This article reinforced that my design process isn’t way out there. I’ve been digging into the UI for Con In A Box lately. I’m sketching each screen on grid paper. I use a pencil, and I have a separate eraser. At first, I tried to start mocking up directly in Fireworks. I get far too distracted by colors and fonts too early in the process. Sketching lets me focus on the structure of the page or screen.
I also love that the sketches serve as an informal paper prototype. I can sit down with a user and walk through the basic flow of the interaction. This has led to some great feedback. Mike Rohde is right - people are much more open to providing feedback to a sketch. When I showed the team the completed mockup, I did not get a lot of feedback. People were much more tentative in asking for changes or even just asking questions. A sketch clearly isn’t finished. Several team members commented that the mockup had required a lot of work. With the sketches, they jumped right in to understanding the interaction and comparing with their previous experience.
I’m going to keep right on sketching, even if I am blowing through grid paper at an amazing rate right now.