Visual Thinking Australia

Visual Thinking Australia is a startup which runs practical workshops and seminars to help participants improve communication in their workplaces. The sessions teach participants how to visualise complex ideas and processes using award-winning author Dan Remy's visual toolkit.

The business owner was just beginning to run events and wanted to sell 50 tickets for his 2-day seminar in April.

Applicants page of the Scout Jobs platform

The challenge

With a broad target audience which included anyone who communicates complex ideas at work, the client was struggling to market to multiple industries and levels of seniority. They wanted to know who would be the most profitable audience to focus on so that they could tailor their events and marketing strategies to better meet this group's needs.

The client was also interested in seeing if their website and social media accounts could be used more effectively to attract participants.

Scout’s old dashboard page
A LinkedIn post by Visual Thinking Australia and the low average play time of a Facebook video advert.
  • UX research data
  • Key personas and journey maps
  • Usability testing
  • UI prototype
Chris Wood
UX Designer
Camilla Moi
UX Designer
Therese Cabahug
UX Designer
Chris D
Chris Dawson
Course Leader at Visual Thinking Australia
Barbara Clifford
Managing Partner at Visual Thinking Australia

2 weeks



We focused on professionals who satisfied these criteria to make them viable participants for VTA's seminar:

  • Has problems communicating complex ideas
  • Works in a company that values upskilling and has the money to invest in training
survey respondents
Existing studies
Facebook ad analytics

Existing studies

We looked for existing research around the quality of communication at work to see if there was a need for training in this area.

"Communication barriers in the modern workplace" (2018) by The Economist Intelligence Unit polled over 400 senior executives, managers and junior staff in the US. They found that:

  • 44% of respondents felt that communication barriers are leading to a delay or failure to complete projects.
  • 31% said communication barriers are leading to low morale
  • 25% said communication barriers are leading to missed performance goals

The report also confirmed the need for communication training. 62% said firm-wide training to improve internal communication would significantly improve communications at work.


Our team attended Chris' first workshop, run as an interactive taster class, and carried out brief intercept interviews with the attendees. We also conducted an additional 15 interviews with contacts within our networks across a wide range of industries.

"Beginners don't understand complex laws or policies."
"My patients don't understand the procedures we do."
"Issues come from miscommunication and poor knowledge of others' needs."
Attending first VTA workshop
Attending Visual Thinking Australia’s taster workshop and speaking with the attendees
Clustering survey results
Clustering data from our interviews into common themes


We ran a survey to gather insights on current communication standards and access to training in Australian workplaces. We posted it on Visual Thinking Australia's social media accounts and also ran a paid Facebook ad campaign to attract respondents.

Of our 16 Australian respondents:

  • The most popular method of communication was group meetings and 1:1 meetings (82%).
  • 83% thought that it was important for their team to undergo training for effective communication.
  • 61% found out about training events through professional bodies.

Facebook ad campaign analytics

The client told us that they were spending a large proportion of their capital on Facebook ad campaigns. Their latest video adverts had an average playtime of just 1-2 seconds and were being broadcast to a broad range of interest groups.

From our survey results, we found that only 15% of respondents used Facebook to look for professional development courses. We proposed that the client worked with professional bodies and networking events to raise awareness of his company's training events instead.


Director of a company


Looking for a competitive advantage

Directors adapt their communication style based on whom they are speaking with. They manage a training budget and are interested in ways to upskill their team to gain a competitive advantage.
95% communicate with clients
Public speaking
95% communicate via public speaking
Professional bodies
80% find out about training events this way
“I think there’s a lack of visual communication skills in the industry."
Manager in charge of a team


Managing cross-functional teams
Managers communicate with a wide range of employees, senior management staff and clients. They see value in further training, especially for their team, and manage a training budget.
Senior staff
75% communicate with staff more senior than them
59% use diagrams to improve their communication
Professional bodies
75% find out about training events this way
92% of managers surveyed think it’s important for their team to undergo communication training
Junior staff member

Junior staff

Explaining technical ideas
Junior staff struggle to communicate complex ideas to colleagues in different fields. They haven't had communication training before, and all training requests require approval from their manager.
Mostly communicates with colleagues
Phone calls
60% communicate over the phone
Professional bodies
60% find out about training events this way
“I’m interested in any training which brings value to my work"

Identifying opportunities

Collating our research insights, we sought to identify which personas could bring the most revenue to the client, what their most significant pain points are, and which opportunities we could leverage to add value to their journey.

empathy map
journey map

Defining personas

By clustering the data from our surveys and interviews, we identified three personas who seek training opportunities and would benefit from Visual Thinking Australia's seminar.

This allowed us to understand their needs, behaviours and pain points better so that we could help them with their search for relevant training.

View detailed persona:

Drafing personas and creating a detailed persona for Megan

Focusing on Megan

Presenting the three personas to the client, we established that Megan would be the most profitable persona to focus on.

Like David, she holds an education budget; however, as Megan has a less senior role, she accounts for a higher number of working professionals than David.

To put ourselves into Megan's shoes, we painted a picture of the difficult circumstance she finds herself in when she discovers that her team is underperforming. This empathy map revealed more in-depth insights into her needs so that we could approach the problem from her point of view.

Megan's journey and opportunities

Equipped with a better understanding of Megan's challenges when faced with her team underperforming, we mapped out the steps she takes to improve her staff's productivity.

