Sketching a Better ProductΒΆ

Presenter: Idan Gazit

Track: I


If writing is a means for organizing your thoughts, then sketching is a means for organizing your thoughts visually. Just as good writing requires drafts, good design requires sketches: low-investment, low-resolution braindumps. Learn how to use ugly sketching to iterate your way to a better product.

Django’s Benevolent Designer for Life

  • Sketching is not drawing

  • sketching is a tool that serves a purpose
    • to explore visual idea
  • drawing is art, it serves itself

  • Doesn’t matter if you can’t draw, sketch

  • Sketching is for ideas as drafts are to writing

  • sketching is the act of getting out of your head and brin git back through your eyeballs
    • this uses a whole different part of your brain
  • sketches should be cheap
    • try stuff, throw bad stuff away
    • try different ideas
  • sketches shoudl be fast
    • quick to create
    • low resolution
  • sketches should be ugly
    • communicate unfinished nature - make sure to communicate the unfinishedness
    • people might think it’s complete if not
  • The design funnel
    • sketching user experiences - a book to check out
    • go down the path of ideation to usability
    • sketches -> prototype
    • it’s a gradual process
  • resolution vs. time
    • spend time after you figure out the good idea
    • don’t waste time with polishing bad ideas, sketch them
  • what do you need?
    • paper, pen and a wall
    • you need a wall to show off sketches to the rest of the team
  • sketching, the 37 signals way
    • two fat markers - black and red
    • epicenter design - sketch the parts of the heart of the page
    • sketch the content, that’s the heart of the page
  • how to sketch
    • it’s easy.

    • you need to be able to draw lines

    • you need to be able to draw a box

    • that’s all you need, really

    • don’t draw text
      • use boxes if it’s really big, if smaller use lines
    • greeked text - two lines filled in with squiggles

    • images
      • represent with boxes with an X
    • iconic elements
      • calendars can be grids
  • don’t worry about it looking bad, just do it
    • and make it quick
    • a great way to think visually
  • stencils
    • can be used to draw various icons
    • use when you need to refine sketches
  • can use grid systems in the sketch

  • rulers are awesome, use them
    • but later in the process
  • uses an app called penultimate on ipad - and cosmonaut