Is sketching dead?

No, of course it isn’t.

But that’s not as attractive as "Is [popular software] dead?" and doesn’t garner the same debate (and retweeting). Nonetheless, the question is the all the same: "Is [your method for visualizing ideas] dead?"

I’m one of those chumps who uses [popular software] as a means of expressing what’s in my mind, exploring options that haven’t yet crossed my mind, and articulating ideas to others. That sounds a heckuvalot like sketching, doesn’t it?

Understandably, the higher fidelity offered by [popular software] vs. sketching has the potential to mislead clients and inhibit idea-to-code workflow. But what is to be said of those who work in small in-house teams with a shared understanding of the web? Or of those who find the tool to be masterful for architecting and refining ideas, despite its limitations?

It’s not uncommon for me to share a static image—not the original document file, but simply an image—with Adam, who takes my design ideas for Authentic Jobs and brings them to life as code. That static image is no more inhibiting nor less articulate than a sketch. Nor any less than a screenshot (or actual code) of an adjustment I make to live code using WebKit’s Inspector.

We deserve better tools, yes. We’re obligated to try new methods. And we can debate the advantages and shortcomings of each tool and each method, to move us forward as an industry. But let’s do so in way that recognizes the personal preferences of individuals, and that acknowledges the fact that many of these tools and methods have produced, and continue to produce, successful work.

Coincidentally, this article by Javier Ghaemi is a notable example of moving us forward while recognizing the mastery of the tool debated.