DesCom 101

Each Stroke Is a Curation of Micro-Decisions.

Four Types of Design Communications

Step 1 (keep it to yourself)

Investigative Sketches

loose and creative


Draw quick and loose, Use sketch to understand a problem, analyze structure and elements relevant to the project. 


Step 2 (internal review quality)

Explorative Sketches
fleshed out and open to interpretation


Map out readable sketches. Generate and explore more to illustrate the more fleshed out ideas for  evaluating.


Step 3 (internal review)

Explanatory Sketches

clear and unambiguous


Create to explain context, interaction and functionality, often communicate a design in a clear and neutral manner.


Step 4 (portfolio quality or client review)

Persuasive Sketches

convey an emotion and carry a story


It was drawn to influence the audience, convey the character and promote a design concept.

Develop Critical Thinking

What is the investigative sketch

Make a plan
Think before Do
Investigative Sketches (Analytic drawing)
▪ Architecture study based on design hypothesis, list all the potential configurations of the internal components.
▪ How to interact – Mechanism study (cross-section)
▪ Orthographic drawing
▪ Diagram
– Ergonomic analysis (proportion, interactions)
— Static or dynamic force analysis to anticipate potential problems.
— Cross-sectional diagram of the design
▪ Design experiments ABCD that relevant to your project
Keep use case in mind, exhaust all avenues, map out all the possibilities, combinations.
Keep this doodling to yourself and mix them as call-out for your ideation sketch (presentation level)
How It Started (investigative)
keep it to yourself or put diagram as callout for internal presentation page
Medium-fidelity Internal Review

find more example here and how it was developed into medium medium-fidelity sketch

Sketching with Prototyping

One of the best ways to gain insights in a design process is to carry out some form of prototyping. It produce an early, inexpensive, and scaled down version of the product in order to reveal any problems with the current design.
Why logic and reasoning is essential in creative thinking? – Watch Elon Musk at Baron Investment Conference
Find more constraints | Set more hypotheses | Make more design decisions | Focus more on details

Explorative Sketches

Be Exhaustive

Internal Review Quality + Quantity

Ideation sketch page should include the information below (in red):
– orthographic views, isometric drawings, close-ups or blow-up details, analytical diagrams (mix with the refined investigative diagram from the investigative sketches, also could put digital diagrams to achieve dynamic page composition), call-outs (graphic and text), cross-sections, multiple angles, assembly diagrams, and exploded views, to show the process of visual deliberation.
– different variations,
– diagrams (force analysis, ergonomic analysis, architecture layout from first round investigative sketch)
– design context,
– annotating or highlighting key elements
Here’s a demo of making a plan for visual deliberation
What is deep thinking?_Scroll down to the bottom and check the list of where the details come from

Anticipate Potential Problems or Fabrication / Post-production Constraints

Use Your Prototypes As An Underlay If You Are Still in Your Early Stage of Education

More Fabrication Related Consideration (Early Stage)

More Visualization Tips (in red)

Sketch + Digital Cel Shading (highlight for presentation)

More examples about digital cel-shading highlight

Fidelity for each ideation stage

Brainstorming (1 page) - First-round Concept Sketch (1 page as an example) - Fleshed-out Design (3 pages for one concept)

Different Ways to Present Design Assets

Different Ways to Present Design Assets

Still images are better, Viewers have options.

Different Ways to Present Design Assets

Play to your strengths​

Artistic Expression Will Elevate Your Design Message

Check Agathe Bissonnier-Gillot’s work, be exceptional

Research Through Design

Build Logic And Reasoning and Craft A Story of Your Design Process