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Smashing UX Design: Foundations for Designing Online User Experiences by Jesmond Allen, James Chudley

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Chapter 16: Using Sketching To Generate and Communicate Ideas

Sketches are a great way to generate ideas and share them early. Sketching allows you to test designs without committing lots of time to detailed wireframes or graphic designs. You do not need to be good at drawing to produce useful sketches—they help you think and collaborate and aren’t an end in themselves.

When to sketch

Sketching is an excellent starting point for any design work. If you need to generate ideas rapidly, visually test an approach, or gather immediate feedback from clients, sketching can play an important role. Sketching is used at some point in every design project we work on.

Sketch to Generate ideas quickly

At the beginning of a project, you need to come up with lots of ideas. The more ideas you have to choose from, the more likely there’s a good one in there!

The section called “How to Sketch” later in this chapter outlines a rapid sketching exercise that can be run with or without clients. The aim is to widen the design options available to you by generating lots of ideas rapidly. Then you narrow the field by discussing the ideas and selecting those to move on with. In this situation, crazy ideas are easy to weed out: if they are impossible to draw, they will certainly be impossible to code.

Even if you don’t have a team around you or clients to collaborate with, it makes sense to sketch out potential design solutions at the beginning of a project. Pushing yourself to come up with lots of ...

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