UX Sketching: Whiteboard 101

In my experience, the best UX/UI designs result when teams work together to sketch out their ideas. They do this based on solid user research combined with a clear understanding of business needs.

The resulting sketches help teams clarify their thinking “on paper”. They make abstract ideas more tangible, and enable teams to explore multiple design options quickly. This process also helps to build trust among team members, since people literally get on the same page during a sketching session.

Practice, Practice Practice

You can facilitate this process by becoming a better whiteboard sketcher. The better you can sketch, the more clearly you can communicate your ideas. This will also help others clearly communicate their ideas back to you.

To that end, here’s a short video that will give you a handy collection of common interface elements that you can practice sketching anytime.

A Portable Whiteboard Helps

To keep the production simple, I used a Nu-board hand-held whiteboard notebook along with standard Expo whiteboard markers.

I’m using this portable whiteboard more and more often during in-person meetings. Clients really seem to like the intimacy of passing it around the table during sketching sessions. It also works great for remote whiteboarding when combined with the IPEVO Ziggy HD document camera.

Keep A Sketching Kit Handy

If you don’t have access to a portable whiteboard, you can always put together a portable sketching kit. Mine is always in my bag so I can practice sketching whenever I have a free moment.

What Do You Think?

This video is currently featured as part of Designlab’s Interaction Design course curriculum. Please let me know what you think in the comments, and happy sketching!

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