Visible Change History in Sketches

October 13th, 2009


According to Jason, sketches are never complete but only refined. They exist with the intention to pose questions and ask to be scribbled over on top. And that’s exactly how Jason uses them. He will make adjustments and modification straight over them with a red coloured marker. Thus in a way, all on the same drawing, the sketches become a layered representation of the initial idea along with the revisions. Although I personally prefer to use red to represent action items on my sketches, I still find this interesting approach in its power to visualize a history of changes. This makes me wonder though if there would be a systemic way to separate out all future sketch revisions from each other. Could there also be possibly a way to tag which sketched changes belong to which person (should there be multiple authors?) … ahh, just thinking out loud.

Enough of my thoughts. Here is what Jason really thinks:

I was sketching some designs for wireframe templates. The red is my way of calling attention to changes, questions, or comments about the design.

The neat thing about sketches is that what you see there is black and red. The black is my initial guess. The red is the correction to my initial guess. From there, I implement the changes in the live product. So, for instance, I opened my PSD and made the changes in there.

So the sketches are never really “done.” They’re done in the sense that I’m done using them. But they’re not done in the finished sense, they don’t reflect the final changes, other than by what I’ve written in red.

Credits: Jason Robb

4 Responses to “Visible Change History in Sketches”

  1. Jason Robb Says:

    I like the idea of different markers for different authors. Typically on the small sketches, I'm the only one marking them up.

    And to your point about "action items" in red, the notes ARE usually the action items. "No grid lines!" is one of them, point out that I should remove the grid lines when I move to digital.

    Perhaps using parchment paper for notes only, would be a way to separate the initial sketches from the notes.

  2. Jakub Linowski Says:

    I also like the idea of separating comments or actions from the
    interface screens onto parchment paper. :) Jennifer has began
    exploring something like that right here:
    http://wireframes.linowski.ca/2009/03/tracing-pap… using
    tracing paper.