Do IDers overvalue sketching/drawing?

you had me at “hello”.

2 personal pet peeves of mine:

  1. a really poor idea beautifully sketched
  2. a really good idea poorly sketched

Don’t confuse a time consuming sketch with a good sketch. A fantastic sketch rarely takes that much time, but it does take a lot of skill.

That sounds interesting as a extreme design challenge. Trying to think of the best and worst ideas to apply.

I completely agree and to take that further nothing is more aggravating than a poor idea beautifully rendered. I think sketching is extremely important and would never hire anyone that can’t sketch, but there are designers out there that spend way too much time doing it. I have seen designers that will churn and churn in the sketching phase and have a hard time moving on to the next phase. I think the reason for this is I think we consider it to be the most fun part of the process. This can also be avoided through constant reviews with cross-functional teams.

Yes- I tend to agree that it is overvalued. The highest traffic links on my blog have to do with sketches and rendering. I also know for a fact that the more interesting designs that I have worked on have nothing to do with sketches, and more to do with twisting and massaging mechanisms and housings around each other in CAD, clay and paper cutouts- topics that draw little to no traffic, which is somewhat annoying.

Just try telling an entry level designer to sketch ugly, but design sexy and watch the mounting horror. I almost have to pull out some hot rendering that I have done in the past and say" Look- there you go. Hot sketch rendering- I can do it too. Now get over it and design me something better…" It is really funny that we hold up designers like Jonathan Ives who admittedly dont sketch, and yet obsess with the sketch rather than the design.

It is also my observation that good form development and good sketches usually correlate proportionately. There is a certain fast quality that I like to see- where line quality comes as a result of confidence rather than obsessive undos or use of tools.

MasterBlaster, you’ve touched on something I’ve been contemplating recently. Many times, I’ve also experienced “good work and good thinking” occurring by looking at CAD or cutting out paper/foam. I always figure something out without taking it to a level where anyone other than me could really understand what I’m doing (without me there, in 3D explaining it) because I don’t have to and that’s a waste of time in the moment.

My question is how to document these moments, save them for later, and communicate to someone? Paper models don’t catch the eye, and while they may have been the most crucial component of a development process, they are easy to overlook. :frowning: I might start another topic with a few examples.

Sketching is a skill used for selling your idea.

And yes…there’s no need to be sketching/render a basic idea for 4 hours.
You’d better use that time to explore other ideas.

But sketching is handy in selling an idea…People rather see a sketch these days than some fancy render.
It’s more personal. It also gives the viewer something to add of it’s own. It’s not done yet…And it communicates that.
If you show a render to a person. Then they think the design-work is done and that production can start. Mostly this is not the case :wink:

So sketching-skill are important to sell an idea…but first you need good ideas :wink: