My first step in “Sketchnoting”

I have been introduced to sketchnote through Ironhack - a bootcamp I took to learn about UX/UI design as I was looking for a career move. As I was progressing on my course, I felt it would be nice to share a main things I realized about sketchnoting, but also how did it feel when I first attempted to practise.

First thing first let’s talk about what is a “sketchnote” and how it can help you in your everyday life (yes it can!).

We’ve all been doodling while being on the phone or in a meeting, and you may have noticed that as you were drawing your focus and concentration was actually increasing rather than being disturbed from the point of the discussion.

Sketching to help

While being in a world where communication is key, you’ve certainly realised that words have slowly been replaced by images. This is because one image can

Sketching to simplify and communicate complex things

While being in a world where communication is key, you’ve certainly realised that words have slowly been replaced by images. This is because image or drawing will help your mind understand complex wording.
Here is an example you have certainly come accross on some food packaging.

Who would have known making an omelette was so easy!

Sketchnoting is basically a way to take notes with a pen and paper where icons images and have replaced words so that you can understand and pick up the meaning of the note in a glance. Of course, you’ll still have to use words, but you’ll only write when necessary.

Now let’s practise !

A great way to practise is to watch Ted talks and try sketchnoting while watching. My first sketchnote was about the Ted Talk by Margaret Gould Stewart (Facebook’s director of product design): How Giant Websites Design For You.

How did it feel?

I have to say, I quickly got into it as it was pretty funny to start with! You can tell by the effort I took for the tittle (I hope)! ⏲ But then when the video started I realized I was taking too much time drawing and while I was still trying to finish my first sketch I realised I shall have already started another one. So clearly it takes practise to be at the right peace before you can easily follow a talk and sketchnote at the same time.

I think the fact that I had to ⏸ the talk in order to finish my sketch before moving to the next one, did not help my engagement with the video. But I can easily sense that if I manage to instead of taking standard notes it will for sure help me memorise the essential of the talk.

Lessons I’ve learned

I quickly realised that my drawings were too big and so that was taking too much time to draw. 
→ Draw small to draw fast.
It was already hard enough to keep up with the speed of the talk, and so I decided to 
→ Add colours only after the talk is over.
I figured it would also help speed up my thought process if I had icons and drawings that iterates.
→ Create your own icons and drawings language for sketchnoting.

What’s next?

Now that I’ve had a try it is only by practicing that I’ll improve my speed and hopefuly get to a level where it comes naturally so that I take the best out of sketchnotes. I think a good exercice will be to try and take sketchnotes from some of my IronHack’s courses .

Watch the space for more sketchnote of mine :)

If you’ve enjoyed reading this article (which is my first Medium article by the way), don’t hesite to give it a little thumb 👍 ! I’d also love to hear your comments to improve for my next article, so don’t hesitate to leave notes 🙏

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