Now that you understand WHY you're creating this experience, HOW this experience will be superior than other solutions and substitutions, and WHAT the experience actually looks and feels like, it's time to sketch it out.
Ask yourself again: If you closed your eyes and imagined yourself, first person, walking through the space, WHAT does it look like? Start there. At that moment. And go back through that list you made for the WHAT's and piece it together, on paper, as if you were floating above it, rotating around it like the moon does the Earth. A sketch is more than okay! You don’t need to be an artist to put what’s in your head right onto the paper for all to see. And we recommend using a Pencil (your first sketch will most likely not be your final version). After your first draft, take a look at it and make your notes of what is or isn't right. Start a new drawing with the things that are RIGHT in your mind, and then continue to fill in the blanks, using your vision as the pathway.
Below, you'll see my journey designing a space on paper and, as I said, it took me multiple attempts to get it to be just right:
I sketched my first try and then proceeded to take some notes on top of it to add labels to what things were to make it easier to identify (and also cross-check that I have my WHATS in the space to achieve my WHY. I then took a different color pen to draw a second, and then a third sketch right on top of the first one to continue perfecting my idea.
Once I felt better about that initial design (try 3), I took a blank piece of paper to start redrawing a lot of what I was seeing. As you can see below, I was designing it top to bottom, with top being the entrance, and flipped the image because I soon discovered that the entrance at the bottom would make more sense for these designs, so I flipped it. The second image shows some more considerations and updates I wanted to make to the space as a whole as I continued to visualize it.
Once I had a deeper idea of what it looks like, my goal now was to take those designs and make them a reality. I cleaned up all of my notes from the previous attempts to draw out a clean and concise design that enabled me to truly view (from above) what the experience was going to look and feel like once complete. I added the few small other things I felt were necessary to have in the space to overall finish my sketched designs.
Now that I felt great about my designs, how will it really look and feel? What is the aura? To turn this from a sketch into a drawing, I grabbed some colored pencils and began filling in the blanks to get to a place that I felt comfortable taking this 2D drawing and transforming it into a 3D experience.
So now that you have a drawing of what the experience feels like, it's time to build!