How is this sketchnoting technique different to the traditional note taking?

Traditional note taking mainly uses words and some symbols, and it usually needs to be taken down logically so that the writer can easily recall what the notes mean after a period of time. However, sketchnoting uses more vivid icons, stick figures, symbols and simple and visual drawings. In sketchnoting, words usually play an assistant and explanatory role. Since sketchnoting is often taken down casually and doesn’t require fixed formats, it is more flexible and suitable to record the writer’s instantaneous ideas and more preferable to designers than traditional note taking.


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

For an interaction designer, sketchnoting is an useful tool to record ideas at anytime and anywhere, especially when designers use a portable-sized sketch book. Thus, it allows designers to communicate and share it with others whenever it is needed. Since sketchnoting is vivid by using numerous drawings, people can easily get the writer’s points, and misunderstandings can be reduced through appropriate explanations. Moreover, sketchnoting is also a good way to write down divergent opinions when the writer has a discussion with others, because they can draw or write down their current ideas very closely to the existed contents on the sketch book directly and exchange views.

However, sometimes sketchnoting can also prevent communication when people hold different understandings and explanations towards one and the same icons, symbols or drawings. This situation usually occurs among people who have different cultural backgrounds. Thus, brief and accurate descriptions are vital to sketchnoting.


Personal challenges as a sketchnoter.

Personally, because of a lack of drawing skill, my biggest challenge is to use sketchnoting to accurately express my ideas. I found that sometimes I can’t draw what I think specifically, so now my sketchnoting still needs relatively many word descriptions to help express.

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