When it comes to designing, Sketching is a fundamental part of the process. It comes in the initial stages and sets the basic structure of your design. While it does look pretty simple and easy to do, it is probably a very tedious task and must be done a certain way to ensure that the rest of the procedure goes as per the initial plan. And it is a must for UX Designers as it helps in clearing their heads and move forward with a base plan.
Why Is Sketching Important For UX Designers?
The main idea behind Sketching is to have a clear idea about what kind of design are you going for. At the same time, it is also to be noted that when we talk about sketching, we are not talking about decorative art pieces. We are talking about wireframe sketching. It will help you understand your ideas much more clearly and leave space for more ideas to pool in before you start making your website.
Once you start sketching your ideas, there is no going back. When you start to pen down your ideas about your website, you’d be able to bring more ideas to the paper. The unfinished sketches will help you become even more creative with your design, and eventually, you’ll end up with something much better than what you had initially planned.
It is important to note that Sketching is just the start of your designing procedure. It is not the end game. You can always make changes and add more or delete some. But it will help you to visualise your website in real life and give you a rough idea of what your website would look like within a specific format.
When it comes to designing with a team, communication is extremely important. It helps you and your team to be on the same page and avoids any kind of confusion. Sketching plays a crucial role in that. While you can communicate verbally as well, it will be difficult for everyone to visualise the same thing as you are. This will further lead to confusion and different interpretations of the same idea. This is where Sketching will save time for everyone.
If you already have a rough idea of how the website is supposed to look, it will be easier for everyone to be on the same page and communicate properly. Other members of your team will have better suggestions to pool if everyone is working in the same direction. Sketching will be your visual communication tool.
Once you have a sketch ready, you won’t be wasting time on bringing everyone to visualise the same as you do. You can move forward with your discussions, reviewing the idea and further improvements to the design. Multiple people working on the same vision with a well-laid-down plan, can filter out the bad ideas from the design. It will be easier for you to explain the ideas to your clients as well.
Points To Remember About Sketching
Sketching Is NOT Drawing
A lot of people believe that Sketching and drawing are the same things. But they are not! Sketching and drawing are two different things. Drawing is open to your creativity and colourful interpretations. However, Sketching doesn’t need petals and flowers to be decorated with. It is about laying a structure for your other process. It is to help you have a skeleton structure of your idea about your design.
Sketching is NOT Prototyping
Another misconception regarding Sketching is that it is also a low-fidelity prototype, which it is not! They both do look similar and have more or less the same purpose, but they are not the same thing. Sketches and prototypes are two different things and are used at two different stages of the Design Process. Sketching comes before prototyping. The goal is to put forward the idea in a changeable format. However, prototypes are much more intricate and require more investment.
Tips For Sketching
Sketching is mainly dependent on how you want your website to look like. It is all about your creativity, but it is common to have an artist’s block while you are doing it. Below are some tips that will help you sketch better.
Before you start to put your idea on paper, always prep yourself, clear your head, have a cup of coffee or whatever you prefer. Shake your hands and relax. Start with making basic things like lines and circles.
Don’t Jump On Conclusions
Sketching is all about penning down your ideas. You don’t need to have one single idea set to start sketching. You can sketch as many ideas as possible. The aim is to keep doing it until you have a solid sketch in front of you. Maybe you will be able to mingle different ideas and create one perfect sketch that you can go ahead with.
Keep It Simple
As said before, Sketching is not drawing. You don’t need to decorate your sketches with flowers and colours. Please keep it simple and easy to understand for yourself and your team.
Titles And Sketches
When you start to sketch, the chances are that you’ll be overwhelmed by the number of ideas crossing your head. Whenever you move on to making a new sketch, title or number the previous one to avoid any confusion. If one sketch takes multiple pages, it is always better to put arrows between them.
Be Open To Feedback
You must have worked hard on your sketch, but also be open to feedback. When you have a team or clients that you are working with, they will most likely have their opinions about your sketch, or what they want the website to look like. As a designer, it is essential to be open to changes, suggestions and constructive criticism.
Sketching is a skill. You don’t need to be an artist to be good at sketching. You will have multiple artist’s blocks, but that’s normal. It is essential to keep yourself going. You can always improve your sketching skill with time.
Visual Quality Is Not As Important As It May Seem
When you are sketching, it doesn’t have to look “pretty”. It is a rough sketch to give you and your team or clients an idea about what to expect from the outcome.
Wireframe sketching takes time and practice. You won’t learn it in a day; you’ll have to keep practising. But it is crucial for the design process else the entire procedure will be haywire and lose its essence. Just like how wireframe sketching is not an art piece, it shouldn’t be done in an art book either. There are certain types of wireframe journals, responsive and mobile notebooks that you can use to make your journey easier.