Whether we sketch by making pencil marks on paper, editing cutout animations, or writing prototype code, we ultimately deal with a design material that is spatial as well as temporal.

Designing spatial and temporal aspects at the same time requires sketching techniques that allow us to express ideas on form as well as story.

I have introduced a number of sketching techniques for interaction design. Some are well established, others are more uncommon. To conclude, here are some of my experiences with the different techniques.

Pencil-and-paper sketching is where the design process nearly always starts. Thinking with a pencil is a comfortable way of perceiving progress in early stages.

Static sketches easily grow into storyboards when temporal aspects start taking shape. Hand-drawn storyboards and sketches are versatile: any use situation, any physical environment can be expressed as long as you can draw it.

Video prototypes are perhaps most rewarding at the moment of making. Developing a video prototype is essentially a roleplaying exercise with all its envisionment benefits. The resulting video recording adds value by documenting the work for later communication needs.

Pitch movies are not really sketches in the sense I use the term here. Although they may be persuasive, they hardly foster constructive and design-oriented communication. Further, the making of a pitch movie typically does not entail much design thinking.

Animated use sketches are more versatile than video prototypes. Since the elements of the animation are drawn, the animated use sketch can express a rather wide range of use situations and interactive behavior.

Interactive prototypes obviously require more effort, but sometimes they are necessary for thinking further about a design idea as well as communicating it. This holds in particular for ideas whose key qualities reside in highly interactive behaviors, and for innovative ideas where previous experience of similar designs is limited.