The first lecture was an awesome introduction into design thinking. The things I enjoyed were the high-level overview of each of the main types of thinking.

Working in industry it actually made me realise how crap I am at sketching and how much I rely on design tools like balsamiq, invision, sketch and at work to convey what I’m trying to say rather than freehanding.

I’ve started reading the sketching user experiences book and it has given me the right kick to ditch the tools and just practice sketching simple shapes on the bus on the way to work.

Q: How is sketch noting different to the traditional note-taking?

It allows you to express information in a much less rigid way. Key snap-shots can jog your memory in to forming the larger picture of key pieces of information. There can be process and organisation or it can be more free form and the style you choose can also inform the subject matter and allow a wider audience the ability to quickly understand a concept or process.

Please forgive my horrendous drawings. Sketchnoting was a really freeing process for me (even though I’m probably the only one that can decipher my weird sketch) but I can see how liberating it can be and a great tool for capturing ideas in a more memorable way.

Q: How does this visual approach facilitate communication of your ideas? Conversely, how does it prevent it?

I think it allows ideas to take shape more organically and then you can go back and formalise or re-present them in a much more fluid way after the fact. I think it allows structure when needed and whimsy and playfulness which can explore the creative side of an idea and potentially fuel more interesting though and conversation.

Where I think it falls down is that if you need to capture a larger volume of information the time taken to sketch will hinder progress over traditional note taking. I think it is a really handy tool when trying to grasp the overall key points in a process flow almost like a mind map and infographic rolled into one.

Q: Personal challenges as a sketchnoter.

I believe my biggest challenge has been my reliance on tooling to do the job for me. I find I’m much faster in balsamiq and sketch and much more easily able to capture ideas because I lack decent drawing skills. It has also made me want to get better at drawing simple shapes and ideas and explore more iconography day-to-day in my little down time 🙂

Again please forgive my sketches (time to enrol in drawing class or something…)