When design isn’t enough

The key to effective trial graphics is neither slick software packages nor the latest 3D imagery, but a combination of disparate skills that result in the viewer being subtly guided through the graphic, by the concept, layout & colour.  If  graphics are too dazzling, you run the risk of distracting your audience from the content, by the graphic itself.

Why use graphics?

Tangible benefits

  • Saves time
  • Saves money
  • Jury’s request fewer recaps or clarification
  • Increased likelihood of positive verdict when used by the prosecution
  • Defendants often enter a plea having seen prosecution’s graphics
  • Defence can counter arguements more succesfully using graphics

How those benefits are achieved

  • By putting the jury at ease, encouraging engagement, motivation & understanding
  • By simplifying & conceptualising dry, often intimidating data
  • Breaking down complex processes & using simple terminology
  • Aiding retention of information in the long term memory
  • Most of us learn more effectively via mixed learning modalities

“People remember 10% of what they hear and 85% of what they see and hear”

Timothy A Piganelli

I need slick, whizzy graphics right?

No, content is king

If graphics are too dazzling, they will likely distract your audience from the content.

Effective investigation and trial graphics combine the basic principles of learning theories and modalities with data analysis skills to create simple illustrations to effectively communicate an often complex process or idea.

Brains responds  to the use of colour, repetition, chunking, concepts and spatial layout, on a subconscious level.   Effective use of these elements can ensure your message has a better chance of being engaged with, processed and retained in the long-term memory.

What does a Visual Data Analyst do?

Much more than just design

  • Crucial ‘bridging’ role between case team and judge/jury
  • Identify key messages to be conveyed
  • Tease out all necessary detail
  • Familiarisation with source data
  • Seek clarification, identifying contradictory and/or missing information
  • Analyse raw data, sequencing it in a variety of ways to identify the most useful device/s
  • Extract the minimum information from raw data, identifying any components that can be discarded without compromising accuracy or giving misleading impressions
  • Identify other, potentially useful messages not previously considered
  • Recognise when data mapping does not depict the desired message, providing alternative solutions, without compromising accuracy or the continuity of the evidence
The CDU needed to give as much realism to CPIA course material as possible. We requested numerous docs for inclusion in the practical course material. Sandy created bank statements, bloomberg newsfeeds and emails between suspects. Her hard work and amazing graphics certainly helped us in making the course a success. Criminal Disclosure Officer

One of only a handful of visual data analysts specialising in fraud trial graphics in the UK

An investigator that colours-in

Graphic Designer vs Visual Data Analyst
Aesthetically pleasing Factually accurate
Punchy & slick Inform/persuade
Creative as possible Simplicity
Original / groundbreaking Evidence based
Capture imagination Focus attention
Shock / repulse / entice No sensationalism
Sell a product / idea Must not mislead
Tricks / gimmicks No subliminals / gimmicks
Insecurities / peer pressure Empathy / commonality
Inform (small print) No legal / tech jargon