• WeWork (map)
  • 500 Yale Ave N
  • Seattle, WA, 98109
  • United States

About This Workshop

As design professionals, we've all fallen into what Ashley calls the talking trap. This occurs when team members talk in circles about what should be done rather than coming to some sort of decision, consensus, and or taking action. At worst, team members argue, relationships crumble, nothing gets done, and after work, everyone updates their LinkedIn profiles because they don't know how much more of this nonsense they can take and entertain the fantasy of starting another job with a more functional team.

Instead of leaving your current job, how about learning a technique that helps rescue teams from the talking trap, builds relationships, creates opportunities for consensus, and actually drives designs forward? Sounds too good to be true, right? Wrong! We are all already familiar with this technique. In fact, we used it frequently during our toddler and early childhood years. This technique is called sketching. 

How does sketching do all these amazing things? Well, to begin, roughly 50% of our brains are dedicated to visual functions, and 65% of us are visual learners. This means that when we communicate visually, we save time and get our point across clearly and quickly. Also, sketching gets us moving, and when we move, even more parts of our brains open up and help us creatively problem solve. Finally, sketching allows us to take action, getting our ideas out of our heads and into the real world. When we transform our ideas into sketches, we are making something that was once not real...real. Through this, we can see how our design will exist in this physical world, identifying strengths and weaknesses quickly so that more robust versions, subsequently, can be born.

You do not have to have an artistic bone in your body to be able to use sketching as an effective communication and design tool. You just need to be willing to try. This workshop gives you that opportunity. We will cover basic conventions for sketching scenes, storyboards, interactions, and interfaces, giving you an opportunity to develop decent sketching techniques in the safety of Ashley's class (rather than in the lion's den of a stakeholder review). You will sketch and doodle during the entire class, whether you like it or, so come prepared to keep your pen or pencil moving the entire time.


  • The belief that everyone can sketch - even you
  • The feeling that sketching is not hard...actually, it's fun an easy
  • The confidence to sketch in a professional setting
  • The knowledge that you can rescue any team from the talking trap with simple sketching exercises

Prereqs and Preparation

Please bring your favorite notebook, pencils, and pens. Please leave behind foolish pride and self doubt.

Image Created by Konrad Michalik for The NounProject.