UX London – Quick Sketching for Interaction Design Workshop – Mark Baskinger & William Bardel

Here is a dump of my live tweets during this excellent workshop at UX London. If you like it, you should buy their book when it comes out later this year.

  • wondering about the easiest way to export my tweets from yesterday and get them into chronological order
  • sketching workshop kicking off, hooray! ‘and we’re going to get kind of sweaty’
  • ‘how many of you guys are IxDs? And how many are UX Designers?’ Cue chaos
  • showing people your sucky drawings is part of the growing process
  • squeak squeak squeak, explain explain, squeak squeak (how many of you use a whiteboard?)
  • why are we here (in this sketching workshop)? to become better communicators
  • design drawing is useful in the planning process, can help to see the world differently, heightened awareness of how things work
  • drawing can help you tell your story to others, its honesty can be v compelling
  • why draw by hand when we have computers? Mice suck.
  • why draw by hand – direct with the pencil is more direct, more expressive than via mouse
  • thinking is a fast paced activity, the pencil is simple & immediate, a good, fast tool for capturing thought
  • ‘Pencils Before Pixels’ – Mark Baskinger
  • we’re going to start off with really simple things like straight lines …
  • ‘i’d love to sit down and draw cubes with you after the workshop’
  • we’re grabbing pencils and paper…
  • starting with pencil holding technique. @ashdonaldson & @cennydd are getting some remedial tips
  • if you can’t see the tip of your pencil you can’t draw. You need a v loose grip to avoid fatigue
  • your bellybutton is very important for vertical lines. It’s like a visual landmark. Pull the lines toward it #uxlondon (seriously!)
  • (feels like sketch pilates)
  • @keeran of course I’m participating! my vertical lines are much better than my horizontal!
  • correct each others squares. what do you see? either ‘my squares suck’ or ‘the person next to me is blind’
  • you have to warm up before you can sketch properly.
  • techniques for better hand drawn wireframes: use non-repro blue for underlay drawing (it disappears when copied)
  • carry a sketchbook all the time. practice sketching all the time. practice straight lines, squares, using hatching for tone
  • ‘it’s all about pulling some lines’
  • use lines in various intervals, not scribble, for adding tone.
  • being purposefully rough, like overlapping corners, makes sketching look more sketchy
  • sketchiness = this is not a finished idea, I’m still thinking about this. Sketching holds the conversation back to the big picture
  • avoid crosshatching in wireframes, starts to ‘pop’ too much. Use various weight of diagonal or vertical lines instead
  • build your sketches up sequentially, add weight and tone onto the skeleton
  • uh oh. perspective! (moving shapes in space)
  • perspective – make sure your back vertical is a little shorter than your front vertical
  • try to finish your line with the same weight as you start it
  • if you can do curved planes, you can do arrows. (v pretty arrows, that is)
  • @alexjamesmorris you might think all UX people draw, but unfortunately not true, and many of us would love to draw better!
  • move the point of your arrow back just a tiny bit off centre and it will look better
  • i can recommend Trio Scribli pens #uxlondon (via @solle)
  • ‘these are all ‘ungood’ ways of drawing a circle’
  • the only useful thing your pinky does is stablise your hand when you want to ‘drop in’ a pencil
  • the trick to drawing a good circle is to do a few practice circles before you ‘drop in’ your circle (it works!)
  • @freecloud agree that blog posts are like word sketches, but there’s nothing like drawn sketches to communicate some ideas
  • @alexjamesmorris i agree. you can’t copy and paste sketched wireframes. I think that’s incredibly important.
  • I’m realising that my biggest problem with sketching before is not visualising what I am trying to sketch before starting to draw
  • realising sketching is a lot more deliberate than I thought. Resolving to *really* do the sketchbook thing from now on
  • ‘sketching becomes a magic trick. I can draw this and you can’t. That’s a powerful thing’
  • @alexjamesmorris absolutely – pencil before pixels as Mark said at the beginning :)
  • ok. drawing people. If I can leave this workshop with people drawing skills I will be stoked.
  • if you have an element in your sketch that is weak or less deliberate, it attracts attention & detracts from your entire sketch.
  • notational sketching = the act of recording things that you see in the world. Mostly for your sketchbook, less so for sharing
  • analysing visual input (what you see) and deciding what to record is a particular kind of drawing skill
  • @leisa sketching is physical thought in my book #uxlondon (via @Snowbadger) > i agree :)
  • notational sketching tips: fast & loose, use icons, images & symbols, portability is important (in context), date your pages
  • more notational sketching tips: respect the borders (esp. the gutter), print neatly (annotations), white space is ok
  • moving onto visualising functional relationships – communicating how things interact together so it makes sense to others
  • Bill: I like using watercolour because it is less controlled, it forces you to work with mistakes
  • if notation is aimed at recording, diagramming is aimed at explaining
  • tips for explanatory mapping & diagramming: balance style and substance, think about how to direct attention where you want it
  • The Don: ‘How do you draw a blur?’ Mark: ‘You lick your page’
  • @jonbho this is an unusual glut of tweets due to #uxlondon. I can assure you I’m usually much quieter! Apologies for the noise.
  • getting to the end of the sketching workshop. My sketching is still rubbish, but I have a v good idea of why and what to do
  • sketching workshop wrapped up with a gentle critiquing session. Great workshop, recommend it.

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