By mapping her journey, we were able to identify the area of greatest opportunity for Visual Thinking Australia to help Megan.

We saw the lowest point in the journey as the greatest area of opportunity for helping Megan. However, we found that there were 2 points which Megan found equally difficult. We needed to decide which one to focus on:

Lowest point #1
Megan finds a new solution by asking her network.
How might we increase the visibility of Visual Thinking Australia to Megan?
Lowest point #2
Megan does her own research to try and validate whether the solution will help
How might we show the value of Visual Thinking to Megan?
We decided to ideate on both opportunities before selecting which one to focus on.
By ideating on both opportunities, we could see which one afforded the most valuable solution which we could apply our skill sets to.


For each opportunity, we conducted two rounds of "Crazy Eights." we each sketched eight ideas on paper before presenting them, then voted on our favourites. In the second round, we each merged the best ideas and voted on the winner.

Crazy eights
Ideation workshop sketches

Opportunity #1

How might we increase the visibility of Visual Thinking Australia to Megan?

Collaborating with professional bodies to host a free, hands-on workshop at a networking event.

This solution and the others we brainstormed were centred on the client networking and creating opportunities to pitch his training courses to a relevant audience.

Ideation workshop sketches

Opportunity #2

How might we show the value of Visual Thinking to Megan?

Creating a landing page to highlight the course's content, outcomes and reputation.

This solution involved creating a digital experience, allowing us to put our skill sets to better use.

We discussed these two options with the client and agreed to move forward with the landing page.
Acknowledging that these were both significant opportunities, we offered the client recommendations based on the research data for which channels would be most effective for him to market through. We also encouraged him to use his network to speak with professional bodies and event organisers.

Prototyping & testing

With our sights set on creating a landing page with details about the seminar on Visual Thinking Australia's website, we sketched our ideas on paper before prototyping and testing our concept.

We sourced testers who fit Megan's persona. In each iteration, we used their insights to improve the prototype until we had produced a solution which helped Megan decide whether the course was right for her.


Prototype concept

We set out to create a landing page which showed Megan the value of Visual Thinking Australia's 2-day seminar. We looked through their existing promotional material and conducted competitor research to identify features we could use in the page to achieve this goal.

We then sorted the features based on their difficulty of implementation (based on my previous development experience) and their value for Megan (based on our research insights), prioritising the "quick wins". This activity ensured that the page would be both useful and viable to build.

Lastly, we discussed how to order the components in a way that would make sense for Megan's situation and began to sketch out how each element might look. We moved these sketches into Figma, giving us a low-fidelity prototype we could test with.

Paper dashboard wireframe
Plotting the landing page’s features on an MVP matrix, deciding their order on the page and sketching the layout of each feature.

Testing the concept

By testing with people who matched Megan's persona, we aimed to find out whether our prototype could:

  • Communicate the purpose of the seminar
  • Show the benefits and outcomes Megan could expect
  • Build the seminar's reputation
  • Provide a way for Megan to find out more information
  • Help Megan to buy a ticket

In our initial prototype, although 4 out of 4 testers could navigate to the seminar details page, our testers couldn’t yet see the value in the page:

2 out of 4 testers ended up reading the event’s EventBrite page instead of browsing the prototype.
We needed to insert relevant copy and images to get more meaningful insights.
Low-fidelity prototype - iteration 1
Iteration 1 of the seminar details page

Adding copy and images

"I want transparency about pricing upfront."
4 out of 5 testers wanted additional details on the page.

With copy and low-fidelity images in place, 3 out of 5 Megans said they would consider joining an event like this. However, there were concerns around the information on the page, with 4 out of 5 Megans requesting more details on details such as price, venue location, objectives, speakers and takeaways.

Other pages requiring work

"It's taking very long to understand"
3 out of 5 testers got frustrated with the long-form content on the homepage

During testing, we found that our testers struggled with the homepage in its current state. It became clear that our work needed to look at the site as a whole to achieve its goal.

We collected insights on the home, events and contact pages and began iterating on them.

Iteration 2
Iteration 2 of the seminar details page, featuring images and copy from the course material and EventBrite page.

Additional features

During testing, we found that Megan wanted additional features in the prototype to decide whether the course was right from her. These included:

  • Summary of the course content
  • Ability to enquire about courses tailored to her business
  • Video content to show the format of the seminar

We added these features and tested to ensure that the new content was useful.

Creating high fidelity prototype

“The illustrations make the technique seem approachable"

We created a visual style which included sketches from the course content. We aimed to create cohesion between the website and the course, reducing the disconnect between the website and the EventBrite page.

Iteration 2
Final iteration, including the hand-drawn illustration style used throughout the training course.

Validating the prototype

Final prototype features


Prototype video walkthrough


“When you see it for yourself and it makes a lot of sense, you think 'well why wasn’t I doing that before?'
I’m really happy with the work you’ve done here and I think we’re going to get a lot of value out of it."
Chris Dawson
Course Leader at Visual Thinking Australia

The client is reviewing the research insights and our recommended next steps and is changing their marketing strategy accordingly.

While Covid-19 disrupted the seminar planned for April, they are on board with the proposed solution and are looking to develop the prototype for their next seminar.

We continue to stay in touch around ongoing developments.

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