Sketch notes from Inbound 20173 min read


To bring to life the notepads I took around with me during Inbound 2017, I created several ‘sketch notes’ of the sessions I attended. Call it doodling or simply just expressing thoughts and ideas — I aimed for something quite visual that I might want to look at again, and who knows, even blog about…

Kill the PDF

Jeff White – Thursday 28th September 2017

Is it time to Kill the PDF? The PDF, essentially, wasn’t made for web documents, and after this talk I thought: ‘that makes absolute perfect sense’. Reporting back to oe:gen HQ, I’ve now advised our marketing team to convert all our whitepapers, quick start guides, useful plannng templates and more into web pages.


  1. PDF files are not meant for viewing on mobiles
    • Don’t deliver your most premium content in a format that cannot be easily consumed on mobile
  2. PDF’s can’t be edited easily
    • Once a pdf has been created – it can’t easily be modified requiring re-export
  3. Once downloaded, it can’t be updated
    • Compare this with a web page which can be readily updated with your CMS
  4. PDF forms can’t easily to be tied to a CRM
    • PDF documents are simply ‘not of the web’
  5. PDF’s struggle with rich media
    • Possible to embed video but not a good idea
  6. PDF’s can’t contain analytics
    • They are essentially offline
  7. No caching or controlled downloading
    • No progressive downloading
    • Downloaded as single bundle
  8. Lower search rank than native HTML
    • A web page gets indexed – PDF’s don’t

10 things we’ve learned from doing over 100 website throwdowns

Carina Duffy – Tuesday 26th September 2017

Website throwdown is where a group of experts in marketing, design, and UX get together to do a monthly review of submitted websites people send in to be critiqued. In her talk Carina Duffy defined some of the difficulties designers come across in creating marketing web sites and shared some fundamental insights every designer or marketer should be conscious of.


  1. Copy
    • Your website isn’t about you
    • Offer your Personas a way to fix their fears
  2. Talk to your people
    • Be a good listener
    • Listen to customers, data, criticism
  3. SEO isn’t dead
    • Compare this with a web page which can be readily updated with your CMS
  4. Form fields
    • Match the value of the offer
  5. Just test it
    • Talked about a lot, but do we really do it?
  6. Think about mobile
    • Small things like ‘mobile responsiveness issue’ become huge trust eroders for users
  7. Don’t use stock photos
    • Find a way to take your own pictures
  8. You can’t stop avoiding video
    • Think about Facebook live and Instagram Live etc
  9. Don’t take the user journey for granted
    • Find someone who has never been to your website and watch them use it
    • View and create your website from the perspective of the user


Michelle Obama – Thursday 28th September 2017

Former First Lady, Michelle Obama, inspired the audience with words of wisdom in her keynote speech. She spoke about ways to improve diversity in tech companies, and also touched upon Hillary Clinton’s loss in the election. Of equal importance, she revealed that her favorite song on Beyoncé’s Lemonade album was ‘Love Drought’.


  1. Be a feminist
    • Have strength of will
  2. How could they look at her opponent (Hillary Clinton) and think his voice represents me?
    • You can try to lead with fear but it doesn’t work – it isn’t healthy
  3. Never try to be anyone else
    • Always be yourself
    • Would I ever want to be anyone else?
  4. Vision and Strategy
    • Define your process (or lack of it)
    • Let your work speak for itself
  5. Live your most truthful self
    • Don’t let other people define you
    • Be who you are.



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