Ironhack | Exercise 1: Visual Note-Taking Follow-Up

As a preparation for the Ironhack Bootcamp and upon completing the pre-work, I decided to revisit the topics which I felt required more attention from my part. After giving it a go and put my visual note-taking skills into practice, I couldn’t help it but to feel somewhat “meh” regarding my first sketches. It was good for giving it a try and see where exactly I was standing but I knew I could improve way more.


“I was learning [and] listening, fully engaged (…) I think that I have to improve my ability to translate words into simple drawings.”

In my previous article related to the topic, I concluded that after going through the sketching process, I had to work better on how I could translate words into visuals in my paper. I was pleased with how focused I became with whatever I was listening to but I always fell on the pattern of writing many words.

So the first I did was to see what other Ironhack students like me were doing, just to get a taste of the standard (why not?) and then, per Ironhack recommendation, I dove deeper and studied with more attention The Sketchnote Handbook by Mike Rhode. I understand that I am no drawer or artist, by that I could turn sketches more appealing just by tweaking the font or using a different colour, for example. So here are the first results, with talks that are of my interest and recommended by Ironhack.

Sketching Talks

What Ecology Can teach About Sustainability by Calie Babbitt

I have a background in Renewable Energy studies and I’ve always been involved in activities related with climate change entrepreneurship and sustainable development. Hence, as I look for ways of applying UX/UI Design in that direction, I picked this talk which walks her through how we should use technology to design less environmentally harmful products. The message is clear, Green Design is Needed!

Design Is In the Details by Paul Bennett

In this talk, I learned the importance of embracing details when designing. More importantly, that one should put oneself in the position of the person a solution is being created for.

How to Make Choosing Easier by Sheena Iyengar

Listening to this talk made me realise how many times I’ve had bad experiences using services just because of the ridiculous amount of times I faced too much choice (and the times I actually bought something because of the simplicity in choosing). An extremely insightful talk that is surely relevant for any UX Designer, Service Designer or Entrepreneur out there!


I felt more comfortable in this second round of sketching. I would like to believe that I was able to improve from my previous work but, of course, practice makes perfect. This is now part of a routine I’ve started that is to sketch one TED Talk a day as a way of keep improving this aspect of design! :-)



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Rafael Martins

Rafael Martins


I’m a UX/UI Designer with 2+ years of experience in design thinking practices by conceptualising and crafting innovative services