Sketching Out A Greater Understanding

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Today on Radio Johnny Jeff Parks talks with Veronica Erb about her presentation at the 10th anniversary of UX Week hosted by Adaptive Path. Veronica shares her experience sketchnoting at conferences and events around the world. She talks about how sketchnoting can be a great way to record information from presentations, practice your drawing skills, and improve your listening skills. Veronica also underscores how sketchnoting – unlike traditional note taking – is flexible enough to allow the designer to shift their strategy to highlight a variety of concepts quickly and easily.


I like to say that sketchnoting is taking notes with more flair and focus than the notes you’d normally take…in addition to taking notes in the handwriting you usually use, you can also use fancy hand-lettering, draw the person who is presenting, or draw images that are happening while you’re listening to a presentation…It helps you listen and understand better…as well as practice something that is really valued today as a User Experience designer, being able to draw.

When I sketchnote I use one pad of paper, which is usually wire bound because it sits flat…and then I use one pen which is usually black…The great thing about using just one pen, you’re not going to be messing around and trying to switch to a different pen…because it’s a pen you can’t erase it so it’s a lot easier to remind yourself that you’re just drawing a descent drawing, not a perfect drawing.

Sketchnoting is a practice and a process. It’s NOT something that every time you do it, it has to come out with this beautiful product at the end.


* Follow Veronica on Twitter
* Veronica’s Sketchnotes on Flickr
* Sketchnote Army provide great examples of sketchnotes.
* The Sketchnote Handbook by Mike Rohde
* Sketchnotes: A Field Guide for the Busy Yet Inspired Professional by Binaebi Akah
* The IPEVO P2V camera
* Sunni Brown on Doodling at TED

Jeff Parks

Jeff is the co-founder of DIGIA UX Inc. and actively collaborates with industry professionals from around the world through his involvement with Boxes and Arrows and Johnny Holland. Jeff is also leading workshops on Information Architecture and User Experience Design over at Follow the UX Leader, in addition to volunteering his time as a Mentor and Member of the Board of Directors for the Information Architecture Institute.

One comment on this article

  1. Binaebi Akah on

    This is a great interview! Veronica is a fantastic sketchnoter.

    Thanks for sharing the book I wrote with Charlene McBride! We’d like to point out that the Sketchnotes Field Guide is now available on Kindle as well…