Review of Mike Rowdy's book Visual Notes: An Illustrated Guide to Skeettraining. Mann, Ivanov and Ferber Publishing House, 2014
What form of information presentation will you choose if you want to present it vividly, in detail, clearly, and most importantly - that it should be imprinted in the memory of your audience? Mike Rowdy, a professional designer and illustrator, an expert in user interface from Gomoll Research + Design, Inc., the author of the book "Visual Notes", the translation of which was published in the publishing house "MYTH", advises the form of sketches - a simple, but at the same time from his point of view, effective.
What it is?
A sketch is a structured note that combines elements of a picture and text, a way of thinking using images and words. It's very simple: do you remember how the school drew sketchy images on the margins in textbooks and signed them? So you should know: from the point of view of the teachers, you spoiled the books, from the point of view of Mike Rowdy you created sketches.
The structure of the sketches is simple: pictogram + concise text thesis. But if you try at a meeting, conference, webinar or presentation to take notes in exactly this form, you will see how much better the information is stored. You sure:
- highlight the essence
- highlight more important details
- and most importantly - then, barely looking at the note, you will be able to reproduce the entire array of information and your thoughts in the moment when you took the note
How it works?
It’s pretty simple to explain why sketches are remembered better than simple text notes:
Ideas as words + ideas as images = your thinking works to its fullest.
According to the theory of dual coding of information proposed by Allan Paivio in 1970, the human brain uses only two channels to process data from the outside - verbal and visual. That is why sketches, in which the verbal is combined with the figurative, are able to fully use your thinking.
Who is it useful?
- Anyone who deals with large amounts of information daily
- Those who, by the nature of their activity, should be able to process any information concisely and so that it is remembered.
- Those who need to record details and abstracts at negotiations, conferences, etc.
- Anyone who wants to write down their thoughts so that they later instantly come to life in the memory
Designers and copywriters will be able to create the best texting, infographics, interface elements, etc. Managers - to make important notes and note the details, which are then easy to remember, for students - to record lectures, to managers - to record important abstracts in negotiations with clients or management. Conference organizers post sketches on the Internet to promote their events with potential visitors, as sketches are a simple and visual way to tell about the upcoming event.
How to share sketches?
“It's as easy,” writes Mike Rowdy, “how to take and share a photo with a smartphone. Or just as“ difficult ”as scanning high-resolution images and storing them in your computer.
When you share your sketches by shooting them on your phone’s camera and uploading them to your favorite social network, you let others instantly evaluate your work.
To distribute your sketch and help others understand it, add a short, but clear description of the event during which it was made, and a link to your other works.
By making sketches easy to understand and share, you increase their appeal to the reader. Maybe they will even share them with someone else. "
What is important
One of the main theses of Michael Rowdy: sketches are ideas, not art. There is no difference between a bad and a good picture, for even a rough image can effectively express ideas. And this book can really help you learn how to make cool visual notes.
We say "book", but in fact what Mike Rowdy created is very far from the format of a traditional book. This is a practical guide to creating visual notes, in fact, itself made in the form of sketches. And it is not for nothing that the sketchbooking manual is named. Here you can find a lot of practical tips on teaching this technique, everything is told about the "anatomy" of the sketch and interesting visual notes from professionals are given. This multipage work is read with short texts and pictograms in one breath, and after reading it really draws you to take a pen and practice creating your own notes (you can do this right in the book - for honing your skills, there is an entire section "My Visual Library").