1. How is this Sketchnoting technique different to the traditional note taking?

This Sketchnoting technique is different to the traditional method of note taking (using a piece of paper, pen to write or typing/writing into/onto a device) because it is entirely visual. Funnily enough, within design thinking, sketchnoting seems to be the traditional method of note taking.

Whilst traditional note is quite similar between individuals, sketchnoting is incredibly unique, as there are so many different ways to display and depict information and there are different illustration styles. Thick lines, thin lines, shading, full images, stick images, different emotions highlighted, different facets accentuated. This was highly evident during the task one, “taking a pencil for a walk”.

Sketchnoting requires a certain fluency in a different sort of vocab, that is visually based. It requires the ability to draw emotions, tasks, objects – illustrate motivations, frustrations, feelings and information, where as traditional notetaking requires you to use words to articulate these.

Sketchnoting is an interesting communication tool that encompasses many design elements, such as typography, diagrams, drawings and icons etc that often results in a very aesthetically pleasing and informative piece.

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

“A picture paints a thousand words” – cliche as that phrase is, sketchnoting helps to communicate a vast array of ideas and information on one page.

It does though, hinder the potential to present deeper, more critical information that isn’t just surface level. For example, an installation piece of work I recently saw at an art gallery, was a greek column. Half was still raised, but the other half had fallen. The piece obviously illustrated some sort of distress and/or destruction, but it was the artists way of depicting their struggle with cultural identity as a 2nd generation Australian in a westernised society and was a cathartic release/a way for them to unpack and present the shame they felt for their heritage.

Visual communication does sometimes prevent this sort of discourse from being fully apparent or prevents critical/deeper information being communicated.

3. Personal challenges as a sketchnoter:

I am TERRIBLE at drawing. My strengths are definitely in structuring and displaying information on digital platforms. I guess I’ll be working through a heap of exercises to develop my own illustrative/visual style.