I’ve been blogging about the book, Sketching User Experiences , as I read it (I guess that’s sort of live blogging!) and came across this tweet yesterday by Greg Willits of The Rosary Army . Greg links to a photo of LEGO instructions his son sketched out for building an airplane. Beside the sketch is the airplane fully built with LEGO.
Aside from the photo being adorable, I love it when life imitates the book I’m currently reading. Right away, it’s an example of sketching out the concept before the product. A cool lego airplane . At his tender young age, Ben already knows the ideal way to industrial design; sketch before product development before placing the product on the market. Less mistakes that way (ex: Vista).
Sketching User Experiences stresses the importance of the concept sketch. In fact, the author, Bill Buxton, goes as far as explaining the different types of sketches and which are appropriate at which stage for the sake of clarity. You know, because corporations have too many chefs in the kitchen and the last thing you r company needs is one of them thinking the mock up represents the final decision.
You can see why I’m using Greg’s photo as an example to illustrate my point (in a fun way). In the real world, for example, a full-scale clay model of a car is sculpted before they start production.
The act of sketching brings about ideas for the product you’re creating. Rough sketches allow you to see areas which need improving and what’s missing or which features should go where before spending all kinds of dough on marketing an unfinished product (ex: Vista). Once all the chefs have made their decisions, a final rendering is made and then the product can be built.