Make a sketch: How quick drawing helps in projects

Make a sketch: How quick drawing helps in projects

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Make a sketch: How quick drawing helps in projects

Have you ever been in a situation where you just want to quickly discuss an idea, but the designers are hiding behind screens to produce a wireframe? And when it shows up, do you have the feeling that your discussions get out of hand? Where it feels like every detail is discussed by all the stakeholders but not what truly matters?

When working on early concepts – before the shape of a product has been established, when the boundaries are not yet fully set, and way before design systems have been created – we find it helpful to sketch out the core parts of a concept. This practice has even completely replaced traditional wire-framing for us; it truly is the better option.

Here's why.

It's fast

Time is often of the essence, especially in the early validation phases. And what's quicker than grabbing a piece of paper and a pen? (Or, more accurately, an iPad and an Apple Pencil? But you get the idea.)

The important thing is that you have an artifact that allows you to visualize your idea quickly. We don't care about straight lines or perfect object alignment at this point. All we want to do is establish a shared understanding between all stakeholders that allows us to meaningfully discuss our ideas.

The faster we get there, the better.

It forces us to discuss only what matters

When using traditional wireframes, we often – to this day! – run into the problem that people focus too much on the visual design or layout. This is obviously not the point of a wireframe, and many wireframe tools or frameworks try to actively combat this by making strokes appear "hand drawn". But it doesn't help.

What really helps, though, is actually drawing them by hand.

Suddenly you are discussing if functionality should be there in the first place or if a flow makes sense, not if the button should be aligned on the right or left-hand side.

It invites collaboration

Before you even look at the details, a sketch communicates one thing very clearly: It's a draft. So there is no harm in coming in and adding a thought. Or erasing a part. Or drawing something entirely new. After all, it's just a sketch.

This is great since it gives everyone permission to collaborate, which is vital, especially during the creation of a product when you want input and insights from all sorts of business stakeholders.

The same also holds true when the work shifts from concept to visual design. Here, we want to collaborate with the UI designers to find the best layout, composition and appearance for the product. Often times, when we would use traditional wireframes, it felt like they were purely there to add color. What a waste of knowledge and insight!


So when it comes to your next project, think about incorporating sketching into your workflow. We are certain it will help you get better results and more fruitful discussions – just as it did for us.