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Top 5 Reasons For Implementing UX Sketching

January 16, 2021 |
Design, Technology, UX, UX Design
UX Sketching

When you do some creative work, you often face an ugly situation known as the ‘creative block’. Designers also go through this phase; however, like any complicated problem with no clear solution, a smart process can make all the differences. This is where UX sketching comes into the picture. Although it’s a very crucial aspect of user experience design, UX sketching is often overlooked. Sketching is an efficient way of communicating design while allowing designers to try out many ideas and iterate them before settling on one.

While designing, designers consider their options, and then proceed to work out the details, thus making UX design a two-step process:

  1. Idea generation – At first, multiple ideas are generated, not all of which can be fully shaped. The key thing is to consider different approaches and select the most efficient one with respect to your task’s context and various project constraints.
  2. Adding detail and refinement – Over some time, you zero-down on a few promising options and proceed to work out the specifics, thus eliminating unsuitable ideas. By sketching ideas out first and circulating them, you’re showing your process in addition to the iterative development of the product. By drawing the whole arc of the project’s development, you take yourself, your team, and your clients on a journey from day one. 

Here are the top 5 reasons for sketching in UX that allows you to eliminate unwanted ideas, outline documents more engagingly, and provide visual stimuli that help everyone be on the same page throughout the project.

To Draw Inputs From Discussions

These are the perfect places to commence sketching. Even if you aren’t ready to put your rough sketches in front of all, capturing talks, meetings, training, and conferences is a good start. You already take notes during these conversations, so might as well add some visual elements such as titles, small images, dividers, and containers to showcase key points, speech bubbles to capture quotes, and arrows to connect information. These useful tricks elevate your content to be more engaging and enjoyable to read.

You can build up a personal visual vocabulary of items that you can swiftly and confidently draw upon. And, when it comes to applying these skills to your projects, you’d be confident in what you’re showing to your team members and other stakeholders.

Once you feel confident and comfortable sharing, draw up the meeting, click a picture, and send it to all the attendees. This allows all to be on the same page. One important thing – do tell people before the meeting starts that you’ll be sketchnoting; they would then know that you’re not just scribbling and wasting time, but are paying attention to doing something constructive.

To Solve Problems

A problem visualized is a problem half solved. Simply take a sheet of paper or a whiteboard. Write down the issue you’re trying to fix so that it is visible to everyone. Now start collecting ideas from everyone in the room; get each individual to draw or write every issue they can think of that’s associated with the core problem. It not only promotes an inclusive working environment but helps group them into common themes. Once the ideas are collected and organized you can make connections between the problems. 

Drawing things helps people visualize how the entire problem is constructed; it helps identify how the problem can be broken down into chunks, which can then be tackled in a more manageable and logical way. While this method is useful to exercise the brain, you can’t merely leave ideas on paper and think your problem is solved. Make sure you take time to collect, organize, and finalize your ideas into something more concrete and useful. Someone should take ownership and responsibility to move to the next steps. 

To Communicate Ideas

Once the key problems have been identified, UX sketching is perfect for generating solution ideas for the identified problem. It’s quick, easy, and more importantly visual; everyone can quickly identify, discuss, and distinguish the right ideas. Whether it’s a service design, a screen, or even simple diagrams; these will help you get your message across clearly and quickly. 

One way to reach a great idea is to split the group into smaller teams and get every individual to draw 4–5 quick problem-solving ideas; they present the idea to all and everyone else provide their feedback.

The other approach is to extract the best parts from everyone’s first ideas and emphasize your solutions; incorporate the favorite elements that your colleagues came up with, and get rid of stuff that wasn’t too popular. Try to form a group agreement on elements that should be combined to create the best possible solution.

Even when working alone, UX sketching multiple ideas helps combine and consolidate your thoughts. Also, being able to doodle your thoughts quickly helps overcome language barriers when working with international clients.

To Develop Quick Concepts

One of the useful applications of UX sketching is drawing out the overall vision and concept of a project on a single page. This is very helpful when preparing pitches, or initial engagements with clients since it summarises your early ideas, slides, and overall experience in one simple image.

Visually capturing a selection of your ideas in one single image during the early stages can help get clients on board with you and your team; additionally, the ideas are easily shareable. Most importantly, it adds value to your client’s experience. Including a raw/unfinished sketch might seem unusual at the start. But, it could help your early conversations or pitch stand out from the crowd.

Presenting raw sketches to clients is a wonderful idea; however, it may not work for all clients. Some clients may expect a polished idea with neat, glossy pictures to visualize the look and feel of the idea in real life. Therefore, gauge and understand your clients before presenting the ideas as sketches.

For Prototyping Screens And Information Architecture

Finally, remember to sketch your core designs. Once you’ve followed the entire process of sketching your ideas, it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty of designs. One of the advantages of generating multiple sketches is that you can get to early user testing. It will allow you to change quickly, based on feedback, and then refine the best ideas into high fidelity design elements. All of the others come together at this stage.

It is like drawing out jigsaw pieces of the elements you know will be required to make up the final designs. You can then freely move these design features around. Get it right, refine it into true wireframes, and then pass it all to your visual designers. They can then really bring the composite elements to life.

Wrap Up

The single biggest benefit of UX sketching is showcasing your thinking, and spanning the entire arc of a project. It displays that you’ve gone through a process to solve the problem, the evolution of ideas, and explains how you have arrived at a solution. In simple terms, the ability to take people on a journey via sketchnoting can have enormous benefits for everyone involved. Want to know more? Speak to our UX experts now!

Read more about 10 useful UX rules here

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