How Skitch can help you become a better designer

When you are designing you get to a point where it suddenly says stop. You don’t know what to change or how to make it better. This is the moment I fire up Skitch and take a screenshot of what I’ve just made. I then start to annotate and draw on that. There it is. My magic trick. It might sound stupid. It might sound pointless. But the fact is that by doing this I take a step back from what I’ve done and evaluate it in a new way. Often I see things I’ve never seen before in the design. Sometimes it takes seconds to fill the canvas with notes. Other times it’s more a struggle to find anything. This is when you are getting close to something good, or when you probably need to take a break.

An example of the Skitch design technique

This might be a simple design-equivalent to Rubber duck debugging; to explain what you’ve done and your choices, and then hitting upon the solution in the process of explaining the problem. You’ve probably noticed it before when you’re talking to colleagues or writing a post on Basecamp about your design-choices. Suddenly you see your design in a different light and need to sketch out some new ideas. If you have a printer nearby printing it out and writing on that works the same way. Firing up Skitch and taking a screenshot facilitates that kind of thinking for me. Maybe you should give it a try as well?