Mortgage Visuals: It's About Time

Guest Editorial - National Mortgage Professional Magazine

July, 2014

Have you noticed that the proportion of visual, infographic and video content is increasing? Visual business content is exploding - but it’s not just more decoration. Visual communication - graphics and videos - are increasingly put to use to convey complex ideas of all kinds. I think it’s

actually a matter of necessity, forced by increased complexity, information overload and lack of time.

In 2010, Eric Schmidt of Google noted that we now create as much information in 2 days as we’d created in total up to 2003. We can search much of the over 2 million billion gigabytes (zettabytes) of that information - but then we spend less than a minute on the average web page. We can’t read everything we should, and apparently we don’t really try, judging from web-visit durations.

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This has everything to do with visuals, because (as it turns out) we process and comprehend visuals far faster than text. According to Forrester:

  •  people process visuals 60,000 times faster than text
  •  1 visual or video frame conveys as much as 3 pages of text
  •  1 minute of video conveys as much information as 1.8 million words

Well-designed visual media can make complex subjects and relationships clear faster (and frequently better) than words alone.

From an outsider’s perspective, it’s a bit shocking to see how deeply the mortgage world swims in details - oceans of numbers, seas of words and nothing firmer than archaic Excel charts in sight.

I’d suggest thinking of your design department and media vendors more strategically. (It worked for Apple...) If that infographic or video seems expensive, think in terms of a 60,000x return on attention. Your customers and employees don’t have more time; the more meaning in a minute, the better.