The Paper Version of the Web

People have been sketching user interfaces since the birth of the web but the sketches usually stay locked away in old notebooks and discarded bar napkins in Austin, Texas. Many of the websites we use started out as scrawlings, and with people like Jakob Nielsen and Bill Buxton spreading the gospel of faster, cheaper paper prototypes, “next year’s Twitter” may already exist on paper.

We don’t usually get to see this handmade stage of the web, but some folks have been thoughtful/narcissistic enough to upload photos of their UI sketches, and I find them fascinating.

Jack Dorsey’s original sketch for Twitter (“”)

Dan Catt’s concept sketch for Flickr Places

Profile page idea for Vimeo by Sockyung ‘Sox’ HongMany UI designers sketch with Sharpies but Sox prefers Staedtler pens, which are from Germany and built for engineers. He has a vast portfolio of UI sketches on Flickr.

Initial concept sketch for Twitterverse by Emily Chang

Sketch for a version of the AbiWord word processing program for One Laptop Per Child by Erik Pukinskis

Editing interface sketch for a mySociety project by Tom Steinberg

Prototype of image-based search results for an unnamed museum collection by Danny Hope.

Finally, some high-intensity paper-prototyping action via YouTube: