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Quick, Useful
UI Sketches
September 18, 2013
Opodz offers desk space and bandwidth in a well-designed collaborative work
environment serving Downtown LoS Angeles in th...
Lane Halley
• Why sketch?
• Types of sketches
• Sketching materials
• Grids, containers and functional groupings
• Your personal UI sh...
What’s a sketch?
“A sketch is a rapidly executed freehand
drawing that is not usually intended as
a finished work.”
— Wiki...
• Record what you see
• Explore ideas quickly
• Demonstrate ideas to others
Why sketch?
Sketches are “sketchy”
Sketching is a
core design skill.
Many kinds of sketches
• Visual recording
• Sketchnotes
• Storyboards
• Concept sketches
• UI sketches
Visual Recording
Sketch by C Todd Lombardo @iamctodd
Concept sketches
UI sketch
Sketch by Ray DeLaPena @rayraydel
UI sketching is a
core skill for
product teams.
“When a designer and PM are out of
sync, it’s because one of them has
gotten ahead of the other in some
way. ...The way to...
Sketching helps
everyone get on
the same page.
UI sketches help teams
• Explore options quickly
• Externalize thinking
• Share understanding
• Feel ownership
Everyone can draw.
Be fearless!
Drawing tools
• Printer paper
• Grid paper
• Whiteboard
• Notebook(s)
The right notebook?
Let’s cover the basics...
• The pencil is powerful!
• Primitives
• Container and grid
• Functional groupings
• Your person...
You can draw almost
anything using basic shape
primitives (circle, square,
line, squiggle)
The pencil has great dynamic
range. Your lines can be faint
or strong. Thick or thin.
Warm-up time!
Let’s draw some shapes.
• Draw a page of squares
• Draw a page of circles
• Draw a page of short parallel lines
Get your pencils ready!
Reverse wireframing
• Quickly sketch an existing interface
• See and understand UIs better
• Develop sketching skills in i...
Visual shorthand
Sketch by Chris Risdon @chrisrisdon
Semantic sketching
• Headings
• Body copy
• Images
• Form elements
• Controls
12 column grid
functional groupings
functional groupings (responsive)
Tip: Work from the outside in
• Draw the outside box first
• Create guides or a grid
• Place large elements first
• Add de...
Here’s exercise #1
Tip: Plan your sketch
• Aspect ratio
• Grid or columns
• Functional groupings
Basic vocabulary
• How will you quickly draw
• Headings (big, medium, small)
• Body copy
• Images
• Buttons and links
Use your new vocabulary
to sketch exercise #2
Now you’re warmed up
Do three in a row!
Extended vocabulary
How will you quickly draw
• Text input & label
• Combo box
• Checkboxes & radio buttons
• Scrollbar
Let’s practice form
elements. Here are three
more screens.
Title Text
Extra Line
The next one’s tricky, but
you’re ready for it!
Here’s the last one.
Focus on the structure.
Keep sketching and you’ll
continue to improve.
Further vocabulary
• Accordion
• Carousel
• Media player
• And ...?
Here are some of the
ways I use sketching.
Talking sketch
Show and discuss alternatives
Designer / developer pairing
Wireframe walkthrough
Making your mark
• Notebooks
• Drawing kit
• Tablet software
A few books that have
inspired me.
Show off your new skillz!!
Sketches are “sketchy”
Sketches are “sketchy”
Sketches are “sketchy”
Sketches are “sketchy”
Sketches are “sketchy”
Sketches are “sketchy”
Sketches are “sketchy”
Sketches are “sketchy”
Sketches are “sketchy”
Sketches are “sketchy”
Sketches are “sketchy”
Sketches are “sketchy”
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Sketches are “sketchy” How to Draw Quick, Useful UI Sketches


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Sketches are “sketchy”

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