During the ideation phase — and any time you’re working out a new puzzle — being able to quickly hand sketch ideas, flows, basic layouts is critical for capturing your ideas.
Hand sketches are used to work out problems for yourself, to explain ideas to your team, to collaborate on and facilitate the iterative processes. There’s no time to draw up detailed sketches and wireframes in an application like Illustrator or Sketch during a design brainstorming session. Sketching helps you get your ideas down fast, and rework them even faster.
I encourage students to start on paper or whiteboards as soon as a project is assigned. There is nothing harder than overcoming that blank white screen. It’s better to get ugly ideas out right away so you can work them until you’ve molded them into something worth putting into a design program.
The other major reason we designers like to sketch our ideas is because it allows us to make mistakes and make changes easily and quickly. There is nothing high stakes about a line on a whiteboard. You won’t be judged on your design prowess because it’s crooked, something is misspelled, or the idea simply stinks.
You’re forgiven everything when you’re working fast and iteratively.
So start low stakes. Start off every idea with a quick sketch — or a hundred.