User experience is fundamental to successful product design. Generally, designers produce several designs and then finally settle on one. Therefore, the use of sketching can help grasp users’ true demands and enhance the efficiency of the design. In fact Bill Buxton, Microsoft’s chief researcher, he approves of this technique.
Sketching, the UX means quickly creating a sketch-based product features by co-operating with users. These sketches are then incorporated in the product’s final design. Sketches on paper are cheap, quick and easily disposable. They are also informal and lively and normally come out in a serial form so that they express their meaning in a better way. Sketches don’t have to be as specific as an engineering diagram. Just the bare essentials are sketched, not the entire details of the design. Users can take part in all stages of sketching to constantly revise and make the product design better.
A pencil is used to draw sketches. When ideas have to be explored and certain elements are vague, sketching is essential. It can generate ideas and improve the design.
Why to Use Sketching?
Sketching has many uses in the process of design. Below are some categories:
Quick Idea Development: Sketching is a great way to explore your concepts quickly. Sketch for a couple of hours and devise many likely solutions to your design issue. This step is essential in designing. You will save time by working out your ideas on paper before taking them to the computer. Product design entails lots of time spent sketching. The idea for another shoe design begins on paper not in a computer.
Basic Layout or Composition: You can create the basic elements of your illustration quickly by sketching. Sketching is also used in both graphic and Web design to evaluate quickly layout choices. Your sketches could be of thumbnail size, or large. Your skill in drawing is an unnecessary factor; if your sketches capture the essential elements of your design it’s good enough.
Client Approval, Communication: Showing thumbnail sketches or compositions to customers will likely save lots of time. You will want your client’s approval early especially if the project is a highly detailed one. Since you will be spending hours on an illustration, quick client approval of your design will help you to go forward. Getting approval for thumbnail sketches from customers is part of the illustration procedure. It is also commonly done on big logo styling projects and others.
Exploration of visuals: You can explore and record your interests by using sketching in journalistic fashion. Sketching can also be used to check out multiple choices you could adopt in a specific design.
Refining Visuals: When you create an illustration or design it will need to be refined at a later stage. Overall, the idea may have worked out well, but one element may be troubling you. More sketching rounds can iron out this hassle. At a certain point in time, the sketch will go to the computer where the digital artist will start to produce the digital drafts of the concept.
The Significance of Sketching in Designing a Product
Sketching together by the team members of the product will help to instill trust in them and also to help them get along with each other.
There are many hurdles to be crossed when creating an efficient product team. Maybe the biggest of all is managing the members’ relationships with each other and how these associations affect the design process. Below are some ways that show how sketching together helps to make people work better together.
- Agree on creation time. If a product manager or designer does the early initial creation and doesn’t involve the other party, they are not synchronizing well. Sketching together helps both parties to be in sync at the beginning of a project. By setting a time to specifically sketch together, the early ideas come out together and neither party will feel left behind.
- Agree what you’re producing. By sketching together you’ll get to know exactly what it is that you are going to build. Sketching implicitly answers this essential question and all members know what they are doing.
- Agree on screens to design. Sketching also outlines the precise pieces that require to be designed. As you sketch on screens and see what everyone has on it you will be determining the kind of interactions that users will have with the product. When sketching you can make selections about the necessity or not of pop-ups, types of information a form must contain etc.
- Agree on flow. Sketching will also show in a natural way the flow between several screens. A logical and smooth flow is critical to the efficacy of software. Because of this smooth flow, members of the team can determine quickly if the new screens are meaningful together.
- Capture attentions. As you sketch, you must keep on capturing. If you capture your conversation you don’t have to repeat it. Think how many times you feel like saying the same thing repeatedly to members of the team; when you capture and also share, you need not have to repeat yourself too much. This saves a lot of time.
- It builds trust. Finally, sketching together instills trust among all present there. All are passionate about creating terrific software; all want to take part and envisage in which direction the product will go. When people do their own thing, then trust is soured for each member starts wondering if he/she will be heard.
Product Sketching Guidelines
In the product design field, the ability to present your concepts by using efficient visual methods like sketching improves designer-client communication. The former discovers that sketching is a great way to transform ideas into real life. Here we will look at some guidelines that will be useful to newbie designers:
- A lot of time and effort is needed to get skilled in anything, and product sketching is not an exception. You must feel the joy and excitement when you have a pencil or a pen in your hand.
- Choose appropriate equipment to articulate your ideas in the finest manner and visually connect your product to your client. Expensive materials are not needed to create great sketches. Even a grey marker can create terrific works of art. You will need three basic colors – blue, yellow and red — markers, plus a black one, ballpoint pens and a few black fine liners.
- Sketch what you see around you. All that you sketch must remain as it is, un-edited. You can flip to the next page and begin sketching once more. Soon you’ll realize that you are sketching freely and not thinking too much about it.
- For realistic sketches, the most essential thing to know is what a point of view is and how you must use it. Sketches that have a good perspective to look natural.
- Learn how to draw long, straight lines without the aid of a ruler. Draw with your elbow on the table; using only your wrist will produce only uneven and short lines.
- Don’t expect a masterpiece straight away. In the beginning, draw varied shapes like triangles, squares, ovals and rectangles. You may well ask, why draw simple shapes when most products have complex forms? The answer is, everything can be split up into specific shapes, like an iPod Nano comprises two circles and two rectangles.
The fastest way to explore multiple visual options is through sketching. I have stressed on the advantages that sketching has and the role it plays in product design. You may want to skip the stretching process and go straight to the computer or make digital sketch work for you. While that may not be the wrong approach, it will not give you the multiple alternatives you require. The bigger the project, the more the options your client will want to see and sketching is the best way to show them to him. If you have ideas about sketching, please convey them in the comment column.