I was tickled pink to have been invited to give the closing keynote at Sketch Camp in Chicago this past weekend. I’d never before been to a Chicago Camps event and was blown away by the hospitality of the organizers and volunteers, as well as by the whip-smartness of the questions I got after the talk and in the hallways of the fantastic Harrington College of Design venue.

I Met Awesome People

I finally got to meet Abi Jones, whose web comic I have enjoyed for eons (that’s her instagram above). And my gosh, if you’ve not yet met or seen the work of Brandy Agerbeck, make a point of doing so. I’m going to order her book today.

I Learned A New-To-Me Model for Digital Product Design

The opening keynote was given by the inimitable Peter Merholz, who presented his adapted double-diamond model for digital product design by explaining it in the context of sketching. The talk was illustrated with examples of sketches at varying degrees of fidelity and finshed-looking-ness from client work that happened mostly in the first of the two diamonds. Fascinating stuff – you should read about this model on Peter’s blog.

I Gave A Brand New Talk

So then, about the talk: it’s a new one that I developed particularly for the context of capping off a day where everybody is talking about and making sketches. Sketches are both the content of certain media as well as a medium in and of themselves. I’m fascinated by the ways that media operate as environments, and this fascination is being fed by Marshall McLuhan, the media ecologist whose work I first became familiar with through the interpretive work of Shane Hipps. I think Mr. McLuhan’s teachings are especially essential to the work we do as information architects and user experience designers. A recording of the case I make for McLuhan’s necessity to what we do is embedded below. The slides I presented are here.

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