In a large organisation, it can be a challenge to ensure everyone from security to sales understands how the organisation delivers you deliver services to your customers. A rich picture is a visually engaging way to simplify clarify complex processes and present the same, coherent “bigger picture” to everyone, at every level. Telecommunications company, of the organisation, while appealing to a broad audience across the company. TalkTalk approached Scriberia with that very task.
In a large telecommunications company like TalkTalk, there are hundreds of technical systems and processes at work that deliver Internet and network services across the country.
With such a complex infrastructure in place, it can be a challenge to ensure that everyone from the finance, customer services, sales and marketing teams understand exactly how TalkTalk reach their customers operates.
Graham Britton, Architect at TalkTalk, notes: ‘We obviously have very technically focused departments that run the network and IT systems, but we also have sales, marketing and finance teams. We wanted to find a way to present our intricate systems and networks in an engaging format, so that everyone can clearly understand how we operate.
‘Over the years we’ve created a number of technically accurate diagrams, but none of them have been efficient in presenting the information in a way that would make sense to everyone in the organisation at every level. That’s why we needed something visually appealing and widely consumable across the company.’
Crucially, TalkTalk wanted a diagram that was visually engaging, but that didn’t compromise on technical accuracy. It would be used in their end of year forward-planning report, as well as for general internal use.
Having seen one of Scriberia’s visualisers in action at the TM Forum in Nice, Graham sent a brief to a number of organisations, including Scriberia, asking them to bring a data-heavy, tech-y diagram to life.
Graham says, ‘Most of the companies simply re-coloured what I’d already done, showing little attempt to understand what the diagram was trying to convey.’
Senior scribe, Matt, however, worked hard to get to grips with each function within the organisation. ‘Matt created some really impressive iconography for the diagram, taking careful consideration of our description for each function. He was so keen to understand what the diagram was trying to say. It was compelling to hear him really engage with the topic.’
And, so, Graham took a visit to the Scriberia studios, walking Matt through his diagram area by area, and explaining how each department linked together to form the bigger picture of TalkTalk’s infrastructure.
With such a vast amount of information to include in the final image, Matt and Graham carefully unpicked what was most important to each department and decided on a system by which to group different systems and networks together.
Matt says, ‘TalkTalk came to us with a big, complex map, with lots of little marks and notes detailing how the company works. It lacked some visual literacy, and so we worked together to give the information a trim and find a way to group things together for a more intuitive outcome.’
Matt drew a first draft of the rich picture, and Graham put forward edits here and there to create an accurate, coherent visual story of TalkTalk’s systems architecture.
Graham says, ‘The reception has been fantastic, we’ve had so much positive feedback. The image has been published on our internal intranet and our internal training video platform, which has got hundreds of views around the company and was the top performing blog post of last year.’
He notes how enthusiasm for the rich picture quickly spread like wildfire across the company: ‘Initially, people were a bit wary of trying a new approach, but after Matt’s first sketches, there was an immediate desire to push forward with the project.’
TalkTalk have found other versatile uses for the image, too. A large copy of the image was printed for their board of executives, and it has since been turned into a simply animated presentation.
Graham adds: ‘We wanted the visual to be visually engaging and simplified, but also maintain accuracy and integrity. The final image strikes that balance perfectly.
‘The rich picture has done an extraordinary job of simplifying and communicating our complex infrastructure to the wider team. We definitely need no convincing to work with pictures again in the future.’