This is what the head of L&D for a major professional services company said to us recently. It was at the launch of our Wellbeing Essentials and she was expressing a frustration with the limitations of video solutions that are trying to address behavioural skills gaps with two-dimensional animated infographics.
Don’t get me wrong. We love a bit of 2D animation; in the right setting. We produce loads of it for specific client projects. It works brilliantly when your content is factual or detail-heavy. If you need to convey technical or compliance-type learning, then motion graphics and animation can be a great way to bring subjects to life and get across a lot of information in a short space of time.
And you can communicate simple human emotions with stickmen. Research shows that when we look at a smiley face like this, : -) the same parts of the brain are activated as when we look at a real human face.
But here’s the thing, simple 2D animated infographics are just that, simple. Great for factual content, great for smiley/sad face conversations. But rubbish for showing complex human emotions. You need people for that. Real ones with depth and subtlety. Not stick men. Here’s a snippet of a recent interview that demonstrates the point perfectly…
“Thanks for joining us Mr Scorsese.”
“Delighted to be here.”
“Congratulations on your Academy Award for Wolf of Wall Street. Great direction. Great performances.”
“So, you decided to work with DiCaprio on this project. Why not an animated stickman and some infographics..?”
You see, human conversations; body language; the nuances of what we say to each other (and what we mean when we say it)… it’s all so, well, human. That’s why we think it’s important to work with real people occasionally.
So, power to the humans. Here’s to seeing more of them in our video learning. And let’s go easy on the bloody stick men.
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