The Value on Sketch-noting

On How Giant Websites Design For You

Kelly Gedvilas
2 min readApr 28, 2018


When I hear ‘take notes’ and ‘draw’ in the same sentence, I’ll admit I get a little overwhelmed. A) Because drawing on the spot is not my forte, and B) note-taking isn’t either. BUT simplify the combo into doodling and type and I’m all in!

With the task of taking visual notes on the Ted Talk: How Giant Websites Design For You, I wanted to focus on big ideas and illustrate the information worth capturing: the details that really matter.

The Process

Here’s an inside look of my sketch-noting process:

I began by watching the talk and jotted down key words or phrases mentioned that stuck out to me most or evoked an interesting idea. These main points were initially written out in forms of hierarchy, using emphasis or scale on certain words to begin illustrating importance. For me, this helps the information really stick–I recommend this to any kind of note taking!

I then watched the video a second time–this time connecting visuals to the phrases written down, whether it be icons or small illustrations, maybe even minor doodling here and there. This is where I really engage with the spoken content the most and perhaps initiates a little Design Thinking. I ask myself, what is the most effective way of illustrating a word or accentuating a phrase so if I need to revisit I can easily recall the information.

The Conclusion

This way of note taking initiates visual interest (+1 for those that are more visual learners!) and makes overall key points easier to revisit later. It also gives a little insight on individual takeaways and the communication of ideas.



Kelly Gedvilas

Resilient, multidisciplinary designer of impactful user experiences |