Friday, June 8, 2007

Sketching the User Experience

I’m a very visual person and I like it when people make an effort to illustrate thoughts and ideas. After all, thoughts and ideas by their very nature are abstract and when it comes to something like the user experience, you can’t get any more abstract than that.

What is the user experience? If you were asked to draw it as it relates to your product, your software, website or web application, could you do it?

A book called Sketching User Experiences by Bill Buxton demystifies the abstract and helps bring the design process to a more tangible level. You can read a brief review of the book here. Also, a colleague in the Boise area discusses the book to some degree and explains how he uses sketching in his daily work.

I think one thing that turns off some folks from sketching is the pressure to be perfect right out the gate. They see people they perceive as their competition and fear what they are working on is not innovative enough. In the process of designing a product, most of the joy comes from the journey, answering questions that seem to crop up without warning and discovering new things that may not have been considered before.

Even though we live in a digital age, start putting pen to paper to fuel that new idea.

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