Chapter 3: Sketching

“I had a great idea, until I started building it . . .”

IN THE NEXT few chapters, I will be talking largely about design thinking, which is different from what is commonly considered to be design. Furthermore, design thinking is not:

Color selection


Margins and padding

Stylistic quality

Negative space

Motion graphics

These activities are attributes of graphic or visual design, which I cover in the third part of this book.

Design Thinking—A Developer’s Kind of Design

To me, design thinking is the hardest part of software design because it relates to how the product feels—not how it looks. In other words, it’s not about making the product pretty, it’s about making the product work. Design thinking is typically described as a creative problem-solving process that focuses on ideation, collaboration, and experimentation to quickly arrive at a solution. Tim Brown, CEO of design agency IDEO, defines design thinking as

“A discipline that uses the designer’s sensibility and methods to match people’s needs with what is technologically feasible and what a viable business strategy can convert into customer value and market opportunity.”

Sketching—Where It All Begins

If you’re reading this book, you probably don’t know how to draw. That’s okay; most people don’t know how to draw. Even most people who went to design school don’t draw well. And if you’re among the elite group that can, it still doesn’t matter—the quality of sketches isn’t the point. ...

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