Saturday, April 11, 2009

Sketching as a Second Language

According to Bill Buxton (right) sketching is not the same as drawing. Sketching is quick, disposable, plentiful, ambiguous and no higher resolution than is necessary for the task. While someone might say "I can't draw", saying "I can't sketch" is like saying "I can't think". Sketching is thinking visually.

Sketching is as important to thinking and communication as reading, writing, and arithmetic. Sketching is a second language for thinking and communicating visually that everyone should learn.

Buxton's book "Sketching User Experiences: Getting the Design Right and the Right Design" (left) emphasizes the importance of sketching and early prototyping in the development of new ideas. One of the key reasons is included in the subtitle of the book "getting the right design". If we jump too quickly to developing a design it is possible to spend quite a bit of time solving the wrong problem. It is as important to make sure you are doing the right design as it is to get the design right.

Some other books about drawing for designers include "Design Drawing" by Francis Ching, "Drawing for Designers" by Alan Pipes, "Design and Drawing" by Richard Shadrin, "Architectural Drawing Course" by Mo Zell, "Fashion Design Drawing Course" by Tatham and Seaman, and "Storyboard Design Course" by Giuseppe Cristiano.

Click on the heading above to go to Buxton's web site and check out some of the videos of him talking about the ideas in the book.

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