Alan Funk Blog 2: MarkBaskinger’s Pencils Before Pixels

Mark Baskinger believes that hand drawing (i.e. pen and pencil sketching) is an essential tool for interface designers to become better visual problem solvers resulting in an easier transition into digital applications. All designers including those involved with interfacing should not worry about the perceived notion that drawings should be highly detailed and naturalistic. Instead, Baskinger suggests that drawings should be rendered quickly and simplistically in various compositions providing many alternatives to the problem. One of the best ways to communicate with an idea is to illustrate a sequential narrative of the user (portrayed as a simplistic graphic icon) interacting with a product in a specific understandable hierarchy. As long as the designer is exploring hand drawing persistently, the designer will gain confidence by figuring out what is the most important, relevant, and identifiable in communicating an idea to the client and the user.

Similar to Baskinger, Andrew Maier believes that storyboarding is useful in captivating a client’s interest in website ideation.  Maier emphasizes that designers need to look at the hierarchy in terms of the history of how a user processes a website.

Besides clear communication, the designer must produce sketches that stimulate the client’s interest based on the playful interaction of the drawing medium itself.

For example, designers (such as the ones from – a South Korean web mail service) could simulate navigation by folding or moving the sketches when the client touches a certain portion of the drawing.

Unlike Baskinger, who believes that interface designers should be fairly well rounded (while not being labor intensive) in the sketching process, Joel Eden argues a much looser process called sketchiness. Eden argues that the fast generation of crude doodles offers flexibility in terms of not taking the critiques so personally on talent. However, when considering the exploration of rendering and mark making, the designer is more open to possibilities to visit or revisit ideas.

For example, Christopher Fahey takes a step further in his sketch process such as multilayered mark making on his drawings with different coloured markers or making a textured collage. Fahey’s process is not only immediate in delivery but also allows for some interactive storytelling such as his sketch for iphone apps.  Finally interface designers should catalogue their sketches to get immediate inspiration and or development such as Fahey’s sketchbook.

In this interaction, a cause and effect is generated when a user (hand on the bottom) points to a drawn icon while the interface reacts to the changes (simulated by the designer folding or introducing a new page symbolized by the hand above).

Fahey has a tree bark texture on the left for possible ideas for future projects.

Fahey will sometimes draw over photocopied mockup ideas to improve the features of a website.

Fahey illustrates an interactive narrative for an iphone app. He admitted to drawing the finger life size to represent loosely yet clearly a human interaction.


This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s