Sketchnoting Oz IA

As I mentioned last week, Eric Scheid was generous enough to sponsor me to attend Oz IA to be the event’s sketchnoter. I enjoyed myself thoroughly, and will once again indulge my scribbler’s laziness and let some pictures say a thousand words…

Oz IA Sketchnotes, Pages 1 & 2

Okay, so I’m not that lazy.

I’d never attended Oz IA before, and after my experience at the IA Summit this year, I was a little afraid Oz IA would be a navel-gazing IA rockstar festival, but I was happily surprised. Everyone (okay, almost everyone) was down to earth and had practical, useful stuff to say.

Too Fluffy

One of my personal favourites was Anthony Colfelt’s talk, “We’re Still Too Fluffy“, although I got the feeling it wasn’t so popular with the rest of the crowd. It was a wake-up call to information architects that see commerce as dirty, and expect clients (and the general populace) to see their skills as valuable and shower them in riches, just because they exist. Anthony urged us all to more clearly define what it is we do, learn to convince others of the value of design, and to learn to sell. Amen, brutha!

Here’s what I captured during Anthony’s talk…

Oz IA Sketchnotes, Pages 14 & 15

Is it Art?

Another big hit with me, and apparently many attendees, was “I don’t know much about the web, but I know what I like”, by the manager of information at the Gallery of New South Wales, Jonathan Cooper.

Compared to almost every other presenter, Jonathan’s talk was poor on hard data, research findings and user personas, none of which kept it from being the most engaging, entertaining and interactive talk at the conference. Like all good presentations, showing you his slide deck wouldn’t even impart 10% of the experience of watching him throw rubbish on the floor and transform it into art. If anyone out there has a video I could post, let me know!

Not surprisingly, Jonathan’s show produced my favourite sketchnotes…

Oz IA Sketchnotes, Pages 21 & 22

On the Job

The experience of sketchnoting Oz IA was a bit different than at UX Australia:

After all the positive feedback from UX Australia, I was more confident, which translates directly into better visual ideas and a stronger line.

Since Eric was sponsoring me, I was under a different kind of pressure: I wanted to give him value during the conference, so I was running out in between sessions to photograph and upload my pages. This had a very exciting immediacy about it — one guy told me on the second day that he’d spent the night before trying to copy my first day’s sketchnotes — but it also meant less chatting and hanging out, and a fair bit of rushing around.

The sketchbook & pen combination from UX Australia didn’t work — the Sharpie bled through the soft pages. Using a pocket-sized Moleskine with heavy sketchbook paper and a Uniball Signo cartridge hacked into a Pilot G2 Mini body proved to be perfect. Thanks yet again to Mike Rohde, sketchnote king.

Looking at my sketchnotes now, I find them very light on information. I still haven’t found the right balance between taking the time to draw and making sure I don’t miss something important.

Even though some of my drawings completely sucked (see for example my portrait of Joji Mori) people were very encouraging anyway. Thanks folks!

Closing the Book

Oz IA was another great conference that I look forward to attending next year. And my second round of conference sketchnoting proved challenging, highly enjoyable, and a great way to concentrate and absorb and save more. If you liked the sketchnotes above, you can see all 13 spreads from Oz IA in my Flickr set.

I can’t wait to capture more sketchnotes at Web Directions this week. See you there!