Sketching User Experiences: The Workbook Paperback – Dec 28 2011
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"In Sketching User Experiences, Buxton gave a compelling argument as to WHY sketching is so important to design. In this excellently-designed companion, he and his co-authors show HOW. I have been haranguing students for years with the message that they should be doing a lot of sketching, and this is the first guide I can really use to show them what it means and how it works."--Terry Winograd, Professor at Stanford University and founding faculty member of its 'D.School' and author of Bringing Design to Software "As an interaction designer who teaches, I’ve waited a while for a book like this! Sketching User Experiences – The Workbook is a design-by-doing guide for practitioners and students on how to integrate design practice, techniques and thinking into the practices of human-computer interaction and interaction design. As the companion piece to Bill Buxton’s Sketching User Experience, this book is a one-two combination for learning and doing design in a world of interaction."--Ron Wakkary, Associate Professor at the School of Interactive Arts and Technology, Simon Fraser University and Co-Editor-in-Chief of ACM interactions magazine "Don’t be put off by the title. This is a book for non-artists, albeit those developing user interfaces who recognise how much visual communication helps clients and colleagues understand design concepts. If, as a non-artist, you already produce ‘visuals’ you probably use software with a library of images and preformed shapes…This is a very positive book for the non-artist. It is profusely and relevantly illustrated and has a 50:50 balance between print and illustrations, which makes it very easy to dip into for ideas. The layout of the 250 pages is a demonstration of how uncluttered layout combined with simple design produces a highly effective teaching tool. To reinforce the point, there is also a detailed index."--BCS.org "Based on the authors' experience that sketching is an essential part of design, this excellent workbook is aimed at getting either students or professionals into the practice. Each chapter begins with a list of the necessary materials and ends with a "You Now Know" section, as well as occasional exercises. Tips on how to handle things that may arise during sketching are provided and the book is illustrated with color photographs and hand drawn-illustrations."--Reference and Research Book News, October 2012
From the Back Cover
Sketching has long been a best practice for designers. Through sketches, designers follow a generative process of developing, honing, and choosing ideas. Designers also use sketches to discuss, exchange, and critique ideas with others. When designers sketch user experiences, their drawings also need to incorporate the actions, interactions, and changes of these experiences that unfold over time. This can be challenging if you are a non-artist, or have not been trained within a conventional design discipline that specifically practices the time element that is so critical to interactive interfaces.
In Sketching User Experiences: The Workbook, you will learn, through step-by-step instructions and exercises, various sketching methods that will let you express your design ideas about user experiences across time. Collectively, these methods will be your sketching repertoire: a toolkit where you can choose the method most appropriate for developing your ideas, which will help you cultivate a culture of experience-based design and critique in your workplace.See all Product Description
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Unfortunately, I haven't found too many books that focus on the skills of sketching a user experience. I have read and worked through Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain and Visual Meetings but found the first was really focused on fine art sketching and the later is really focused on meetings and sharing general ideas with people. Sketching User Experiences is a good in between that focuses on the practical skills of sketching interfaces and experiences and communicating that to others.
The book starts with very basic sketching exercises and by the end gets into really fun and tangible advanced techniques. Some of the more advanced techniques I loved involve creating sketches from photos, creating hybrid sketches (photos + sketches) and building poster board prototypes of physical devices. Each exercise in the book is discrete and has a clear set of instructions, an explanation of how it fits into the user-centered design process and references to follow up with. Each exercise was structured enough that if you want to pick and choose things to do it's perfect for that.
All in all I would recommend this book for IA/UX/IxD professionals of all levels and anyone else who needs to communicate user experiences to others. I especially think this book would be useful for developers who are looking for a better way to express their ideas (or frustration) to clients, designers and other stakeholders because there is a big enough range of exercises that he should be able to find something that works.
The other place I would recommend this book would be for an advanced user interfaces undergrad/graduate level college course. There's enough work in here to make for a -really- fun semester's worth of work. I hope a professor picks this up and builds a course around it :)
Happy sketching :)
Before reading this book I thought sketching is for the "creative designers", but the techniques here (take pictures, trace) make it really simple.
I found that a lot of their suggestions for collecting images, ideas, etc could be done with Pinterest, but as I said before, this is a very hands-on book, and the authors seem to prefer physical collections over virtual ones.
Great ideas for creating templates to work from, using office supplies to make iterations, and more :)
As someone interested in becoming a UX designer I know this will be a valuable resource!
If you or your team would like to work on more modern user interfaces, this book will guide you through part of the process to do it. It's not really about the understanding phase of design, so it doesn't cover aspects such as user observation, but it covers the sketching phase quite well.
If you like it, you can move on to the conceptual book that inspired this one: Sketching User Experiences: Getting the Design Right and the Right Design by Bill Buxton. You might also be interested in Bill Buxton's videos, which are available on the usual video sites.
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