“How GIANT Websites Design For You” — Visual Note-Taking

Sketchnoting? My initial thought was, does this mean they want me to sketch and take notes at the same time? Second thought was, my poor teacher is going to be lost as to what I’m drawing (not the best artist). Last thought, this is going to be embarrassing…

Luckily after reading The Sketchnote Handbook by Mike Rhode I felt a little more at ease- “Whether you believe you can or can’t draw, I’m here to tell you that anyone who can make marks on paper can benefit from this book. Sketchnotes are about hearing and capturing meaningful ideas, not how well you draw.”

Before I pressed play on the TED talk, I took Mr. Rhodes advice: start with the title so that I didn’t get distracted during the note-taking process.

Throughout the “How Giant Websites Design For You” TED Talk, Margaret explained her techniques and views. To be completely transparent, I felt overwhelmed trying to grasp the information, draw and have the notes make some sense. One of the biggest obstacles was that I tried to refrain from pressing pause on the video, because I wanted the full experience- if I was in real time at the lecture I wouldn’t have been able to tell the speaker to pause, just so I could get my notes down. This lead to a very messy, hectic looking, first attempt at sketchnoting.

Now that I had my notes and understood the lecture, I decided to add in some color and make it more legible. My biggest struggle with his was trying to find a pattern and make my notes flow.

I still didn't feel comfortable with my second note-taking efforts- if someone was to pick this up, they wouldn't have any idea where to start or end. Therefore, incorporating some sort of pattern would be extremely helpful.

This brought me to attempt 3- I would defiantly say there was an improvement in my note-taking; however, I would like to have a more of a structure in my future sketchnoting.

I felt the dividers (lines/groupings)helped group the parts of information that coincide together, but for the future I would really like to improve my flow on paper. Before feeling complete, I went through the “Anatomy of Sketchnote” by Mr. Rhodes and made sure to add some more refined arrows, noted that I need to improve my typography for the future, and lastly added my signature at the end.

The author of The Sketchnote Handbook hit the nail on the head “the real joy will come when you start creating sketchnotes and discover how taking notes can unleash your creativity and make paying attention, even at the most boring meetings, something you look forward to doing.” In the past, I can definitely say that note-taking has not been on my list of top favorite things to do; however, having the ability to use color, fonts, and small drawings made this a much more exciting note-taking experience than normal. I would use this process in the future if I knew I had time to sketch and re-sketch, allowing me to create notes that flow and are easy to follow.

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