Product design is a process that progresses from an idea to reality in stages.
Whether you’re designing a simple tool or a complex automobile, it all starts with an idea. And what’s the best way (and the fastest) to put down your idea on a paper?
You sketch it out.
To sketch is to design.
Sketching is an important aspect of product design and development. However, not many designers pay to sketch the respect it deserves. It’s just an afterthought.
There’s a lot of back and forth that happens between the various design stages. As the idea matures and needs refinement, sketching can become an invaluable part of your job as a designer.
Put ideas quickly on paper.
Charting down ideas immediately on paper is the most efficient way to evaluate them and see whether they’re worth exploring further.
It only takes a few seconds to sketch your idea. If you’re not satisfied with it, you can refine it or move on to the next idea immediately. Plus, it’s a great feeling to get the idea out of your head and have it on paper.
Great for brainstorming and collaboration.
It’s natural for a group to lose focus and become disillusioned when you first present your design concept. Communicating what’s in your head with just words is extremely difficult, especially when you’re trying to put forward a visual idea. Sketching helps you to convey your design ideas to everyone in a simple manner.
Furthermore, sketches from team members can be reviewed and compared to consolidate the best ideas. Based on the features required, these ideas can be further refined to select the best design for your product.
It saves time.
Sketching saves a lot of time. Your first idea is rarely the best one. Thus, if you need to revise your sketch, it only takes a few seconds to update it or draw a new one. Doing the same on a computer may take hours, if not more.
Moreover, it’s a quick way to get client feedback and move ahead with a mutually accepted idea. The more time you save deciding on an idea, the better you can refine it further. It’s all a matter of prioritizing, and sketching helps you with that immensely.
It’s easy and fun.
Sketching is for everyone. It’s a universal language which everyone can understand. Anyone can sketch ideas and become involved with the product design process. A few basic shapes, lines, arrows, and stick figures are all you need to get started with sketching. Once you discover how easy and enjoyable it is, you won’t ever look back!
Sketching is a powerful communication tool.
Complex design problems are hard to solve without fleshing out the intricate details. Sketching helps you resolve them by fishing out the best ideas. That’s one of the major reasons why sketching will always remain an important aspect of product design and development.
If you have any experiences with sketching within the product design process, please share them with the Launchpad community.