Is Sketching Necessary in UI-UX Design? – Curated News (11)

What is sketching?

According to the definition from Wikipedia, sketching is a rapidly executed freehand drawing that is not usually intended as a finished work. I would say sketching is the preliminary abstract start turning into concrete and a very useful thinking-aid. Sketching is an unpretentious and focused act of visualising ideas and putting them on paper.

is sketching necesarry in ui ux design

Many might consider sketching a loss of time thinking that it’s done with no end goal in mind, but for others, including myself is a habit I’m proud of.

Starting with a sketch allows you to present ideas from the start before diving into visual details because that’s the role of the prototype, of the static or interactive wireframes and (responsive) design tools. Receiving early feedback on your sketches in the web design workflow is really useful and time-saving.

Why is the thinking sketch important? 

First of all, sketching is not a neccesary practice that every designer should use, but it does help a lot in the creative design process. For many of us (including myself), sketching is an indispensable phase of the design process, the starting point that continues with the prototypes/wireframes, with the UX strategy, IA, navigation and visual designs. Sketching is important in creating the basis for the site’s first impression and credibility and it allows to receive early and useful feedback from the team (I like to invite the other departments into the process), from customers and input from real-world users.

Sketch types

  1. Process sketches. The main purpose is about understanding an assignment. There is more writing than sketching. A focus in examining problems and analyzing the context

  2. Ideation sketches. Sketches that are created by designers while developing an idea of a product. Mainly roughly made and without details.

  3. Explanatory sketches. Created to explain functions, shape and structure of a design concept. These are sketches presented to the client, readable to everyone.

  4. Persuasive sketches. Finishing sketches that are usually created in digital softwares such as CAD-programs, Adobe Photoshop and others. Detailed and colorful to influence audience and sell a design concept.


There are more types of sketches:

  1. Personal Communication Sketches aka the Doodle

  2. The Thinking Sketch

  3. The Technical Sketch

  4. The Presentation Sketch

  5. The Emotive Sketch


What types of sketching do I use?

I use most the ideation and explanatory ideas sketching for private and personal interests. Hand and digital ideas sketching helps me turn ideas into visual parts of the site’s design: graphics, icons, color schemes, typography etc. I use the explanatory sketches as a communication method with customers.

Seen as pencil arts, sketches are useful when done both on paper and sketchbooks or online using sketch software.


Sketching tools

Here’s our collection with sketching tools we like and use (+ this one). Which are your favourite ones (that we should add also on the list?)

Conclusion: We encourage you to start sketching as often as you can. Take it as a challenge to start working better and more efficiently. I know sketching needs practice but I can tell you it’s worth for any website or project you have, as you can visualize solutions made by hand, receive feedback in an early stage and keep on developing your creativity.


Raul Rusu

Experienced in strategic project planning, Raul Rusu is the CEO of Design19 web agency. With great experience in public relations and skills in examining development processes, Raul has been working with passion for every project to turn it from plans to results.