Pen and Paper
As poor as my handwriting is, I really enjoy jotting things down or sketching on paper (especially in my Moleskine notebooks). Every once and awhile, someone (usually 20 years my senior) is surprised that I do so much with my post-its and notebooks. The easiness of just clicking a pen and start writing cannot be surpassed by any modern technology. Think about the last time you had to jot a quick reminder in your phone (which probably consisted of unlocking the screen, finding the app, opening the app, clicking on a new entry, typing the note). Its a bit more involved than the old way.
This week I got feedback that I should re-do a workflow I submitted using pen and paper as the class assignment called for a ‘sketch’. I actually started with pen and paper but decided that I was way more efficient using power point. When I do workflows, I iterate a lot and move things around often. If I tried to mimic this on paper, I would spend hours just rewriting things. Pen and paper is just not efficient with this much change and repetition. I make one task box in my workflow and in a matter of minutes I can duplicate it and change the task and rearrange it where I can start working on the workflow. I personally have more valuable time than trying to sketch for the sake of sketching. If its not efficient, I don’t care what the tool or method is, its not valuable. Could I have used a whiteboard and it would be considered a sketch. Of course but to me its still not efficient.
Everyone in UX holds sketching in high regard. I get it and I do it, just not all the time. There is a time a place for everything. To me, sketching a lo-fi wireframe makes sense but sketching a workflow on paper (or whiteboard) does not (for me). At this point in my life, efficiency trumps all. I have little time to spend on anything. We have all heard the saying “right tool for the right job” and in this case for my workflow work, pen and paper was not.