Most of use the computer for everything that we do: write, communicate, design and create. Computers have replaced the humble pen and sketch book for most designers and it is not a bad thing. Designers can now create objects and designs that are simply not possible to do so without the help and assistance of technology. All that is fair and we agree to that.
Sketching is still important for designers
However, sketching as a practice is still important for web designers. No matter how much we may like to disagree, the convenience of a pencil and paper and the immediacy of our own hand movements are simply irreplaceable. Of course, the mouse can do a lot more than what we possibly could do with our hands. It offers better comfort, better style and even more finesse.
Yet, we are meant to use our hands, our fingers, our gestures and the way our brain has developed to coordinate our thought processes with our hand movements. With that in mind, using a pen and paper to design websites isn’t such a bad idea after all. In this article, we shall take a look at how sketching can help you to design better websites.
Sketching and web designing?
Sketching isn’t all about going to the art school. Every person who likes to understand how lines and spaces interact with each other to form patterns and shapes would have tried to sketch on a piece of paper. Though today’s children grow up learning how to draw using a tablet, you are probably one of those who grew up using crayons and pencils in school.
That alone can help you to design better websites. The fact that we can immediately draw what is on our mind; instead of having to create a layout on PhotoShop is one of the best examples of how important sketching is to web designers.
You meet a client and the client tells you what kind of website he wants and what his requirements are. You immediately note down the points and go back to your office to create a layout. You know what the website must look like but you still must create a layout and then add the finer details. By the time you create the layout, you probably forgot some of the finer details that occurred to you or were discussed during the conversation.
In the alternative scenario, you discuss what the client wants and make points. You immediately take out a piece of paper and a pencil. You begin to draw the layout of the web page with its toolbar, menu bar and just about everything that is required to be there. It almost looks like the end product that you must deliver. Now, you can go back to your office and create that layout in peace, without worrying about how it might turn out, or what it might look like once it is created.
Sketching skills can help web designers to stay in touch with their creativity
Using sketching skills may seem like a foolhardy method for web designers but it is not. It is a quick and easy method to understand what the website must look like and then begin to work on PhotoShop or any other software program that you are comfortable with.
As a web designer, you must also carry a sketch book to make sure that you can draw your inspirations as they occur in your mind. You cannot always open PhotoShop and other programs (even if you choose to work on a mobile device), in order to make sketch notes. Just like a poet cannot sit in front of the computer and expect for the words to flow out, you as a web designer cannot expect to create websites out of nothing.
You need a sketchbook that has a number of inspirations and ideas that have all been scribbled inside. You can use them whenever you want and when you run out of inspirations, your sketches may save you more than anything else. There is a stigma attached to sketching as we knew it, all thanks to over-reliance on technology. While technology and our professions are inseparable, it is never a bad idea to carry a sketch book in which you can draw all the designs that come to your mind.