Screen Thinking

The tools you use influence how you think about your work. When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Consider the tools available to designers of information environments. Here are four that are representative:

Creating a new artboard in Sketch:

New artboard in Sketch

Creating a new file in Illustrator:

New file in Illustrator

Creating a new file in Photoshop:

New file in Photoshop

Creating a new file in Adobe Comp:

New file in Comp

The assumption in these apps (and others like them) is that the object you’ll be working on is a screen. This is understandable; these are apps we use to work on the visual design of user interfaces. However, there’s much more to UX design than just what things will look like.

How do you express the connections between screens? Is it easy for you to explore alternative relationships between objects in the system? What tools do you use to work on the structural and conceptual models of information environments?