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Why Sketching is an Important Aspect of the Design Process?

web sketching

The key to developing a good web design begins with sketching. Yes, sketching is an integral part of the design and development process. Back in the early days, you would have seen designers drawing sketches on a piece of paper with a pencil. However, with the rapid transition from the physical to the digital space that the design world has undergone, it’s pretty rare to find artists spending time scribbling down their visions on a piece of paper.

Despite the fact that designing today is well backed with advanced technological software like Adobe Photoshop or the Illustrator, artists feel that this has in turn limited their overall thought process. Web designers directly jump into designing without giving much thought to planning. As a result web designs to some extent lack the essence that a physical hand-drawn design would otherwise convey to the essence.

The Importance of Sketching in the Design Process

Sketching helps to free up the mental thought process. It is a fluid method, which allows the mind to loosen up and open the gate to convey the inner vision that has already been formed. As a result the mind becomes flexible and can easily analyze a particular problem from different angles. In other words, sketching helps to convey ideas better, visualize a particular user flow, demonstrate functionality and illustrate user experience. Besides, sketching allows you to go rough and dirty. You can draw an idea and experiment with it in a number of ways. The more iterations of a drawing you make, the better your visions become as the mind can connect the dots to discover hidden design opportunities. Unfortunately with all the advanced software technologies that promise to give web design the cutting edge, the rigid tool set blocks down the gateway to the rapid formulation of ideas and execution of design aesthetics.

Research and Sketching Come Hand In Hand

Just because sketching permits you the freedom to experiment with your free flow of thoughts, does not mean it does not require pre-planning. What would you sketch and why would you come up with an idea that does not have a meaning to what you want the target audience to convey. Sketching comes with a good temperament of the mind and an outward action, which is possible only when you have a clear mind. This is why research is the process where your initial ideas start building up, which you can then extract and start working with to develop the look and feel that you have been thinking about.

Sketching and Wireframes are Not the Same

This is a common misconception in web design. A wireframe is more of a refinement of the ideas that have been formed during the time of sketching. It dictates the execution of finer details in the user interface. You can call this as the next step that comes after sketching.

Sketching in a Group

Team work helps to consolidate some of the best ideas. When you work in a group, you can produce some of the finest sketches within a short period of time, compare each one of them and then come up with something extraordinary and exquisite. This is a faster and innovative way to building brilliant designs, since they come combined with some of the best design elements that are extracted from multiple sketches produced by your team mates. You can then work on creating a wireframe to provide a structural layout to see how the design layout looks like.

Anyone Can Sketch

Sketching is not just important for designers. It is useful for almost any career which requires to build up something. It is important for designers, strategists, business developers and even clients to sketch out their ideas and analyze it carefully, before putting down their value into it by jumping straight into design.

Benefits of Using Sketches For Your Web Design Project

  • Save time in your workflow process

  • Brainstorm great ideas and collaborate with your team members

  • Refine the wireframe creation process

  • Understand the feasibility of your design layout from the users’ perspective and eliminate unwanted functionality issues

  • Discover great ideas from unexpectedly creative and dormant minds

So, before starting with the web design process, it’s a good idea to sit down and sketch your ideas and visions on a piece of paper. It would provide you more clarity on what you want to create.

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Sudeep Banerjee

Written by

Sudeep Banerjee is the Founder & President of B3NET Inc., the leading Orange County Web Development firm, since 1999 in California. He is a forward thinking leader with expertise in Digital Marketing, Web Design and Mobile Application Development and Amazon Sales Consulting. He is an author, speaker and a consultant with 28 years of experience. He loves to play Basketball and Golf.