By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm -
As we get to the final post in this series, astute readers will have no doubt noticed one claim that we haven't made: namely, that graphics will win your case. By themselves, they won't. That is what we found in our experiment focusing on the reactions of 1,375 mock jurors. When we compared five different approaches to graphics (no graphics, flip charts, static graphics, animations, and continuous graphics use), and compared the reported case leaning, and verdicts on liability and causation, we found no one method presented a statistically significant advantage over the others.
I'll admit, even for a dispassionate researcher, this was a bit of a dissapointment. As we designed and prepared the study, we had allowed ourselves to dream, "Wouldn't it be great if, keeping the script constant, we could find the difference between winning and losing in graphics alone?" Alas, not in this case. Perhaps that is a necessary dose of reality. The central caution we leave you with is you won't win your case because you use graphics. Good visuals do provide a definite edge: they improve comprehension, allow you to compare more favorably to the other side, and help to make the key points more memorable. By themselves, good graphics won't turn the case in your direction. In this final post, we take a sober look at this final caution and provide some parting advice on focusing your visual persuasion in litigation on what it does best.