Blog Post

Sketch Book Makes Designing iPhone Apps Easier

sketchbook coverThere’s a new tool available that’s designed to make life easier for iPhone developers, and its surprisingly low tech. It’s called the iPhone Application Sketch Book and it looks like just the thing to keep all those notes and inspirations about a new app idea all in one place.

The spiral-bound book is around 8 1/2″ x 11″ so it won’t get lost in the bottom of a laptop bag. There are 100 pages of design templates with lines at the top for jotting the name and other important details of the app. A real-size image of an iPhone is centered on graph-style paper with ample room to make drawings and notes about every aspect of the development process.

sketchbook page

I caught up with the sketch book’s creator, Dean Kaplan, and was surprised to discover the impetus behind the book’s creation.

“I happened to be auditing the Stanford iPhone Programming course,” says Kaplan, “and one of the guest speakers discussed how he went about creating his user interface designs. Paper was one option he mentioned. Almost instantly the notebook idea light bulb went off. Other options of various computer programs were mentioned, but it always got back to paper and pencil. Subsequently, I did my own online survey that revealed designers prefer paper 95% of the time.”

Kaplan says once he got the idea to create the book, it only took about nine weeks until it hit the shelves. Depending on its success, he may create similar sketchbooks for the Palm Pre and Android.

The sketchbook is already a hit with some application developers. David J. Hinson, creator of popular iPhone apps like Cheap Gas (iTunes link) and Amigo (iTunes link), says he sees immediate value in a tool like this. “You can keep your notes and preliminary wireframes all in one handy little notebook. I was really intrigued and I think it’s a great concept because I’m constantly writing things on the whiteboard and losing track of my notes. It’s simple in execution, but spot on.”

Interested developers can pick up the iPhone Application Sketch Book for $14.99 at Amazon.

7 Responses to “Sketch Book Makes Designing iPhone Apps Easier”

  1. I’ve just released the sketch template we use to design our iPhone apps.

    The template is based on a grid which is equal to 10px height, and has tick mark indicators of status bar, nav bar, tab bar and tool bar, rather than having them printed in place.

    You can download the free template at

    Hope you find it useful!

  2. This looks like a tremendously useful project (I do all my draft writing on paper, too). However, it’s also something incredibly easy to approximate yourself – graph paper, iPhone picture, and access to a photocopier. It might not be as pretty or professional as Kaplan’s very elegant product, but it would be cheaper.