Sketching makes things nicer

19 Sep

Here’s a lesson I had learned, and then forgotten until recently:  rough sketched pen drawings are much nicer than wireframes when it comes to telling someone the story of your design.  Now I knew this was the case in the early stages of a design, such that I always start with sketching, usually with other people in the team – it’s a great way to throw ideas about (and out!) quickly.  But on my current project, I am in a world of precision wireframes, where all the pages are following a well-defined grid, with lots of recurring bits and bobs (yes folks, the hugely entertaining part where you have had all the fun ideas generation, and only the detail and repetitious creation remains).  When you hit that stage of a project, it just makes sense to reuse the same deck of omnigraffle files, and before you know it, sketching and scribbling squiggly lines to represent ‘some content here’ goes out of the window.  But when you try to show those pristine creations to someone new to the project, particularly when that someone is a designer coming in cold at a later stage, you find that their eyes glaze over somewhat.

This week, I will be mostly grabbing the sketchy style templates from GraffleTopia, and keeping the ‘other other’ users for this project process, my stakeholders and colleagues in mind when I demonstrate ideas.

Update 20th Sept:  An interesting post on Smashing about sketching, and particularly using layers of markers to rough design ideas in.  I think that this is a skill not everyone might have but to me the principle is the important thing – sketching is a crucial tool in the UEx arsenal.

The Messy Art of UX Sketching | Smashing Magazine

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