional Design. For the application of cognitive load theory to instructional design, see Clark, Nguyen, and Sweller, Efficiency in Learning: Evidence-Based Guidelines to Manage Cognitive Load (Pfeiffer, 2006).