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Sketchboard before you wireframe

At Future of Web Design this week, Aarron Walter has been talking a lot about Sketchboarding. This is a process that Adaptive Path pioneered. In this post I’ll quickly explain the idea and how it will help you.

Adaptive Path’s definition of Sketchboarding: “The sketchboard is a low-fi technique that makes it possible for designers to explore and evaluate a range of interaction concepts while involving both business and technology partners. Unlike the process that results from wireframe-based design, the sketchboard quickly performs iterations on many possible solutions and then singles out the best user experience to document and build upon.”

Sketchboarding allows you to think through larger UX concepts before committing to wireframes. This is important because it allows you to nail down what’s really important in your app before proceeding to the user interface.

How to get started

  1. Get out a big sheet of paper (2-3 meters) and stick it to the wall
  2. Use sticky notes to divide the sketchboard into broad topics like Design/User Personas or steps that your users will take (signup, log in, edit details, close account, etc).
  3. Use paper or the UX Sketchbook to start roughing out ideas or thoughts
  4. Stick them to the board
  5. Move things around

The best thing about Sketchboarding is that you can take it off the wall and carry it to another room or location. This means that you can formulate your ideas and then bring the sketchboard to your manager or client. It’s a mobile blackboard.

This short video will help explain the idea visually …

How are you all using Sketchboarding (or similar concepts) to explore the UX in your projects?

[Thanks for the photo b0xman]

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