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What Is Sketching and Why You Need It

UX/UI Design Agency
UI/UX Design
・4 min read

Maybe you are an aspiring UX/UI designer. And maybe you have heard about sketching before but don’t understand how to do it or why it is useful. Don’t worry! After reading this post, you will know everything you need about this amazing and often overlooked skill.

What Is Sketching

Sketching is when one draws an initial, simplified version of a future drawing - a simple sketch of surrounding objects, or a setting.
Before, only extremely fast drawings of architecture made with a pencil or coal on paper were referred to as sketches. However, today more elaborate sketches, including photographically accurate visualizations, are also called sketches. Professional UI/UX design agencies always sketch the interface of software systems, websites, or applications during the development stages.
A wide variety of materials can be used to create a sketch, from fashionable Copic markers to more traditional ones like pencils, watercolors, charcoals, and so on. The most interesting results are sometimes obtained through a mixture of techniques and tools. For example, when drawing the basics of a sketch with markers and creating accents with watercolor paints.

Who Needs Sketching Skills

Many creative professions benefit from acquiring and perfecting their sketching skills. Let’s take a closer look at some of them.

UX/UI Designers

When you are working on interfaces, it is impossible to start making a working prototype straight away. First, you need to prepare a rough draft, mull it over, make another one, and discuss it with your colleagues. A UX/UI designer usually goes through this process a few times. Sketching is an effective way to make your ideas more visual, which is indispensable in the workplace.

Web Designers

Sketches will help you quickly create concepts for future interfaces and their elements. You can literally sketch important ideas on a napkin during a meeting with a real customer if you must. It will help to immediately determine the direction and solve many points at this stage of discussion of the project.


Perhaps animators benefit from sketching the most. Indeed, freehand sketches often become the basis for animation and demonstrate the movement and change of objects.

Art Directors

This skill is useful for illustrating your idea when it is very important to convey your concept to designers as quickly and accurately as possible.

Advertising Specialists

Here, sketches help us understand the ​​future visualization of an idea, immediately select the right references and reduce work time.


When it is important to show character interactions, sketching can come to the rescue. Using a simple sketch created in a couple of minutes, you can show how a whole scene should look.

Interior Designers

Sketching will help convey all your thoughts to customers who are often poorly spatially and visually oriented in special programs and drawings.

Concept Artists

In the film and gaming industries, the sketch is essential as a starting point. No artist of environment and characters can sit down for a detailed study of the drawing without a sketch of some type. Otherwise, they risk spending a lot of time on work that may not be accepted.


You probably teach UX/UI design, art, or mathematics. Regardless of the subject, displaying the new information for your students in the visual form allows at least some of them to understand better. Also, this way, you can provide them with notes and materials that will allow them to get prepared for tests and exams.
All in all, being able to sketch out your ideas is truly a comprehensive and useful skill!

How to Learn Sketching

As soon as people understand what sketching is, they often correlate it with drawing and think that it isn’t something for them. However, this is not the case: sketching is a technique, not a natural talent. Anyone and everyone can learn (spoiler alert: sketching can be learned just four months).
To learn how to sketch, there are two ways: self-study using special sketchbooks and professional tutorials and training with a teacher.
However, online courses and Youtube allow you to combine both:
To start with a beginner-level drawing course. Of course, you will not learn everything you need to know in just 11 hours of video lectures. But it can be a good start. It will help you to understand whether you want to continue learning and become professional at sketching.
On the Skillshare website, you will find plenty of video lessons on drawing and sketching in different techniques and with different materials, including UX/UI sketching.
Once you feel more confident with your sketching skills, learn how you can apply them in UX/UI design with the specialization from the University of Michigan available online.
Feel free to explore sketching-related websites and Youtube channels in order to add more materials to your list.

Final Thoughts

Sketching is an indispensable skill for those who practice creative professions. Moreover, it is a necessary stage of any and every UX/UI design project. Now you know what sketching is and, hopefully, you feel motivated to investigate more resources and become a better UX/UI designer yourself.

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