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Sketching User Experiences: The Workbook - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780123819598, 9780123819611

Sketching User Experiences: The Workbook

1st Edition

Authors: Saul Greenberg Sheelagh Carpendale Nicolai Marquardt Bill Buxton
Paperback ISBN: 9780123819598
eBook ISBN: 9780123819611
Imprint: Morgan Kaufmann
Published Date: 14th November 2011
Page Count: 272
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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.

Key Features

  • Features standalone modules detailing methods and exercises for practitioners who want to learn and develop their sketching skills
  • Extremely practical, with illustrated examples detailing all steps on how to do a method
  • Excellent for individual learning, for classrooms, and for a team that wants to develop a culture of design practice
  • Perfect complement to Buxton’s Sketching User Experience or any UX text

  • Author-maintained companion website at


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.

Table of Contents

Preface: How We Got Together to Write this Book


Section 1: Getting into the Mood

Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 2: Introduction: Sketching the User Experience

What This Book is About

Companion Book

Why Sketch?

Structure of This Book

Chapter 3: Why Should I Sketch?: A Synopsis of Buxton’s Sketching User Experiences: Getting the Design Right and the Right Design

Sketching is About Design

Getting the Design Right

Getting the Right Design

Elaboration and Reduction

The Design Funnel

The Product View

You Now Know

Chapter 4: The Sketchbook: Your Basic Resource for Recording, Developing, Showing and Archiving Ideas

Why a Sketchbook?

Uses of a Sketchbook

Best Practices

Properties of Good Sketchbooks

Drawing Materials

You Now Know

Chapter 5: 10 Plus 10: Descending the Design Funnel: Developing 10 Different Ideas and Refinements of Selected Ideas

The 10 Plus 10 Method

Design Challenge 1: Connecting Two Smart Phones

Design Challenge 2

Design Challenge 3

You Now Know

Section 2: Sampling the Real World

Chapter 6: Introduction

Chapter 7: Scribble Sketching: Rapidly Sketching Out Ideas – Anywhere, Anytime – to Capture the Essence of that Idea

Capturing Ideas in Existing Systems

Scribble Sketching in the Dark, While Doing Other Things

Practicing Scribble Sketching

You Now Know

Chapter 8: Sampling with Cameras: Capturing Trigger Moments

Sampling Objects That Irritate You and Others

Sampling Compelling Designs

Sampling Things That Inspire You

You Now Know

Chapter 9: Collecting Images & Clippings: Becoming a Semi-Organized Hunter/Gatherer

Developing Your Collection

Examples of Collections

You Now Know

Chapter 10: Toyboxes and Physical Collections: Collecting Physical Stuff

Part One: Collecting Objects as Idea Triggers

Collecting Objects to Build With

Part Two: Storing Objects

Part Three: Curating Your Objects

Case Study: The Buxton Collection

You Now Know

Chapter 11: Sharing Found Objects: Seeing Each Other’s Collections to Encourage Conversation

Sometimes things are private

Managing Sharing/Privacy Issues Around Sketching and Collecting

You Now Know

Section 3: The Single Image

Chapter 12: Introduction

Chapter 13: Warm Up to Sketching: A Sketching Exercise You Can Always Learn From

An Exercise in Line Quality

You Now Know

Chapter 14: Sketching What You See: An Exercise on Drawing Accurately

An Excercise in Drawing What You See

Part 1: Drawing From Your Imagination

Part 2: Copy a Drawing of a Person

Part 3: Drawing What You Actually See

Comparing the Results

You Try

You Now Know

Chapter 15: Sketching Vocabulary: Drawing Objects, People, and Their Activities

People Who Sketch on Computers

Learning How to Sketch

Comic Storytelling

You Now Know

Chapter 16: The Vanilla Sketch: Basic Elements Of A Sketch: Drawing, Annotations, Arrows and Notes

The Drawing

You Now Know

Chapter 17: The Collaborative Sketch: Sketching to Brainstorm, Express Ideas and Mediate Interaction

The Interactive Fridge

Actions and Functions of Collaborative Sketching

Gestures: Sketching with Others

You Now Know

Chapter 18: Slideware for Drawing: Exploiting Commonly Available Digital Presentation Tools for Sketch Drawing

Sketching in Slideware

Digital vs Paper-Based Sketching

Digital Collaboration

You Now Know

Chapter 19: Sketching with Office Supplies: Using Commonly Available Office Supplies to Create Editable Sketches

The Versatile Sticky Note

Interacting with Office Supplies Over Time

Using Office Supplies with Others

You Now Know

Chapter 20: Templates: Pre-Draw the Constant, Non-Changeable Parts of Your Sketch as a Template that You Can Use and Reuse

Appropriating Photos

More on Layers

Back to Paper

Another Example: a Web Page Template

You Now Know

Chapter 21: Photo Traces: Create Collections of Sketch Outlines that Form the Basis of Composed Sketches

