Nexus’ Industrial Designers Love to Sketch: Part I


Most of us at Nexus are in the habit of drawing pictures to communicate ideas. Whether we are at the dinner table with a napkin in hand or working live on a new product concept during an online meeting, we sketch. It's a quick way to start work – to generate rough concepts for a new product and spur conversation towards eventual solutions. Often a new products’ wish list of features and requirements cannot be articulated with words alone (nor should they).  Without the mighty sketch, we quickly start using our hands demonstrating, ‘it's about this long’ or ‘the lid opens like this’, and so on.

We could resort to using CAD software to start the process of defining a new product visually and functionally. However CAD is admittedly much slower than the experienced sketching hand. The image we have of the concept has to be extremely developed when starting CAD, one could spend hours or even days building and defining that concept in 3D. It's easy to lose sight of the forest amidst the detail of the trees.

Sketching is a simpler tool, one that cuts to the chase and allows for infinite tweaking, erasing, re-thinking, adding, and so on; A tool that can be used live, on the computer, and as quickly as a conversation or brainstorming session can be held.

                      Stick_Ball_-_Real.jpg    Stick_Ball_r12.jpg

Making a rendering look real can be a real effort

Gone are the days of paper pads and napkins (well, almost gone) At Nexus sketching often starts somewhere during the first couple of meetings about a new project. Many meetings these days are conference calls or desktop sharing sessions. When words reach their limits and the waving hands are invisible to the other folks on the call, we quickly resort to online meetings that utilize live sketching with graphics software and a Wacom tablet. These early sketches are often rough and informal, but all of a sudden the utility, the look, and the attitude of a future product will begin to literally take shape.