The most important thing in design profession is an idea of how to use different things with comfort and practice. The aesthetics point is on the second place. A design studding is based on a creating a new experience, while a classical art education learns to rethink on canvas already existing knowledges.
It seems to be absolutely different ways of studying. But composition, drawing, painting are necessary exams in many educational institutions. And such exams like logic, creativity, analytic, analysis of user’s behavior are rare to find.
So drawing skill is one of the instruments for an idea reproduction. Is this skill necessary to pass an idea? Not a bit, many 3d painters make excellent illustrations do not even know how to use a pencil, some concept artists can paint using only a graphics tablet. Both have a degree aestheticism, but can’t paint with the help of classical instruments. So it’s not necessary to paint by hand, it is enough to have an artistic view and to handle special instruments.
Design is a very wide profession. We can see two main direction in IT there are UX and UI. Let us see which instruments are necessary for them.
Graphic Designer / Technical Designer
Works with prints, works up graphic, makes technical design, draws final model and icons, sometimes makes stylized illustrations. For all these is necessary to know how the light works, colors, how to make size, a perspective, a composition. All these things you can learn in an arts university.
At the time, we know that not every designer should be a painter. It looks like designers should have a drawing skills, but illustrators don’t need this. If an illustrator specializes in one style, he doesn’t need any artistic education. At the same time it will be easier for illustrator to make an illustration for the magazine if he knows a modular grid, prints’ contrast on a page and composition of the page proof. Including all these he becomes a designer in this project.
So how good should be designer in drawing? May be if all designers were as good as painters we were surrounded by skeuomorph. To spend much time for redrew different icons was not profitable, so the industry found the way. It popularized minimalism, and decreased the value of drawing skills for designers. It was an important point on IT market.
If a graphic designer can draw it is an advantage, which helps to make beautiful illustrations and train an artistic view. Modern graphic designer should be able to draw or should get the equivalent skills in modern graphical soft. If a designer wants to create smith new but can’t visualize it his idea remains misunderstand.
UX Designer / UX Researcher / Interaction Designer
Analytics, user’s experience, empathy, A/B tests, programming, interviewing.
UX specialists are responsible for capability of the product. UX designer’s work can be measured by exact figures and metrics, while a graphic designer’s work is measured by approval of an art manager.
But it is not so defined. A problem of system component style is the UX too. The most easy example are MTV tests for testing different colored buttons, here every variant should be aesthetically pleasant. Besides an artistic education helps to train empathy, because every art turns to the reaction of viewers and the artist think about a viewer all the time.
If UX specialist grows from graphic designer his strong but secondary skills turn a bonus. But if a man comes to UX design from system analytic sphere it is good to level up drawing skills but not necessary. To train an aestheticism is possible without drawing illustrations or design pictures, the curiosity in the design sphere is enough.
When I discussed the importance of drawing skills with my colleagues, the useful thing became this analogy -There are UX — emoticon :) and UI — emoji 🙂 , but there is also Animaji by Apple! Everybody knows that animation is an important part both in UI and UX, you shouldn’t make your display a Disney cartoon, but you should understand how animation works and how users precept it. Drawing skills in UX work the same.
Discussing this question with artists, I’ve got such an answer: “ A designer failed in drawing, so he had to become a designer”. Here is a nice point, drawing skills remained, and new skills in analytic appeared. lf you can draw by hand it is wonderful, beautiful wireframing scheme on a paper can impress your client. Drawing skills for a graphic designer will be only plus, but if you are in UX, it is more important for you to train an artistic view, not a skill.
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