October 22, 2012 By BJ Cook,
UX design So who’s sketchy out there… I mean…So who sketches out there? Now if you sketch, do you share it with people or do you hide it in your bound sketchbook for nobody to see, unless they’re really freaking beautiful? I was once that way too. It takes a lot of courage to talk about your sketches or even whiteboard through some scenarios in a brainstorming session. A few Saturday’s ago I attended a UX Conference called Sketchcamp in San Diego. Sketchcamp was an opportunity for the User Experience community to spend a whole day exploring the importance of sketching. There are many benefits of sketching before you actually begin the design process–probably the most important it enables communication. How does sketching relate to UX, you might ask? When you are sketching or white boarding in front of someone, this allows you and others to be on same wavelength quicker and to communicate ideas visually, which in turn is more effective. Essentially, when people watch you sketch, the same neurons that are firing in your brain, are firing in theirs too. Really… Showing people my sketches and even sketching in front of people? There are hundreds of decisions a UX designer makes when developing wireframes and if group conversations are started at the sketching phase, we come to solutions faster and it is easier to make suggestions and explore the right direction before wireframes are digitized. When you are sketching in front of people, you are sharing what’s inside your brain as quickly and effectively as possible. You might be the UX Designer or the one giving input but the key here is communication and visually expressing your ideas. Sketching also helps you digest information. Sketching is another way of making sense of all the ideas in your brain. It helps to get those ideas down on a paper and to assemble and the information faster. You need to see what you have in ordered to build something, right? This especially comes in handy for very complex problems with a lot of variables. Other benefits of sketching: - It doesn’t have to be beautiful, you are good enough! - It can be used to maximize efficiency in a lean environment - It encourages communication and the ability to digest information - It is fast! You don’t sketch well? Sketching by nature is imperfect and the more you do it, the better you will be. Sketch on! Editor's Note: For other great UX gatherings in the San Diego area check out the UX Speakeasy Group on Meetup.

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