Sketching and wireframing are techniques used to produce low fidelity design mock-ups, which can be used for fleshing out design ideas, group (or individual) brain-storming, or as a way to showing what an application would look like before writing any code.
While I’ve tried just about everything to produce wireframes, from Visio and PowerPoint to expensive mock up software, I always return to paper and pen. My ideas seem to flow better, and I can flesh out my ideas before I move on to monkey hammering the keyboard.
However, making quick sketches look semi-professional to show clients or making your scribbles legible in a meeting can be problematic. My solution is to use a set of stencils and printed wireframing templates. I print the template out, punch holes in the paper and insert them into my Levenger Circa notebook. Next, I start scribbling with a mechanical pencil and/or ultra fine point pen, like the Pilot Hi-Tec-C Coleto multi pen.
In my opinion, it is quicker than cutting up “design kit” images to paste into an image file. If I need a digitized file, I can shoot the pages through a scanner.
Below you will find a concise collection of ready to print sketching and wireframing templates.
- Smashing Magazine’s Free Printable Sketching, Wireframing and Note-Taking PDF Templates. Smashing Magazine is one of the premier destinations on the internet for web design info. While you are there, also worth a look are the posts: 35 Excellent Wireframing Resources, and 50 Free UI and Web Design Wireframing Kits , Resources and Source Files.
- UIStencils. I have several of their stencils, and primarily use their free PDFs to sketch out designs and ideas. To find the free PDFs, pick the stencil on the left sidebar and then click the appropriate page size in the “Downloads” panel.
- Sneakpeekit Wireframe Sketch Sheets. Nice looking templates for browser, mobile, and general wireframing.
- Speckyboy – Collection of Printable Web Browser Sketching and Wireframe Templates. This is a blog post which highlights various templates, some of which look a little amateurish.