Creating a Photo Trace

Using the Photo Traces

You Now Know

Chapter 22: Hybrid Sketches: Combining Sketches With Photos

You Now Know

Chapter 23: Sketching with Foam Core: Sketching in a Physical Medium

Method 1: Sketching a Novel Interface for a Digital Watch

Method 2: Using Photos to Prototype Existing Devices

You Now Know

Section 4: Snapshots in Time: The Visual Narrative

Chapter 24: Introduction

Chapter 25: Sequential Storyboards: Visually Illustrating an Interaction Sequence Over Time

The Sequential Storyboard

You Now Know

Chapter 26: The State Transition Diagram: A Way to Visually Illustrate Interaction States, Transitions and Decision Paths Over Time

A Storyboard as States and Transitions

Transition Diagram with Branches

You Now Know

Chapter 27: The Branching Storyboard: Visually Illustrating Interaction Decisions Over Time

The Cell Phone Example

The Interactive Shopping System Example

You Now Know

Chapter 28: The Narrative Storyboard: Telling a Story About Use and Context Over Time

A Vocabulary of Camera Shots and Film Making

Method 1: Sketching Storyboards

Method 2: Photo-Based Storyboards

You Now Know

Section 5: Animating the User Experience

Chapter 29: Introduction

Chapter 30: The Animated Sequence: Animating a Single Interaction Sequence of Registered Images

The Slide Show

The Registration Problem

The Solution: Registering Images

You Now Know

Chapter 31: Motion Paths: Smoothly Animating Movement Emphasizes the Feeling of Interaction

Explore Your Animation Tools

Other Animation Tools

You Now Know

Chapter 32: Branching Animations: Animating Different Interaction Paths in a Branching Sequence

Selecting Alternative Interaction Paths Through Hyperlinks

You Now Know

Chapter 33: Keyframes and Tweening: Creating More Complex Animations

Some Definitions

Example: Adobe Flash

You Try

You Now Know

Chapter 34: Linear Video: Using a Movie to Illustrate an Interaction Sequence With Paper

Recording The Movie

Variations: Paper and Transparency

You Now Know

Section 6: Involving Others

Chapter 35: Introduction

Chapter 36: Uncovering the Initial Mental Model: Discovering How People Initially Interpret Your Sketched Interface From its Visuals

Case Study: Usability of a Fax Machine

Uncovering the Mental Model

You Now Know

Chapter 37: Wizard of Oz: A Human ‘Wizard’ Controls How Your Sketch Responds to a Person’s Interactions

Example 1: The Listening Typewriter

Example 2: Robotic Interruption

Example 3: The Fax Machine

You Now Know

Chapter 38: Think Aloud: Discovering What People are Thinking as they Use Your Sketched Interface

Steps of Think Aloud

You Now Know

Chapter 39: Sketch Boards: Arrange Your Sketches On Poster Boards to Share them With Others

Preparation Method 1: Foam Core Poster Sheets

Preparation Method 2: Sticky Notes and Whiteboards

Share Your Sketches with Others

You Now Know

Chapter 40: The Review: Presenting Your Ideas and Getting Others to Critique Them

The Elevator Pitch

The Desktop Review

The Meeting

The Formal Review (or the Crit)

You Now Know



No. of pages:
© Morgan Kaufmann 2011
14th November 2011
Morgan Kaufmann
Paperback ISBN:
eBook ISBN:

About the Authors

Saul Greenberg

Saul Greenberg

PhD, Full Professor, Department of Computer Science, University of Calgary

Affiliations and Expertise

PhD, Full Professor, Department of Computer Science, University of Calgary

Sheelagh Carpendale

Sheelagh Carpendale

Sheelagh Carpendale is a 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. She is the recipient of several major awards, including the NSERC University Faculty Award (UFA) and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts Award (BAFTA) for Off-line Learning. She directs the Innovations in Visualization (InnoVis) research group and the Computational Media Design interdisciplinary graduate group. Her research on information visualization, large interactive displays, and media art draws on her dual background in Computer Science (Ph.D. Simon Fraser University) and Visual Arts (Sheridan College and Emily Carr University of Art and Design).

Affiliations and Expertise

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

Nicolai Marquardt is a PhD candidate at the University of Calgary working with Dr. Saul Greenberg. He graduated in Media Systems from the Bauhaus University in Weimar, and joined Microsoft Research in Cambridge and Redmond as an intern during his graduate studies. He uses sketches extensively when designing novel interactive systems.

Affiliations and Expertise

Nicolai Marquardt is a PhD candidate at the University of Calgary working with Dr. Saul Greenberg.

Bill Buxton

Bill Buxton

Affiliations and Expertise

Principal Researcher, Microsoft Research, Redmond, Washington and Toronto, Canada


"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

Ratings and Reviews