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Sketchnoting: The skill you never knew you needed!

Danielle Macdonald User Experience Consultant

I am one of those people that have, in the past, stated loudly (and with no little fear that someone might call me on it!) … “I can’t draw.”

You might say that I have turned over a new leaf. 

Expanding my limited sketching skills has been inherent to my role as a UX Consultant but I have decided to take this a step further and learn how to sketchnote.

For those of you who have no idea about sketchnoting, this is all about visual note-taking; capturing your notes  using more than just words so that you have a better chance of absorbing what you are hearing and seeing. It also means that there is hope that someone else might be able to get some value out of your notes!

Taking my embryonic skills, I decided to go for broke and attempting to sketchnote all the presentations I saw at the recent UX Australia conference. I’m still very much a novice, but I must say, if you want to be able to communicate to your colleagues what you have learnt and even retain some of this knowledge, sketchnoting is a great skill to develop. I’ve even been brave enough to add a couple here, just for you!

To get you started, Mike Rohde has put together The Sketchnote Handbook, helping regular people like you and me learn how to sketchnote. You might also want to check out UXMastery and their guide to creating awesome visual notes. And if, that hasn’t gotten you convinced, search #sketchnotes on Twitter and explore the diversity and phenomena of sketchnopreting.