Sketching User Experiences for Energy Software

By |2018-08-09T19:38:46-04:00May 23rd, 2018|User Experience (UX) Design|

Developing energy software for businesses is a complex and detailed process. By the time you reach UI prototyping, you must find ways to balance simple data visualizations with layered functionality. Instead of wasting time creating visual designs surrounding a problem, it’s often more effective to just sketch it out instead.

Sketching user experiences is an easy way to help you get your ideas on paper and out for discussion. For some people, putting pen to paper is the only way they can retain and remember important information.

Sketching also helps to keep team members on the same page and provide a unified vision for each team member to work from. This prevents confusion as well as those endless meetings where each bit of information must be constantly repeated to get everyone back on the same page.

Sketching is the first step in creating energy efficiency tools that effectively serve our clients.

Examples of Sketching User Experiences

Sketching can incorporate every approach from pen and paper drawings to fully fleshed out digital prototypes. Pen and paper is the most common and easy approach, but obviously hard to share among team members. A whiteboard is more interactive and offers better presentation.

You can also consider producing a very rough sketch prototype. This could include a paper prototype or a very rough digital prototype.

The Benefits of Sketching User Experiences

Sometimes it’s helpful for a group to make comments on what they like about a certain solution. This can be done by adding a dot next to a solution that you like or with adding comments to each sketch.

While the need for sketching may seem a little obvious, it’s reminiscent of the need for a centralized data repository. For example, in a continuous integration process, each member of the coding team can make modifications to the same line of code and continuously integrate changes into their framework. This ensures that every team member is constantly on the same page and can continually refine and review each other’s additions in a streamlined manner.

Whether it’s using a tool like Evernote, Google Docs, or pen and paper, it’s always good to open up your sketches for feedback from team members. Either way, sketching is the easiest and fastest way to get ideas out on the table and open for discussion.

Try it Out

Not only is sketching a great way to communicate ideas and generate new ones, it’s also a valuable team building exercise So, gather your team and begin to sketch! Try sketching for 5 minutes, then come back together and have everyone present their solutions.

Keep in mind that a sketch is rough and unfinished by definition, so look at the ideas behind them and not the quality of the drawings. Discuss the positives and negatives of the sketches and then sketch again for 5 minutes. See what you new ideas your team comes up with then!

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