Visual Fluency Skills & Problem Solving


I will share resources that are relevant for 21st century skills and will keep adding to my list.

1. Solving Problems with Pictures – Books by Dan Roam

  • 21st century skill covered: Visual Communication , Problem Solving
  • Books: The Back of the Napkin, Unfolding the Napkin
  • Website:
  • Lectures: Authors@Google:

According to Dan the overall Visual Thinking Process = Look > See > Imagine > Show

The Visual Thinking Toolkit suggested by Dan:

– Defining the Problem through “Who/What, Where, When, How, How Much, Why” Analysis

– Representing these visually:

  • Who/What = Portrait
  • Where = Map
  • When = Timeline
  • How = FlowChart
  • How Much = Bar/Pie Chart
  • Why = Multivariate Diagram

– Doing the SQUID analysis:

  • Simple or Elaborate
  • Qualitative or Quantitative
  • Vision or Execution
  • Individual or Comparison
  • Change or Status Quo

Visually all the above is much more simple and interesting than what I have made it appear in text description!

My recommended steps:

1. See Dan’s Authors@Google video first (

2. Then visit the book website

  • See the videos on the home page (animated walk-through)
  • See more video clips ‘Napkin Cam’ (
  • See sample pages and exercises from the book ‘Unfolding the Napkin’
  • Visit the Dan’s Blog on the website

Happy reading (and watching)…

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