Many designers have different processes to how they design the user experience of the product they are working on. Some skip sketching and go straight to wireframes, and some jump directly to mockups. Here at Codal, we see a huge value in sketching prior to wireframing, and of course, wireframing before pixel perfect mockups. When you skip one, you may lose a lot of conceptual detail. A perfect and refined design involves both sketching and wireframing prior to the interface design. Here’s why:
Sketching will help your brainstorming process.
One of the biggest benefits to sketching is that it allows you to express multiple ideas to your clients on a whiteboard or paper, prior to moving on to the next step. It’s important for your client to understand the concept of UX so they can include any feedback on your sketches. Sketches are also a great way for you and your client to brainstorm together- the client can show you what they are looking for in a layout of their design by a quick sketch on paper. This can also help get everyone on the same page.
Sketching will make you work faster and more efficiently.
Sketching allows you to explore many different options very quickly. Once your team decides on one of the sketches- the wireframe process becomes much easier and faster. If you didn’t spend time sketching out ideas, you could spend weeks and weeks wireframing different options before choosing the most efficient ‘frame.
Sketching will make your wireframes more detailed.
Since you already sketched out the concept- wireframing means much more than that. You now can spend more time on the details of your wireframe, and make them more high-fidelity instead of exploring all of the different options you can go. Higher fidelity wireframes help communicate form and function, and will be easier for the UI designer to a visual mockup.
Sketching out your idea prior to wireframing is necessary in the design process. Sketching is a stage that many people underestimate, but it ultimately sets the tone for the rest of the UXD process.
Have a project where you need a proper design process completed? Codal is a UX design and development agency based out of Chicago. We work with our clients to create stunning designs through a full design process of sketching, wireframes, rapid prototyping, and interface design.