Sketching User Experiences: Getting the Design Right and the Right Design book cover

Sketching User Experiences: Getting the Design Right and the Right Design

Sketching User Experiences approaches design and design thinking as something distinct that needs to be better understood-by both designers and the people with whom they need to work- in order to achieve success with new products and systems. So while the focus is on design, the approach is holistic. Hence, the book speaks to designers, usability specialists, the HCI community, product managers, and business executives. There is an emphasis on balancing the back-end concern with usability and engineering excellence (getting the design right) with an up-front investment in sketching and ideation (getting the right design). Overall, the objective is to build the notion of informed design: molding emerging technology into a form that serves our society and reflects its values.

Grounded in both practice and scientific research, Bill Buxton’s engaging work aims to spark the imagination while encouraging the use of new techniques, breathing new life into user experience design.

HCI professionals, interaction designers, product/industrial designers, and graphic designers, and students studying those subjects.

Paperback, 448 Pages

Published: April 2007

Imprint: Morgan Kaufmann

ISBN: 978-0-12-374037-3


  • Bill Buxton and I share a common belief that design leadership together with technical leadership drives innovation. Sketching, prototyping, and design are essential parts of the process we use to create new products. Bill Buxton brings design leadership and creativity to Microsoft. Through his thought-provoking personal examples he is inspiring others to better understand the role of design in their own companies--Bill Gates, Chairman, Microsoft “Informed design is essential.” While it might seem that Bill Buxton is exaggerating or kidding with this bold assertion, neither is the case. In an impeccably argued and sumptuously illustrated book, design star Buxton convinces us that design simply must be integrated into the heart of business--Roger Martin, Dean, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto Design is explained, with the means and manner for successes and failures illuminated by engaging stories, true examples and personal anecdotes. In Sketching User Experiences, Bill Buxton clarifies the processes and skills of design from sketching to experience modeling, in a lively and informative style that is rich with stories and full of his own heart and enthusiasm. At the start we are lost in mountain snows and northern seas, but by the end we are equipped with a deep understanding of the tools of creative design.--Bill Moggridge, Cofounder of IDEO and author of Designing Interactions I love this book. There are very few resources available that see across and through all of the disciplines involved in developing great experiences. This is complex stuff and Buxton's work is both informed and insightful. He shares the work in an intimate manner that engages the reader and you will find yourself nodding with agreement, and smiling at the poignant relevance of his examples.--Alistair Hamilton, Symbol Technologies, NY Like any secret society, the design community has its strange rituals and initiation procedures. Bill opens up the mysteries of the magical process of design, taking us through a land in which story telling, orange squeezers, the Wizard of oOz, I-pods, avalanche avoidance, bicycle suspension sketching, and faking it are all points on the design pilgrim’s journey. There are lots of ideas and techniques in this book to feed good design and transform the way we think about creating useful stuff. --Peter Gabriel


  • Author's Note
    Case Study: Apple, Design and Business
    The Bossy Rule
    A Snapshot of Today
    The Role of Design
    A Sketch of the Process
    The Cycle of Innovation
    The Question of ?Design?
    The Anatomy of Sketching
    Clarity is not always the Path to Enlightenment
    The Larger Family of Renderings
    Experience Design vs. Interface Design
    Sketching Interaction
    Sketches are not Prototypes
    Where is the User in all of this?
    You make that Sound like a Negative Thing
    If Someone Made a Sketch in the Forest and Nobody Saw it?
    The Object of Sharing
    Annotation: Sketching on Sketches
    Design Thinking & Ecology
    The Second Worst Thing that Can Happen
    A River Runs Through It

    The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
    Chameleon: From Wizardry to Smoke-and-Mirrors
    Le Bricolage: Cobbling Things Together
    It was a Dark and Stormy Night?
    Visual Story Telling
    Simple Animation
    Shoot the Mime
    Extending Interaction: Real and Illusion
    The Bifocal Display
    Video Invisionment
    Interacting with Paper
    Are you Talking to me?

    Some Final Thoughts



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