Eva is currently working as an interaction designer for Google in London, but is originally from Germany where she studied both classic graphic design and interface design. She has also lived in Paris for some years, working with information architecture and interface design. Due to her love for sketching, she has become famous and published books with her sketches.
– I have been drawing and sketching since I was a kid. My love for drawing was one of main (and slightly naive) reasons for choosing to study graphic design. I actually did a lot of drawing at university, it was normal to carry around a sketchbook all the time, but lost the habit after graduating. I got back into sketching several years ago and it has since become an invaluable tool I wouldn’t want to miss anymore.
Helpful when interaction design
– I sketch to think. Getting all the thoughts, ideas and possibilities out on paper is like making an inventory, laying out the possibilities. I want to be able to look at all the ideas at once, compare them, reshuffle parts and see the progress in thinking. This is especially true when designing complex systems.
Holding all the parts in your head at once is just impossible.
Sketching is often the quickest and clearest way to make these parts visible and to start working with them, means Eva-Lotta.
Physical sketching vs digital project-planning
– I like sketching with pen on paper (or marker on whiteboard) in early stages of a project, when the scope is still wide and there are lots of routes to explore. It's a great tool for when lower fidelity and rapid exploration is key. When I get more into the nitty-gritty of a project I move on to Illustrator, but using it more like a sketching tool: Building out parts of an interface, shuffling elements around and trying out different ways to solve the problem. When you are dealing with lots of elements, it can be quicker to sketch digitally instead of having to redraw each element with each variation you try out.
How important is storyboarding?
– Storyboarding is very useful in the early phase of a project, when you are trying to figure out which problem to solve, when the focus is on people rather than technology.
Stories are about people, their struggles, how they overcome them and how they feel along the way.
Storyboards allow you to focus on how people are going to use your product, in which situations they might use it and how it fits into their life without getting too bogged down in interface details.
Eva-Lotta doesn`t see sketching as a methodology that is used at a particular step in a process. She see it as an additional way to express herself, like another language you are fluent in. Being able to communicate visually is a key skill for designers and we should be as fluent as possible in expressing our thoughts with pen and paper, she tell us.
And she will tell us more at Yggdrasil 2013.