Ugly Is The Point

The next idea I had for myself was to stop fussing over the details because at this point of the process, the important thing isn't representing the reality of how a button is going to be visually rendered and designed. But right now, I need to focus on representing the function and intention of the design before I actually work on the details.

This is a sketch that we worked on in Balsamiq during a kitchen table discussion. We were discussing how we wanted to evolve the Spartan interface of an advanced feature that a small percentage of our users used regularly, to make it friendlier. To look at this mess of crossed out words, squiggles, and messy lines, you'd think nothing of it. What a mess, right? But this is what happens when you're working out a solution to a problem. There will be mistakes. There will be adjustments in direction, and there will be exploration.

Ugly is the point when you're sketching. When we're capturing ideas at the speed of thought, the ideas will come faster than our hands can sketch them. So the messiness of though—the uncertainty of the evolving idea—is reflected in the sketch. However, while this sketch is not pretty, it does reflect the problem solving process. Although it may be difficult for those outside the conversation to see, the arrows and words represent the behaviors we want to trigger, and the controls that will be used in the interface.