HOW Designers Can Design The Client Experience

One Design Conference, Two ImageThink Perspectives

One Design Conference, Two ImageThink Perspectives

Last week our most veteran and newly initiated ImageThinkers headed to Chicago for How Design Live. Nora Herting, our CEO and founder was on her way to inspire designers and creative thinkers – tap into the collective, primal power of drawing to better collaborate with their clients.

Raheem Nelson – graphic recorder at ImageThink’s, training mission was to synthesize the insights from 2,5000 designers onto a live Journaling Wall.   

Want to know what their experience like at How Design – one of the largest annual gatherings of creative professionals in the world?  

Here are some exclusive excerpts from Nora’s interview with our blogger: Nora Herting, CEO & Founder, ImageThink 

What was your favorite part from the HOW Design Live Conference?  

Nora Herting: As founder of a graphic recording firm, I have attended hundreds of conferences in a professional capacity. I have come to learn that it is the people that make a conference exceptional. HOW Design had such a great sense of community and so many talented designers in attendance. I was happy to meet Julia Reich, a graphic facilitator and designer from Indiana in person. We have such a specialization, it’s so rare to be able to talk shop.  

My favorite moment was the glowing introduction before my workshop. Ilise Benun’s sage advice on marketing a new business helped ImageThink in our early days. 10 years later, Ilise Benun introduced my talk by speaking about the movement that ImageThink created in graphic facilitation and visual thinking. I took the stage, so full of energy to share some of my experience in the power of drawing with around 800 designers in the room.  

Could you share some of those creative nuggets of wisdom with us?  

Nora Herting: I reminded people about how innate communicating with imagery is. We have been drawing as a means of expression and execution for over 40,000 years. I was excited, because this audience in particular, was well equipped to use these visual tools. Being designers, they were creative people and were largely aware of how to design good products and experiences. I encouraged them to take those elements and apply them to how they work with clients; call it relational design.  

Nora Herting, CEO & Founder at ImageThink in an animated conversation with designers and creative thinkers at HOW Design in Chicago.

We discussed the concept of widening the frame, a basic design thinking fundamental. Very often, people are too quick to shift into a problem solving mindset, with out considering the true root of the problem. Designers, embarking on a new brief, can mindfully ask strategic questions to reframe the problem. The results are a deeper understanding of the client need, and a wide frame for generating possible solutions. I didn’t just show them these techniques, I made them use it right there.  

You wouldn’t believe the energy in a room when 800 people are sharing drawings. It was incredible!  

Moving to the Show Floor with the ImageThink Journaling Wall:  

Two days, one giant ImageThink Journaling Wall and nearly 2500 design thinkers, big insights and ideas from the conference onto our journaling wall sparked a platform for conversations and a lot of buzz on social media. Raheem’s visual storyboard at the exhibit hall was a such an asset for attendees who couldn’t be a part of every session during the multi-track event. 

A glimpse of the sketchnotes and illustrations from the ImageThink Journaling Wall.

Here are some exclusive excerpts from Raheem’s interview with our blogger: Raheem Nelson, Graphic Recorder, ImageThink 

HOW did you bring alive the big insights visually at the Conference? 

Raheem Nelson: I was there on an assignment for ImageThink at HOW in Chicago, to create a mural on a massive Journaling Wall. My role at ImageThink as a graphic recorder gives me an amazing opportunity to travel to events like these, to pick out important pieces of information, write it out and create accompanying illustrations and sketchnotes to tell visual stories. 

Graphic facilitation board with sketchnotes and illustrations at HOW Design Conference.

What were some of your key takeaways as a visual artist at HOW? 

Raheem Nelson: At HOW, I was excited to know that I wouldn’t just be graphic recording in the exhibit hall, but I also had the opportunity to attend some of the powerful keynotes and engaging sessions during the course of the 2-day design thinking and creativity summit.  

Here’s some of the big ideas and insights I gleaned from the talks, captured on my Ipad.  

Sketchnotes and illustrations with visual notes from the live conference on an Ipad.
Sketchnotes and illustrations with visual notes from the live conference on an Ipad.
Sketchnotes and illustrations with visual notes from the live conference on an Ipad.

Want your upcoming conference to have a creative edge, to put new tools and mindsets into action? Get in touch with one of our account managers to book Nora Herting at your next event.

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