Sketching on paper V Sketching on a Tablet


Hi Guys,

What are people’s thoughts on the this, I’m pen and paper all the way usually. But was wondering if people find using a stylus and tablet works well.

I came across Scriba and Irish startup building a new type of stylus and it looks quite neat.



HI Paddy.

Actually i have started thread that have same question with you.
for me, i working on my illustrator instead of pen and paper. i heard a lot of people using tablet and stylus too. because its easy and you can doing experiment in there (shape, color, enviroment).
personally i like people who can use both, because it will presented their idea more faster and more fascinating. :smiley:

i am new to UX, so i hope this will help you. :slight_smile:



That looks really interesting! I’d be interested in it from a drawing point of view, but I’m wondering whether you can change nibs as the end of that one looks quick big :).


Awesome article Paddy!
I’m very much a pen and paper person too but I agree that does look really interesting! :slight_smile:


I am new to the UX world and frankly, ought to be sketching something every day. All that paper though…

Up till recently I was working for myself (one-person architecture practice) and had been looking for ways to reduce my paper use. Started taking phone call and meeting notes directly on laptop, doing most of my floor plan “sketches” on the laptop.

So, now with getting into UX design, suddenly I’m encouraged to use whole trees worth of paper. What to do? Maybe I should get and iPad. Or one of these: NUboard.

Does anyone else feel for the trees?


How do you make a word/phrase a link, anyway?!


Interesting…when I use “Quote” it doesn’t quote the comment.

Hawk–Thank you for the tip! I’ll try it out. Here’s a book on going paperless…called Paperless. It’s not made of paper!


This is something I’ve spent quite a bit of time thinking about.

  • I’ve tried about three difference styluses with my iPad and never been happy with any of them. The inaccuracy of line control aside, the iPad doesn’t have any kind of palm detection, so resting your hand on the screen triggers marks on the canvas, which is always frustrating
  • I’ve used a friend’s Wacom Cintiq tablet and loved it (I know commercial illustrators who swear by theirs) but found it difficult to justify the expense, plus it’s not terribly portable as it needs to be plugged into your computer.
  • This is a great video that Mike Rohde published a few years ago, an interview with Sacha Chua: Sacha goes into detail about the tools and workflows she uses to sketchnote on her Lenovo Windows tablet PC.
  • I’ve also spoken to various people about Android tablets, and been tempted to purchase one purely for the purposes of exploring this. It’s hard though, to know whether the investment will end up being almost good enough.
  • Just when I was about to make a decision about whether to invest in something, I was invited to speak and perform some graphic recording at a Microsoft conference later this year. They want me to sketchnote the keynote using one of their new Microsoft Surface Pro tablet PCs. Which they sent me in the post. And it arrived on Friday. And I’ve been playing with it. And I love it.

So that’s where I’m at with all this. I would say if you’re planning on going paperless AND want to be able to sketch with the closest approximation to pen/paper as possible, an iPad probably isn’t the best solution (coming from an Apple fanboy!). I’ll post more about the Microsoft Surface after I’ve played with it a bit more.


Matt—That’s great information on all of your experiences with tablets, etc. Thank you!

Aaarrgggghh! I’ve been Mac all my life and cringe a bit at the thought of buying a Microsoft tablet. But…if it’s awesome, might have to check it out. Do let us know.


Hearing you. But I was a Microsoft developer for a decade and cringed at the thought of switching to Mac. Now I can’t imagine going back. I think they both do some things well. (Well, apparently Microsoft does the tablet well…)