Teaching UI Sketching at Workday

As part of the Design Thinking program at Workday I've been trained as a facilitator for leading a variety of brainstorming sessions with small groups. It's been both a fun and challenging experience (I'm not a naturally loud talker) and I've seen Design Thinking sessions generate a lot of great ideas that give apps teams a new perspective on their product. 

With this program I am now teaching a series of 1-hour basic UI sketching workshops aimed towards non-designers. While I used sketching a lot as an industrial design student, UI sketching is something that I wanted to learn more about, use more in my day-to-day work, and share with my coworkers. In my workshop, I go over examples of sketches I've collected from blogs and physical sketches that I've created with different tools and for different purposes. I then ask the group to sketch a short pre-determined flow on their own and then share out to the whole group.


We then critique each person's sketch flow with 2 things we liked about it and 1 suggestion to make it even better next time.

From the few sessions I've taught already, I learned a few things:

  • People are generally afraid to put their sketches down in ink and instead opt for a light pencil sketch first, then darkening in
  • The sketching templates (with pre-printed phone/tablet frames) were very popular compared to drawing on blank post-its or papers

I'll be working on encouraging future participants to see their sketches as "just sketches" and not a polished piece. Perhaps it is just  the setting of the workshop, however I hope to get across that sketches are meant to be quick and efficient ways to communicate and/or discuss an idea together without getting too caught up in the details!

Since the pre-printed device frames were so popular, I also created a set of Workday-themed templates which our Visual Design Director then got printed into a series of sketchpads, which was pretty awesome.

Frances TungSketching