Ideas on Paper – Sketch More, Design Better

As a Designer, we sketch all the time. When we are not sure about our own idea, we sketch. When we want to use the same visual language while having conversations, we sketch. When we have some ideas and to validate those ideas, we sketch.

“If a picture is worth a hundred words then a sketch is worth a thousand meetings.”

People hate the idea of making a sketch. But there are lots of reasons for you to sketch.


1. Design a better product

“It doesn’t matter what you do; what matters is how well you do, what you are supposed to do.”

Being a product owner, product manager or a product designer, we know our life is tough. We are the advocates of the user and to be a good one, we have to put ourselves into their shoes, to understand their emotions and feeling and to design something which is usable. We have to understand the struggles and the pain which they go through, while interacting with the interface. And this is only possible when we make, validate and iterate. And to do sketching is one of the cheapest way. You can easily have multiple iterations with just the pen and paper within very less time. This will help you to design a better product that meets business requirements and your customer needs.

“You can’t build a car without knowing how to drive. Similarly, you can’t build a great user experience without knowing what are your user’s needs.”

2. Increasing Productivity

Whether you have lots of responsibility or not, it is always advisable to make the best use of your time. From my perspective, productivity has a direct relationship with your happiness. When you are productive, you will be happy with your accomplishments. And, this will only happen when you are more confident in your abilities and the direction which you took.

If you know what you want then you can make a more usable product which everybody will love, attainable only when you are living, breathing and constantly thinking about the solutions. And this is only possible when you create, validate and iterate fast (or fail fast).

We understand sketching is fast and rough. But by doing so regularly, slowly you will open more towards ideas. And, you will realize that you were wasting lots of time by using software rather than simple quick sketches.

“I question my own ideas and that’s the only way I make progress, always curious, always questioning, always doubting my own idea.” – Kenny Chen

You can easily discover better ways and you will notice that the experience of the product could be improved within very less time.

3. It’s about teamwork

Nowadays, client and the company you work for take UX very seriously otherwise they wouldn’t have hired you. They know you are going to help them, to build a product, reach target market and eventually make money. So for them it’s important to know where you are heading. Are you taking the right approach or not? You can’t simply handover your design to them. They don’t like the big reveal because when you keep the process in a mystery, the end result will often be a disappointment for them. Most of the time, they may see a wrong detail while you are not there to represent or may be even when you are still in middle of the concept.

Also, this doesn’t make a good impression, that you take your first idea into the design. It means you are not making an effort to evolve your thought process. So, instead of revealing big ideas, it’s better you keep them in the process and take their feedback. And, by sketching and showing it to them, sometime, it will answer your simple question like “Are you heading in the right direction or not?”

Over to you

All you need to do is stop worrying about what is right or wrong and allow your ideas to evolve towards better designs and more satisfied end-users. You’ll discover how enjoyable it is to sketch.

So start with your first design sketch right away…yes now.

You might also like