So, I've read Sketching User Experience by Bill Buxton and several blogs discussion how to start the ideation process in a good way with sketching. I've also read about different pens, such as Copic and Sharpie, and seen showcases of UI sketches. But, nowhere have I found any resources about actually becoming better at the sketching craft specifically for UI/UX. Are there any?
This might be relevant for you: 5 tips on sketching user interfaces:
- Draw box-elements with four separate lines — do not try to draw them with one continuous stroke.
- Use drop shadow to distinguish graphical elements.
- Use a thick sharpie to focus on loose form rather than details.
- Get your arm off the paper: you'll draw with your shoulder rather than with wrist and your lines will be straighter.
- Constrain yourself: do not focus on details, set up deadlines and maybe try to sketch on post-it notes
An additional useful resource The Messy Art Of UX Sketching by Pieter Buick, covering topics and tips such as
- Work in Layers
- Loosen Up
- Play To Your Strengths
- Sketching Interactions
- Copying And Pasting For The Real World - Use a photocopier
- The Design Is In The Details - Use a ruler
- Tell The Whole Story
- Ditch The Sketchbook
Here's a blog post that has some ideas:
There's a Flickr group, though I don't know if it's being moderated anymore:
And Jakob Linowski has a lot of great posts on hand sketching:
Personally, I'm a fan of simple tools:
- pencil for quick sketching
- thicj and thick black markers for clean-up
- a few primary colors for noting interaction (red, yellow, etc)
I might be reading this wrong, but there seems to be an implicit assumption here that freehand sketching practice must be achieved through analogue means. If you have access to an iPad and stylus, I can heartily recommend the Brushes or Penultimate iPad apps as a way of getting better at sketching freehand. I had almost totally abandoned sketching on paper because I was getting increasingly frustrated with the lack of an Undo command and the general messiness of erasing and/or starting again, then I was lucky enough to have use of an iPad for a while, and it totally changed how I related to sketching — it became a real pleasure.
I have the Griffin iPad Stylus: it's cheap, very nice to use, and good all the way down to one or two pixels in Brushes, though for Sharpie-type sketching I tend to use Penultimate, which has much better detection for quick pen-strokes.
The stylus also works pretty well with Brushes on the iPhone, though obviously you have less screen to play with there. But it's still good for doing stuff on the fly.
Anyway, hope that's helpful.