If you’ve ever doodled on sticky notes or in the margins of your notebook, I want you to make your seemingly mindless doodling, do work. Sketching regularly helps you generate better ideas, communicate them more effectively, work faster, and even change the way you think. I became a visual thinker when working on illustration projects, but eventually started sketching out everything from content strategy brainstorming to UI/UX element prioritization; sketching is pervasive and powerful in more ways than one:
Sketching out your rough ideas allows you to process information in a non-linear way andgive your ideas a fighting chance before you can analyze them into extinction. Fire up your synapses, there’s time to organize and prioritize later. You won’t need a special sketchbook as inspiration can strike at any time, just grab a blank sheet (or scrap) of paper and get to it.
You can examine elements of design, like composition and scale to see what will work visually before you start a design project. Work through your ideas, develop, optimize, compare and review many visual or strategic concepts at once—all without using too much bandwidth. Think of it as enhanced brainstorming for more productive ideation.
Grab a marker and move your ideas to the whiteboard. Sketching makes communicating your ideas to a large audience easier as it gives everyone a clear vision of the concept and helps confirm a mutual understanding.
and perhaps, most importantly…
Say it with me: visual thinking has nothing to do with drawing ability—anyone can do it. Sketches are meant to be imperfect so instead of focusing on aesthetic quality, focus on developing and communicating your idea. I usually sketch in pen, because I don’t want to spend time or give myself the temptation to erase and “perfect”. Just cross out what you need to and move on. Evidence below:
a. Icon set for local coffee shop
b. Logo design for area school
c. Illustrations for iOS sticker pack
d. Wireframes for print and digital collateral package
So, put pen to paper and start problem solving! We’re always here if you need another head or hand.