Friday, May 27, 2011
Paper v. Digital Wireframing
With our last class focused, quite exclusively, on digital wireframing, I wanted to sing the praises for the more traditional side of the line – Paper Wireframes. Gasp – I know! How dare I suggest that someone disconnect from their computer, dust off their sketchbook and pick up a pencil?!?
In my design experience I’ve found that, when trying to get as many ideas out in a short amount of time, it is faster and easier to put it on paper. With paper and pencil there is no learning curve or bugs to work out. You aren’t relying on your hard drive (or an external server) to not crash and lose your work. One point that is equal in both uses is the disposable “throw away value” (Buxton, Sketching User Experiences) of each medium. Remember, the more ideas you get out in the least amount of time, the more likely you are to find a great concept. Alternatively, the less time you spend on each concept, the less connected you will be when the client rips it up – figuratively or literally.
I’m not suggesting that you un-tether from your computer completely. Once you’ve found the design you will move forward with, this is the point to open a design program and create a medium-fidelity mock up of your design. Hopefully by this point you’ve worked through the kinks in your wireframes, communication with the client, personas and low-fidelity sketches that you’ve created a design / interface / experience far superior to simply jumping in to a digital design.
For my website wire frames and sketches, I use a Paper Browser (http://www.raincreativelab.com/paperbrowser/).
Posted by Ryan at 8:51 AM