Lately, I’ve been involved in a product design process with MICT, IXDS, and now Sourcefabric. While I can’t say much about the product itself and its specifications, while it’s still under development, I’d like to share some insights about the use of sketchnotes in the process.
Apart from the obvious advantages of having a visual record you can refer back to while in a meeting as well as after the meeting, I also find the visuals useful as a focusing device, and as an indicator of progress.
Once people get used to the fact that I happily doodle along while they’re talking, and only occasionally add one of my own observations or ask a question, it’s quickly established that a lull in a meeting either stops my pen entirely, or sends me into a crosshatching trance on some minor detail.
On the other hand, progress makes my pen fly, and spurs my imagination, so I will quickly add lots of new associations to an idea when the conversation is focused on results. So I find people generally more focused when I take visual notes.
You can find the full set of visual product development sketchnotes here.