{Tech Thursday} The Importance of Pencil and Paper to App Development

Artemis & Leto, Artemis and Leto, A&L Studio, iPhone, iPad, iOS app development, Tech Thursday

When it comes to the highly creative process of developing iPhone/iPad apps, there’s nothing faster or more organic than old-school pencil and paper!

They may seem like high-tech wizardry at the end, but many – if not most – apps started off as random scribblings on paper or a white board. Many app designers and developers turn to old-fashioned paper and pencil to try out their ideas.

They sketch out potential User Interface (UI) designs. They draw up storyboards of how a user might walk through the app. They scratch out potential code or design elements on random post-it notes. Pencil and paper is still very much involved in the creative process, even in high tech. Why is that?

It’s Fast

There’s no question about it: Writing or sketching out your ideas on paper is very fast. It can almost keep up with your brain’s rapid-fire musings, most of the time. This is not always true of software programs designed to log your ideas. For example, I find it much faster to do a mind map on paper than with any of the several mind mapping software programs I’ve tried.

It’s Readily Available

Chances are, you have a pencil or pen and a piece of paper somewhere nearby right now. Just grab them and start writing or drawing. Plus, you already know how to write/sketch, so there’s zero learning curve. And even if you can’t draw very well, anyone can sketch out something that gets the gist across. I’ve included a few of the sketches I did during the art design of our first app, Fish Scene. I won’t win any awards, but they do look like sea creatures.

& Leto, Artemis and Leto, A&L Studio, iPhone, iPad, iOS app development, Tech Thursday

sketch from “Fish Scene” design process

& Leto, Artemis and Leto, A&L Studio, iPhone, iPad, iOS app development, Tech Thursday

sketch from “Fish Scene” design process

& Leto, Artemis and Leto, A&L Studio, iPhone, iPad, iOS app development, Tech Thursday

sketch from “Fish Scene” design process

It’s Cheap

No monthly software-as-a-service fees or major upfront costs; it’s just a pencil and some paper. Doesn’t get much cheaper. And you can get fancy: You can buy a special hardcover “app development journaling” notebook. You can buy some nice colored pencils or pens to add zest. But on the whole it’s very inexpensive.

So don’t throw out your pencils and paper just because you’re jumping into app development and/or coding. Anything creative like this can benefit from a fast, readily available, and cheap way to hammer out and curate your ideas.

     —You’re Never Too Anything to Learn Tech

Are you feeling discouraged because you just started coding, or developing apps, and don’t see much progress yet? Read one of our recent {Tech Thursday} articles about why you shouldn’t worry!

If you have any questions about getting started learning to code, post them below in the Reply section!

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