Last week we highlighted one of our favorite tools as designers here at ZURB: rapid design sketches
. Sketching interfaces, workflows, and other UI elements is best applied to the early stages of any project. They're a great, low-impact, and inexpensive way to get a project started.
We use them here at ZURB to break problems wide open—not necessarily with solutions, but more questions and ideas. From there, we use more sketches and wireframes to narrow it back down with a solid game plan moving forward. The best part is how easy sketching is—even for the non-designer types.
**Anyone can pick up a Sharpie and some paper to get started**, and to help, we're posting some of our client sketchsheets for you to download and use.
###About Our Sketchsheets
Previously, all our print documents were done in some sort of Illustrator-Photoshop-InDesign combo, producing inconsistencies along the way. When we decided to give them an overhaul, we took it under our wing to standardize a few other things, including our sketching paper.
After a few good attempts in Illustrator, we saw Konigi's awesome screencast
on creating sketch style wireframes, and decided to move on to OmniGraffle
. There, we constructed a series of flexible, printable documents that help us knock out sketches quickly and effectively, **while maintaining a great visual presentation**. While we're not 100% there yet, we've got a few versions floating around the office to give them the full trial run they need.
####How They Work
**Just print and sketch.** That's pretty much it, but we don't stop there. To help present our work better, label every sketch with a client and project in the top left. In the image on the right, we're the client and the project is The Product. Why'd we do this? Because it's all about the presentation of the work, not just the work.
Work gets passed along by clients, and not always in the way we want. Notes and labels like this help preserve some of that presentation for a more complete picture. To help you present sketches well, **we've left a light gray line for you to label your own sketches** by client and project.
Now, for the good stuff. We've put together a collection of our favorites and have posted them here for you to download and use. Enjoy!
###Download the Sketchsheets
ZURB Sketchsheets are available in four variations, each with three colors: ZURBgreen, ZURBlue, and dark gray. PDFs include all three colors. Click the thumbnails for a closer look at each sketchsheet.
Perfect for creating larger and more focused sketches in bulk. Print off 10 copies and let the ideas fly. Also available as a centered copy for adding notes more easily all around your sketches.
Download Single Sketchsheet (PDF) »
Download Centered Single Sketchsheet (PDF) »
If you've got a workflow, pageflow, or just some basic interactions to illustrate, here's your best bet: a three-up set of boxes that leaves plenty of room for ideas and comments below.
Download the 3-Up Sketchsheet (PDF) »
Three boxes not enough? Try this one on for size. Four boxes present for longer flows, or hashing out small simple UI elements without wasting paper or precious time. Just start sketching!
Download the 4-Up Sketchsheet (PDF) »
An experimental hybrid of the 4-up and single sketchsheets, this mixed variation allows for a focused sketch and two sideline or focused sketches. Perfect for showing a favorite design solution's benefits in more detail.
Download the Mixed Sketchsheet Mixed (PDF) »
Have any requests for additional sketchsheets or variations on the ones provided? Let us know and we'll see what we can do to help. Also, let us know if you'd be interested in the OmniGraffle source file, other file formats, or even what we do once we're done sketching. We'll be following up with more updates and refinements as we go along!