In praise of post-its

In praise of post-its

Low-fidelity sketches are still the way to quickly mock workflows

While we love using InVision and other prototyping tools on a daily basis, we still find it important to kick off the user experience design process with low-fidelity prototypes. Rough sketches on post-it notes are the best way for us to validate concepts early on in the design phase, before time and money are spent on more finished mockups. For us, the three primary benefits to post-it sketches are:

Branding Design at a whiteboard in our Chicago office

1. They’re cheap, quick and easy

We don’t have to worry about spending time with more exacting tools like Sketch or Photoshop. In a few seconds we can put pen to paper and get out our ideas so that everyone can give feedback. Investing less time into executing ideas at the beginning means we can get to the best ideas quicker and devote our resources to those.

2. We can focus on concepts, rather than execution

When concepts are executed with more finesse, the conversation naturally moves more towards specific design decisions. “I don't like the color” or “can we change the font?” become a focus, rather than the concepts themselves. When ideas are presently more roughly, all parties are more likely to discuss the broader ideas rather than specifics.

3. They lend themselves to iteration

Our clients often feel more comfortable suggesting revisions or even sketching out ideas themselves when all that has been delivered so far is a series of post-its. And that’s true for our internal team as well. The natural resistance to iteration is lowered when less time has been invested into the current revision.