In the process of designing, collecting imagery and documenting every twist and turn the design process takes- helps it move it forward. Our minds are constantly absorbing information, impressions and images that spark ideas, makes us react and helps us make decisions. Visual Research means keeping that data for ourselves, for future use or for a project through for example drawings, photography, text and film. Having a collection of visual research in front of you makes it easier to go back to a certain point in the process and make a different decision for a different outcome and it also allows other people to access it, so start collecting!
Sketch book pic: http://www.urbansketchers.org/search/label/Isabelle%20Laliberté