I think you make a good point.
Jon Ellard

Hi Jon, yes very recognisable. I often am dealing with this dilemma whether to convey something as linear because it might resonate better (with most people, assumed), or still as real as possible, i.e, more seemingly chaotic and/ or with different options, non-linear, more blurry than distinctive etc. There’s the aspect of resonating with, but also, on the other hand of creating expectations: if the process is explained as roughly linear than reality that is not may come as an extra shock. So there is my dilemma. A possible remedy might be to actually explain that difference: “The main visualisation seems to be linear, but watch out reality WILL be more blurry and ‘you’’ will have to play with these notions yourself to get a feel for it.” Would you agree that this might make sense, i.e. combine a linear visual with expectation management warning for non-linearity?

One additional musing (but that may go too far for now) is the notion that “complexity” cannot be solved. So converging towards one best answer might not be the right mindset. As discomforting as that may sound it one seeks certainty, it may help in getting non-linearity accepted?