Sketching User Experiences: The Workbook


  • Saul Greenberg, PhD, Full Professor, Department of Computer Science, University of Calgary
  • Sheelagh Carpendale, Professor at the University of Calgary where she holds a Canada Research Chair in Information Visualization and an NSERC/AITF/SMART Industrial Research Chair in Interactive Technologies.
  • Nicolai Marquardt, Nicolai Marquardt is a PhD candidate at the University of Calgary working with Dr. Saul Greenberg.
  • Bill Buxton, Principal Researcher, Microsoft Research, Redmond, Washington and Toronto, Canada

Sketching Working Experience: The Workbook provides information about the step-by-step process of the different sketching techniques. It offers methods called design thinking, as a way to think as a user, and sketching, a way to think as a designer. User-experience designers are designers who sketch based on their actions, interactions, and experiences. The book discusses the differences between the normal ways to sketch and sketching used by user-experience designers. It also describes some motivation on why a person should sketch and introduces the sketchbook. The book reviews the different sketching methods and the modules that contain a particular sketching method. It also explains how the sketching methods are used. Readers who are interested in learning, understanding, practicing, and teaching experience design, information design, interface design, and information architecture will find this book relevant.
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Students, professors, and professionals from multiple disciplines; Computer Science, Industrial Design, Digital Media Design, Cognitive Science, Fine Art etc.; User experience community (Information Architects, Interface Designers, Interaction Designers, Usability engineers, etc.); Computer Scientist specializing in HCI and/or Information Visualization; Arts and Industrial Design community (Graphic Designers, Web Designers, Information Designers, Product Designers, Industrial Designers); Product Managers, Creative Directors, etc.


Book information

  • Published: December 2011
  • ISBN: 978-0-12-381959-8


"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."
"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

Table of Contents



1 Getting into the Mood

1.1 Introduction

1.2 Why Should I Sketch?

1.3 The Sketchbook

1.4 10 Plus10: Descending the Design Funnel

2 Sampling the Real World

2.1 Scribble Sketching

2.2 Sampling with Cameras

2.3 Collecting Images and Clippings

2.4 Toyboxes and Physical Collections

2.5 Sharing Found Objects

3 The Single Image

3.1 Warm Up to Sketching

3.2 Sketching What You See

3.3 Sketching Vocabulary

3.4 The Vanilla Sketch

3.5 The Collaborative Sketch

3.6 Slideware for Drawing

3.7 Sketching with Office Supplies

3.8 Templates

3.9 Photo Traces

3.10 Hybrid Sketches

3.11 Sketching with Foam Core

4 Snapshots of the Time: The Visual Narrative

4.1 Sequential Storyboards

4.2 The State Transition Diagram

4.3 The Branching Storyboard

4.4 The Narrative Storyboard

5 Animating the User Experience

5.1 The Animated Sequence

5.2 Motion Paths

5.3 Branching Animations

5.4 Keyframes and Tweening

5.5 Linear Video

6 Involving Others

6.1 Uncovering the Initial Mental Model

6.2 Wizard of Oz

6.3 Think Aloud

6.4 Sketch Boards

6.5 The Review