Sketchnotes and learnings from FITC Amsterdam 2019

By 22/02/2019 No Comments
Sketchnoting FITC Amsterdam 2019

On Feb 18 and Feb 19, the 12th edition of the conference FITC Amsterdam took place to host their  design and tech event on the future of innovation, design and all the cool shit in between. We were sketchnote partner again this year (like we were at FITC Amsterdam’s 10th edition as well). Koen, Patrick and Nicky attended and sketched their way through almost a dozen talks each!

Insights from FITC Amsterdam 2019

Apart from sketchnoting during the talks, we have also combined our insights from the conference and share them with you in this article. It was a very inspiring two days!

Appreciate unpredictability, embrace chaos

In art, but also in designs and solutions that are generated by AI / machine learning, a certain degree of unpredictability can be found. AI can generate a lot of ideas very quickly and it is our task to hunt for that one unique idea, the golden nugget that is hidden within the ‘chaos’. Embrace a certain amount of randomness, see where it takes you and find solutions that can only be created because of the sheer number of possibilities that an AI can generate. Our job as experience designers wil change, generating variations, ideas and designs is something that is no longer purely the domain of humans.

Explore & focus on outcome

Reframe your success metrics. Focus not only on the regular goals like daily active users, conversion etc. There are very good additional goals we can focus on. Use our skills for good, habit forming loops can be utilized in a more responsible way. Stop the race to the bottom of the brainstem. Finding the real problem, the real pain, within your team, the process or the brief you have been given. This is a source of allies!

Combine personal projects with client projects

Do the things you love to do or are interested in doing, next to the work you do for your clients. In many cases you will see there is an overlap between these two, and sometimes you can apply the things you learn during personal projects in client work and overdeliver, exceed expectations and make better and more fun products! Next to that, you have the liberty to fail in personal projects to get better at your work for clients and prevent you from potentially failing there. So find the time for personal projects, either in your own time or during work hours.

Play, experiment and share your results and insights

Explore! Try the new things you always wanted to, new techniques or methods you like to master. Do this just for the fun of it! Do not force it to be useful or to make money.

By sharing your learnings with others you broaden their perspective and you get a better understanding of other fields of work as they share their insights too. Also, people might see a benefit in the things you do for fun and so these experiments can eventually bring value after all.

Craft matters

We need skills and skilled people. To be able to achieve great results, we need people who can make things happen. We need people with attention to detail and who can create unexpected designs. So be sure to hone your craft, practice your skills, stay up to date on things that matter, hire crafts(wo)men and team up with people who can do things you aren’t able to. This is where magic happens!

Value for the user is key

Keep in mind the added value of your work for the user, make things easier and simpler. Do not add functionality because of ‘What ifs’ of ‘Wouldn’t it be cool too’s’. Make sure you keep in mind the functional requirements from a user perspective and focus on optimizing these. Make them more simple to understand and use to improve the user experience.

Design with feeling

Whether it is creating a story, making a video, doing user research or designing VR, keep in mind the feelings of the people you are designing for. Tapping into emotions resonates with audiences and makes for engaged users. Also, we share responsibility for creating online environments that are accessible and safe for all, so take into account potential negative feelings when designing as well. Very important here is to do proper research and when doing this, do not forget to remember that your own ideas and feelings might bias the way you interpret the results.

Imagination makes everything possible

Just because something does not exist yet, does not mean it can’t be done or be designed for. Take the time to step outside the box and let your imagination run wild. Brainstorm and speculate about new technologies and functionalities. It’s fun (first and foremost) and it also has value, for tech is such a fast changing world and all of us want to be prepared for what might be next. Also, it broadens your perspective and fosters creativity. Form a team with all kinds of different skills, give yourself a futuristic problem assignment (e.g. how would we go shopping on Mars) and try to imagine a new future – for tech, for design, for clients, for the world!

Sketchnotes from FITC Amsterdam 2019

Koen, Patrick and Nicky made sketchnotes for many of the talks at FITC Amsterdam 2019. All are available here, in alphabetical order by first name of the speaker.

Interested to know more?

If after reading this blog post and seeing the sketchnotes you would like to discuss ideas and talk some more or are interested in training to learn how to sketchnote yourself: please contact us ! We are always interested to share and exchange thoughts with people on interesting topics.

Koen Terra


Koen Terra is a consultant at GriDD. During his study Industrial Design at TU Delft, he focused mainly on visualizing ideas and concepts. This ensures that he can visualize information quickly and effectively. Koen is convinced that thinking and communicating offer added value in images and will certainly not leave this behind during his work at GriDD.

In addition, his study in the direction of product design and his curious nature has ensured that he always tries to solve problems and to make existing solutions better. This manifests itself not only in the form of visuals but also in physical products that help solve problems and support people in all kinds of ways.

Patrick Kerling


Patrick Kerling is a creative and analytical consultant. He likes to use his knowledge and creativity to devise effective and user-oriented solutions for information issues. Patrick thinks in concepts, underpinned with knowledge, skills and creativity. Furthermore, Patrick loves to run or mountainbike in the beautiful landscape of Twente. He also enjoys creative excesses on canvas and karaoke.

Nicky Meijer


Nicky Meijer is a consultant at GriDD. She is driven to support professionals and organizations with (complex) information issues and any form of personal development. With her background as an educational expert she is interested in everything that has to do with knowledge processes and learning, especially when new technologies can offer added value. Nicky has a passion for visualizing ideas and stories; something she has been doing since she was a child. She is convinced that the way to mutual understanding lies in making information explicit in an effective visual way.