Much has been made in recent years about the benefits of using a digital pen. People have marvelled about how it helps students in classrooms, because students in classrooms tend to use digital pens to organise their notes quickly and efficiently. Digital pens are also excellent for special needs students, who require that extra level of interactivity with the work they are doing.
That interactivity is also boosted by the fact that the work they produce is own stored digitally. This boosts self-esteem because work is saved and is easily adaptable, without making the student feel self-conscious. However, in design, digital pens really come into their own.
We are talking about visual design here, from architecture to simple design work for software engineers, the digital pen is becoming a force to be reckoned with. One of the biggest areas in which digital pens help is in brainstorming ideas. Designers love the fact that they can whip out the digital pen and crank out ideas, just like writing on paper with a conventional pencil. This makes a digital pen a crucial element of the design process.
In web design, for example, this is truer than anywhere else. When a web designer has to create various pages for a website, the client will expect to see mock-ups quickly. Sometimes they want this really quick, and a digital pen, used like a normal pen, is sometimes the only way to ensure that ideas are quickly put onto the page and presented to the client. All ideas can then be sent via email to the client quickly. Web design relies upon quick ideas sent efficiently. Using a program as simple as Word, ideas can be sketched for the design of website pages by hand using a digital pen, uploaded, and then sent to the client.
What designers, architects and visual designers find is that they can bring their sketched out ideas to any meeting using a tablet. Those ideas can be sketched using a digital pen and then quickly uploaded. This means that the true value in deisgn, namely the sketches, can be preserved and still used in meetings. All those ideas and moments of inspiration can be saved and recorded, for the client’s eyes.
Those moments of inspiration are fleeting. Having a digital pen with a tablet or laptop or even a piece of paper in some cases, allows the designer to quickly sketch out their ideas and record them while they are forming in the brain. This can happen anywhere now, even out in the open. With the ability to use paper and the digital pen, ideas can be recorded ‘live’, even if you’re in the middle of a field.
The digital pen is a great tool for designers, whether they're designing for the web or building a shopping mall. As digital pen technology improves, and the gulf between paper and digital pen technology shrinks, it is plain to see that the digital pen is doing the same job as the old-fashioned pen and pencil, just with added adaptability and customisation.