Activities and Processes
This week, I stepped into the minds of professional product designers by practicing sketching during the ideation process. I initially worked alongside peers, analyzing different sketches and their important features such as simplicity, brief written captions, and explanations that clarified features of the sketch. We then practiced sketching ideas for Valentine’s Day and trash disposal, using the 10+10 method where we created 10 sketches of a variety of ideas before drawing 10 variants of our favorite idea.
Following this process allows for repeated variety then expansion on an idea during the design process. After practicing, I created ideas for the food industry by myself. I again followed the 10+10 format and decided upon a bowl with a pull out tray nested in as my best idea which I then elaborated on. I took pictures of all my sketches and compiled them into a neat PDF file.
Questions and Struggles
During this process, I felt like I was grasping at straws when drawing the 10 variant sketches. It seemed that after a few of these variant sketches, the quality of my ideas had significantly decreased. Running into this problem made me question if professional designers hold themselves to quotas like I did. I wonder if they stop brainstorming ideas after they feel they have run out, or if they try to meet a certain amount of ideas with every brainstorming session because they believe that great ideas can come to fruition given appropriate time.
Evaluation and Progress
How would you evaluate your own ability to sketch for UX/ideation purposes? Did your own sense of your ability to sketch change through this project? If so, in what ways?
I thought that initially my sketching abilities were lackluster. While the basic shapes of the objects I drew were recognizable, the key features that made the ideas innovative were not properly communicated. At the start, I didn’t properly identify what elements I should include in my drawings so they became cluttered with surplus features. However, by the end of the assignment, I realized exactly what aspects of my ideas I wanted to highlight, so I kept the drawings simple in order to emphasize these features. By keeping it simple to point out only the most important features, I could communicate my ideas properly.
Reflection and Utilization
The process of sketching in order to communicate novel ideas is a skill that is understated in our society. People often describe ideas verbally, but by being able to transfer ideas in a more efficient manner with sketching, people can learn and evaluate ideas quicker. I feel that teaching could greatly benefit from this practice. While new ideas are not being created as in ideation, demonstrating ideas that can have physical representations such as physics laws, musical phrasing, and mathematical formulas allows for students to better understand concepts and ideas. Many students would stand to benefit from supplemental drawings of the content they are learning.