RECAP: Gema's takeaways from the SketchCamp San Diego

  I'm Bringing Sketching Back! By Gema Almilli, Senior Experience Planner, Red Door Interactive This last weekend, the San Diego User Experience community was presented with a challenge, to bring back the art of the sketch. We were asked to think back to our grade school days when we doodled in our notepads or even on our chairs and desks, just because we felt like it. We dedicated our whole Saturday to exploring scribbles and scrawls, not just to goof around, but because sketching is an incredibly useful communication tool. At Sketchcamp we learned that a sketch can be our hero when words get in the way. Forget a thousand misunderstood words, when a picture does a better job of expressing a concept. Our brains are wired to respond to visuals. These days, even Fortune 500 companies are finding value in sketching, lining their walls with whiteboards and arming every conference room with dry erase markers. Here are some of my top take-aways from the conference:

  • Sketches do NOT need to be beautiful! In fact, the simpler, the better.
  • When you sketch an idea in front of an audience, the viewers feel like they are generating the idea themselves. What a great way to engage your audience and gain consensus!
  • You can ask people to sketch their experience as part of your user research. It's fast, makes people less guarded, and it will narrow the focus to only what's really important.
  • Most of us are working at solving some sort of problem and sketching is a great tool for working out a solution.
  • And finally... sketching is not about the paper, it's about the impact it has on the experience!
I've been experiencing the benefits of incorporating more sketching into my daily activities. Check out the #sdsketch thread on Twitter for more great highlights and check back at the SketchcampSD website for session recordings.

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