Communicative affordance of industrial design sketching
Design sketching, as a key designing technique and a rapid visual demonstration of design thinking, reasoning, and exploration, is being vastly utilized by industrial designers to communicate their
thoughts and ideas about a design situation. Despite the significance of communicative aspects of sketching to a wide range of creative design activities and in particular, to the product design
processes, it is not yet a well-instructed activity. It is argued that one aspect of the ambiguity associated with sketching is related to the absence of human figures of the intended user(s) interacting
with the product. Our observations suggest that sketches being generated by the vast majority of industrial design students in Iran are not communicative to the extent they should. As a result, the
communicative aspect cannot be fulfilled. In this paper, the affordance of sketches is examined based on their communicative features with a particular focus on using human elements. The paper
concludes by discussing educational factors influencing sketch qualities and potential ways to fix the problem.