Amberlight Innovation Studio has been helping some of the world’s leading organisations (including Samsung, Vodafone, Intel, Microsoft and Channel 4) identify opportunities for new products and services, based on insights gained through research. A few years back we came across the idea of Visual Thinking and decided to try it. Today a key part of our user centred innovation process is the way we use professional illustrators, utilising their skills throughout the whole process. In this talk we will introduce the key principles of visual thinking and illustrate what our user centred innovation process looks like. We’ll explain the benefits of using visual thinking techniques to get better results at each stage. We use these techniques during research and fieldwork to capture and document user needs, behaviours and other findings, as well as for preparing stimulus and during co-creation sessions. We also use them during analysis and ideation. A key part of generating and expressing ideas is the ability to visualise them and communicate them effectively, so story telling plays a big part in this process. In our experience visual thinking is crucial for bridging the gap between user research and early conceptual design.