Things I learned in session 2:
- Sharpies are a valid work tool
- Sketching isn’t as hard as it seems
- There are a lot of repetitive elements in app navigation
Drawing has never been a particular skill of mine, and attempts at sketching have generally resulted in a lot of “creative interpretation” by various teachers throughout my elementary and high school years. So when I first saw “sketching” on the syllabus for week two, saying I was less than thrilled would have been a pretty strong understatement.
While I knew that we would be designing a prototype in this course, I assumed that it would be strictly computer-based.
As it turns out, there’s still a lot of hand-drawn work that starts design processes that end up as websites and apps, and the preliminary sketches are so basic that even the artistically-challenged can get their sketching-groove on.
We covered everything from correct tools to use (Sharpies of varying thicknesses – a boon for Sharpie-addicts like myself), how to use basic shapes to signify different areas (squares are good; bolded squares to emphasize areas of importance are better), and how to indicate images (a basic shape that’s been shaded in does the trick – no drawing skills needed!).
Once we’d covered the basic concepts, we were set loose to break down an app or website that we found interesting, using the sketching techniques that we’d just learned.
After about 45 minutes, a few people shared what they had discovered while going through apps, and based on their observations as well as what I had analyzed, we realized that there were a lot of repetitive elements in app design.
Whether this is something that happens because it’s good design, or if it’s because it’s easy and there are other options out there is something that I hope to find out over the duration of this course.
Stay tuned as I discover the answer to this question over the next 10 weeks.