Sketching for user interfaces

It’s happened again. You’ve decided to make something, but you’re not sure what exactly it should look like yet. You pull out your favourite tool for wireframing, and spend a few minutes doodling. Sometimes that works, but sometimes it doesn’t. Quite often, you run right into a wall. Damn. Stuck again.
What now?
One might think to use one of those fancy online mockup tools, but I find they tend to be only decent at arranging a limited set of predefined components. There are times when you need to make something that they haven’t thought of yet. This is one of the times when getting some actual sketching done can make a lot of difference to your workflow and final results.

Let’s make this a concrete example. Just the other day, I had to come up with a solution to the problem of entering a time or date in the future, a range of some sort, into an application. Most people would just end up plopping down two calendar views, and screaming “job done!” at the top of their lungs. However, on some rare occasion, you might actually have a reason to do better than that.

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