Why Sketching Is Crucial Prior To Wireframing

Whenever I am assigned to design an application or website, I start to develop ideas in my mind. But the tough stuff is when it comes to realizing those ideas for user interface & here comes the bliss of taking to sketching. You might come up with brilliant ideas in your head but to give it a legible shape, you have to chart out a rough sketch or blueprint- that will offer you a synoptic view of how you would be structuring the design, a base for the detailing in between. Design experts have always raved about the immense benefits of sketching before you proceed with wire framing and here you will see why.

Foundation for conception
You might come across designers who skip out on sketching & plunge right to wireframes. What they don’t understand is that skipping the preliminary stage means losing out on massive conceptual detail & refinement. Wireframe is the stage where you refine your ideas and before you refine it, you need a rough base which is offered by sketching. So, when one skips out on sketches before wireframes, they eventually force the interface into a premature stage which makes refinement tougher. It renders the whole process counter-productive. My years in the industry has taught me that conceptualization of the design ideas is the best done in the sketching stage and when you have finalized the sketch you already have some solid form of your idea at hand- so that you can easily proceed to refining it in Wireframing phase.

Handy for brainstorming different ideas
Sketching is wonderful for brainstorming different ideas with team or clients. The process enables you to express the ideas quickly & as it offers the basic conceptualization to your team and client as well- and together you can explore our various angles of the design easily.

A faster process
This is another reason why you should invest your time and effort in sketching before wireframing. A lot of designers might think that sketching is a waste of time and they jump straight to wireframing. But what they can’t comprehend is that wireframing right from the scratch without the backup of any basic conceptualization on paper is really really tough. You will find yourself sitting blank for hours as you have no draft or blueprint before you, which, on the other hand, is a great wastage of time. It’s easier and faster to draw ideas on paper than pushing pixels on your software.

Sketching enables you to explore various options fast so that it’s quicker to spot the best direction for your design. This way, you will get a blueprint ready as a backup for the wireframe, which in turn speeds up the refinement process.

More detailed and better refined wireframes
This point is in connection with the previous point. When you proceed to wireframing through sketching, you already have a sizeable idea on the potential design direction. Thus, as you reach to the wireframing, you won’t need to contemplate about the different design directions and you can now focus your entire attention on refining the idea- it leads to more detailed wireframes and later on better visual mockups.