Sketching Tools for Ideation

Rachel Bellamy, Michael Desmond, Jacquelyn Martino, Paul Matchen, Harold Ossher, John Richards, and Cal Swart
IBM Research, USA

Sketching facilitates design in the exploration of ideas about concrete objects and abstractions. In fact, throughout the software engineering process when grappling with new ideas, people reach for a pen and start sketching. While pen and paper work well, digital media can provide additional features to benefit the sketcher. Digital support will only be successful, however, if it does not detract from the core sketching experience. Based on research that defines characteristics of sketches and sketching, this paper offers three preliminary tool examples. Each example is intended to enable sketching while maintaining its characteristic experience.