Home » Why Pen and Paper are Still Useful in UX/UI

Pen and Paper

While there are plenty of apps for sketching on mobiles, tablets, and PCs, and the different digital pens and sketching devices we have nowadays, this article will show you why still a pen and paper are useful and sometimes has no alternatives for you, like there is no charging power for pen and paper and portability for it also natural feel of resistance of pen on paper that gives you seconds of thinking of doing right without wasting papers or ink (a practice to do things right from start without the ability to undo).

Although some designers prefer to undo and have multi-color brushes and specific sizes of digital canvas, with multiple brush patterns, I still recommend making your first ideas using a pen and paper and this is why.

You Do Not Need a Charging Power for Pen and Paper

Did you face battery-dying notifications while you are at the most productive or creative point of your work? Also, if you were on a PC (which is always plugged in), did you feel that you need to lie down on your bed while you are thinking about your design user interface and how you will implement it in the future while you are in the middle of working on a PC?

You Need Flexible Not Apps with Artboards or canvases

Most UX/UI designers use prototyping tools such as Adobe XD, Figma, InVision, Sketch, Photoshop, or Illustrator…etc., and most of them use artboard to contain the design, but most of the time I see the need to put notes around the design with unrestricted tools rather than a full sketching tool such as Procreate on iPad, which is not used in UX/UI industry, but if I will replace Pen and paper in the future, I will still need the sketching ability in prototypes.

Pen and Paper Resistance Gives You Moments to Think of Next design element

Also, the feel of pen resistance is not achievable on any digital screen, which gives you the moments of thinking about where to go with your pen next up, down, left, right, diagonal…etc., that we have in using traditional pen and paper.

You Just Need to Sketch Your Design Idea Before Losing it

I struggle to set up the environment to start my sketching process on digital screens while all I need is just a pen and paper to draw the idea I need before I lose it, without caring about canvas size, ink color, or brush pattern. Also, doing 5 to 7 ideas quickly is undoable using the mouse of a computer to design quick ideas that show up in my mind, because it is just like a bulb that lights off the idea and you need to implement it as fast as you could all you need it to just turn the page, not doing a new design file and repeating setting it up again.

You Practice Doing a Complete, Big View Design Idea from the Beginning

When you need to put an idea, you practice doing it right from the beginning to decrease wasting ink and pages because it is undoable, and if you are using a pencil you look to save the head of the pencil to complete your entire idea without erasing to keep your desk, bed, or room clean of eraser and papers waste.

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