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Sketching across the design process


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This workshop presents an accessible framework for understanding sketching to help communication, understanding, and problem solving -- particularly during a design process that includes multiple roles (that don't always speak the same language).

I propose, not only that sketching helps bridge gaps in communication and get to a deeper level of understanding, but also that every kind of sketching activity falls into one of three categories; thinking, talking, and showing.

In this workshop, for each type of sketching we cover:
- Who it helps
- What it is
- When it can help
- Why you don't need to "know how to draw" to use it
- How to be prepared to use it

You don’t even need to know how to “draw” to learn and apply the methods covered here. After attending this session you will be more comfortable with and better prepared to recognize opportunities where sketching can be used to increase communication and understanding with clients, stakeholders, coworkers, as well as all by yourself, as you work through problems and come up with solutions.

Published in: Design, Technology, Education

Sketching across the design process

  1. 1. I'm Ray DeLaPena ● Director of Strategy at Catalyst Group ● IxDA Local Leader (NYC) 15 years consulting for: Finance, Legal, Education, Medical, Consumer Hello
  2. 2. sketch verb to make a sketch or sketches. (Helpful, huh?) noun 1. a simply or hastily executed drawing or painting, especially a preliminary one, giving the essential features without the details. 2. a rough design, plan, or draft, as of a book. 3. a brief or hasty outline of facts, occurrences, etc.: a sketch of his life. 4. a short, usually descriptive, essay, history, or story. 5. a short play or slight dramatic performance, as one forming part of a vaudeville program.
  3. 3. . "a means whereby the designer could explore and communicate ideas." - Buxton, Sketching User Experiences
  4. 4. Sketching is about the not the artifact. ACTIVITY
  5. 5. The artifact ● Quick ● Timely ● Inexpensive ● Disposable ● Plentiful
  6. 6. The Drawing ● Clear vocabulary ● Distinct Gesture ● Minimal Detail ● Appropriate degree of refinement ● Suggest and explore rather than confirm* ● Ambiguous* * Design Sketches
  7. 7. Pocket notebook ● Personal, portable, readily available Scrap pile ● ● 1 side printed = 1 side blank Cheap, plentiful, "green" Notebook ● You already have it... you can sketch in it too! Dry-Erase Markers ● ● Whiteboards, Windows, Mirrors Open invitation to sketch!
  8. 8. Let’s warm up a bit... Broken Telephone / Chinese Whispers 1. Write down a phrase (5-10 words) 2. Pass it on 3. Draw the phrase 4. Fold the paper to hide the words 5. Pass it on 6. Write down the phrase (from the drawing) 7. Fold the paper to hide the drawing 8. Pass it on (go to 3 & repeat)
  9. 9. Learn Measure Build
  10. 10. For YOU When an idea is not yet fully baked ● Working through a problem space ● Thinking up solutions ● Exploring options Why you don't need to "know how to draw" to use it ● No critics! ● You can't do it wrong
  11. 11. A moment on the brain... Doodling engages auditory, kinesthetic and visual functions in the brain, enhancing learning. Sketching engages two out of three (but two more than just thinking.)
  12. 12. Exercises 1. Think through the problem on your own. 2. Pair up and talk with your partner to create a single solution. 3. Show your solution to the rest of us.
  13. 13. FIRE!! (Or maybe just cooking dinner?)
  14. 14. Think about the problem ● What are the difficulties? ○ Danger or Dinner? ○ Turn it off!! ○ Is it working? ○ What if I’m not home? ● How could it look and work? ○ Inputs, outputs, and sensors? ○ Any new features or interactions?
  15. 15. For YOU and ME When you are trying to explain to or understand someone else ● Show me what you mean (Let me show you what I mean) ● Using your hands? -- Use a pen & paper. Why you don't need to "know how to draw" to use it ● It's about the conversation, not the drawing ● You can explain away your lack of artistic ability ● You can define your own visual language
  16. 16. Samples
  17. 17. Why visual communication?
  18. 18. Why visual communication? External reference (not in our heads) allows for ● Exploration of Concepts ● Different levels of Complexity ● Shared Clarity
  19. 19. Talk about the problem* ● Take a few minutes to share your initial thoughts ● Combine elements from both partners ● Or start from scratch * Share the paper
  20. 20. For ME (Well… not for you) When you have reached a level of understanding you want to communicate or demonstrate ● It should stand alone ● Remember, it’s not art. Don’t make it precious Why you don't need to "know how to draw" to use it ● You're not restricted to only pictures ● Use words, arrows, color, legends
  21. 21. Comics are no joke Comics combine words, pictures, and icons in a single unified vocabulary.
  22. 22. Show Your solution ● Make it stand alone ● Use words and pictures ● What do you want to communicate? ○ The concept? ○ The sequence? ○ screens?
  23. 23. Knowing which sketching mode you are in will: ● Clarify your purpose ● Improve your speed of problem solving ● Increase your depth understanding
  24. 24.
  25. 25. ● Bill Buxton - Sketching User Experiences ● Sunni Brown - The Doodle Revolution ● Scott McCloud - Understanding Comics ● Dave Gray - Visual Thinking Basics ● Dan Roam - Back of the Napkin
  26. 26. How was it? @rayraydel