Sketching User Experiences: The Workbook
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43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
on January 29, 2012
Over the past two years I've spent many evenings and weekends teaching myself everything I can about IA/UX/IxD and so have surveyed many of the books available. For the most part those books can be broken into two categories. The first are theory books (About Face 3,Information Architecture for the World Wide Web) and design pattern books (Designing Interfaces,Designing Web Interfaces) (Not to mention user research books but that's a whole different step of the process).

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 :)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on March 19, 2013
I am not a designer - but have been reading a lot about design and this is by far one of the most practical books you will buy. Some of the techniques are practical and wil change the way you do wireframes. I guess these are commonplace techniques used by designers but for non-designers it just changes your perspective. This is a true workbook, so be prepared to spend time doing versus reading-you wont be disappointed especially if you are an engineer looking to learn design. It is not a book about principles of design (there are many books out there that do that), this is a book about practical, real world techniques.

Before reading this book I thought sketching is for the "creative designers", but the techniques here (take pictures, trace) make it really simple.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on March 24, 2012
The Workbook is a great hands-on way to learn the thought process of UX design. It is very easy to follow, and it will get you in the habit of observing interfaces around you...and definitely get you sketching.

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!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 17, 2013
Especially for people who are and are not artists (as in everyone), this book presents using sketching for any project that requires innovation and multiple steps. In the first pages, it demonstrates that ideas can be expanded, discarded for something better, improved and entirely new approaches realized. While this is available in all disciplines, sketching is a good medium for capturing and exploring ideas from daily exposures. I'm thoroughly enjoying reading and using the ideas.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 13, 2012
I love it. It makes you rethink the way you work.... Everybody should read this to understand how to work better in there business.
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VINE VOICEon May 23, 2015
I use this book regularly in classes to teach software developers what a basic user experience design process looks like. It it accessible and concise. It has lots of illustrations and examples, and includes useful exercises.

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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on May 3, 2014
this is a hands on book of practical methods
some of them i've never heard of
this book is packed with real-life mockup presentation and creation methods

must read for all UX designers
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on July 11, 2013
This workbook is a great companion to Bill Buxton's sketching book - lots of exercises I catch myself doing during doodle time during meetings, waiting for doctors, etc. It's probably just as useful for people not in the user experience research / design field, but it's especially fitting for those of us who are!
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on January 7, 2014
I did however expect more than one chapter on actual sketches; what they've called "Sketching Vocabulary".
It had a lot of stuff about surrounding process etc. which doesn't interest me that much.

Props for being incredibly well illustrated though.
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on January 29, 2014
It is always good to go back and refresh one's knowledge. When I saw that this was online with the original text, I had to include it. Both are a great way to sharpen the saw.
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