Sketching -method to visualize ideas

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Why should I do sketching?​

One of the most valuable methods for UX designers to practice is sketching.

Below I will explain some of the benefits and why you should sketch, if you aren’t already doing it on a daily basis.

sketching

A common design project begins with someone that needs to solve a problem. The designer starts generating ideas to solve the problem. Imagine yourself getting a lot of ideas, that you think that will not solve the problem for your client. To create a great User Experience, you need to work together with your clients, and find their needs.

How do you explain and visualize your ideas?

Ideas are abstract and difficult to explain in words. This is where sketching is a great method (and in many other situations).

From idea to visualisation of the idea. A way to put your idea into the world and share it. A great way to get feedback and help your clients understand your idea, you can develop and edit your idea together with your clients. This help a lot creating a solution that fill your clients needs.

Do I need to make “great” and artistic sketches?

The answer is NO. If you are a UX designer you should be able to sketch lines and boxes, buttons and navigation and, so on. Get yourself a sketchbook that you like and a great pencil and carry it with you. Whenever you get an idea, make a quick sketch.

You can also use a graphic tablet if you prefer to make digital sketches. The only thing to think about before investing in such thing is that it’s a bit hard to carry around. I think a sketchbook is a great complement.

Inspiration/Products

There are plenty of graphic tablets, this one is middle price and compatible with both Mac and PC:

Beautiful sketchbooks that makes you love to use them:-)


Learn

This book gives you a lot of inspiration and different methods to capture inspiration and ideas. It is a valuable source of knowledge for every UX designer. You can learn about how to combine symbols and lines to create your sketches. Here are also great advices about storyboards and how to gather inspiration.

How to sketch common interface elements?

And finally here is a short video tutorial that shows how to sketch the most common interface elements. I hope you feel that you know some more about why you should do sketches as a UX-designer and also feel free to ask questions in the comments field below. Thanks for reading.

Picture source: Pixabay

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14 Replies to “Sketching -method to visualize ideas”

    1. Hi! Glad to help:-) I hope sketching can help you here and I guess it is possible. Thanks for visiting and for your comment!

  1. I really like the idea of sketching. I feel like it helps you visualize the end product and when you can visualize something, the plan to make it happen becomes so much more clear. Great post! It’s awesome that technology even accommodates this old school way of planning.

    1. In digital design sketching is used, a lot. It’s of course possible to use some technical products to sketch, but sketching on paper is, at the moment and according to me the easiest way. But we all have different needs. Thanks for your comment.

  2. I think sketching is a quick way to give the customer an idea of what they want, and what they don’t want… and in that process, for the designer to nail down the customer’s UX requirements.

    I wonder though, how will you do it if the product is for the mass rather than for an individual customer?

    1. I see sketching also as a way to visualize things for my self, a way to make a conversation with myself and my idea. It’s much easier when I can see how I’m thinking, to make changes and to rethink. And if there is many users as for a huge website, there is always some people to involve, just to check you are on the right track, or you team and so on.

  3. Sketching is definitely necessary for developing and visualizing our ideas.
    Even ideas can be gone very fast and never comes back :((
    I wish I had one of those sketch pad and draw my thoughts whenever I am. People tend to forget using pens and starting to always using keyboards which is kinda sad

    1. Thanks for your comment! I think the best thing is to use pen and paper. It’s quick and handy, and as you say, ideas can disappear… I use my sketchbook a lot, it’s my best tool ever:-)

  4. Hi! Nice information! Maybe I can use sketching for my book or blog. I once wanted to study computer design, I am sure then I would use sketching for my work. I think I found new ideas because of this article. Thank you!
    Linda

    1. Thanks a lot, glad I can offer you something that you can use:-) Wonderful things happen when you visualize and “try” your idea with a quick sketch!

  5. I have some artistic talent – I have painted a few paintings with a sponge that ended up looking pretty cool. But I can’t draw. Are there any suggestions that you may have that would help a novice sketcher like me? How do you learn to draw what you visualize?

    Brad Boschma

    1. Hi! I actually use very simple forms. When it comes to web design or app design it’s useful to just draw boxes, lines, circles and so on. I use these simple forms also for sketching animations. Actually there is many great ideas in the book Sketching User Experiences, I have learned a lot from it.

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