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Unlocking UX Success: Capture insights with a personal note taking system

Discover the power of personalized note-taking and unveil expert strategies to craft compelling narratives from your insights.

In the world of UX design, Helpfully believes capturing and sharing research insights shapes everything we do. One of the best ways to capture insights is with a personal note taking system. Jasmine Hentschel, founding designer at Influur, shared the framework she uses to capture and share insights at Helpfully’s Mastering Human Insights conference. Jasmine draws illustrations with key word descriptors so that she can gain buy-in from stakeholders when she presents a graphic description on issues, pain points and potential solutions that become a core part of her final deliverables.

Jasmine Hentschel: Unlock Great Insights Through Your Personal Notetaking System

At Helpfully’s UX research conference, Jasmine’s session centered around the transformative power of developing a personalized note-taking style. She said, “Freeing your mind opens the door to valuable insights.” To simplify these ideas with illustrations uncovers the key takeaways that can be forgotten with words alone. 

1. Create Your Shorthand:

Develop symbols that hold personal meaning, allowing your shorthand to evolve over time to adapt to the changing nature of your insights.

Jasmine Hentschel: Unlock Great Insights Through Your Personal Notetaking System

2. Visualize Connections on the Fly:

Make connections between information, facts, and insights. Draw connections and rough sketches in real-time and make sure to capture specific context and physical environments. You will be grateful  for making these connections in the moment. 

3. Capture the Metadata:

Spend a few seconds capturing metadata to provide context for your insights. Capturing the metadata means taking note of who said it, when, where, and how. Make it easy for someone to quickly understand what was happening and with whom. Even one line can provide much needed context. This will help to understand and remember each unique point of view.

Jasmine Hentschel: Unlock Great Insights Through Your Personal Notetaking System

4. Build Connections Across Everything:

Clearly explain and note connections between each element you are investigating, ensuring all relevant information is captured. Next, translate the insights into actionable steps for product or design improvements.

By creating a meaningful shorthand, visualizing connections on the fly, capturing essential metadata, and building connections across information, UX professionals can unlock valuable insights that can be used to report findings more completely. 

Jasmine also emphasized the importance of evolving one's note-taking approach over time. So, give it time. Don’t feel rushed to capture everything perfectly. Useful notes are better than perfect notes. If your notes stay in your notebook and are not shared, they are not useful. So, the question is - how do you take your insights and share them in a way that is meaningful, useful, and gets them to production? 

At Helpfully, our passion lies in creating communications and insights that resonate with our partners and clients. That's precisely why we advocate for UX researchers to construct a cohesive narrative, weaving together insights into a compelling story that resonates with all stakeholders. Embrace constant evolution – refine your note-taking strategy and be ready to share your findings. This holistic approach guarantees that insights not only capture attention but also seamlessly translate into actionable steps, innovation and business success. 

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