This week I came across Getting Real: An interview with Jason Fried, an intriguing article and interview by Khoi Vinh, NYTimes.com Design Director, blogger at Subtraction.com and founder of the design studio, Behavior.
In the interview, Khoi asks Jason Fried of 37signals questions about Getting Real, a process which involves small teams, agile development, and lots of iterations.
Mid-way through the interview I found this wonderful quote from Jason:
We also sketch on paper a lot — much more than we go into a program like Photoshop. Paper is fast, cheap, and low resolution enough to get ideas out without having to worry about the details too early on. Worrying about details too early can kill you, and paper helps you skip the details.
In Photoshop you worry too much about pixels and alignment and colors. On paper you can get rough ideas out quickly without worrying about all the stuff that just doesn't matter yet.
Like Jason, I'm a strong an advocate of using pen or pencil and paper sketches to think visually. I find sketching encourages me to explore more ideas more quickly and helps me resist the rigidity and limitations of the computer and software.
Putting pencil or pen to paper separates me from the distractions and ruts I sometimes get into on the Mac. Because it's physical, I find it relaxing, which I believe results in better design solutions.
Give it a try! Go forth, sketch and get real!