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James Bender on Sketching User Experiences September 24, 2009

Posted by James Bender in Sketching User Experiences, [Books] Visualization & Presentation.
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This past weekend I read Bill Buxton’s Sketching User Experiences. A fantastic book, it took me on a thinking journey through avalanches, tribal norwegian navigation, ipod development, trek top fuel mountain bike design, the wizard of OZ, and convergent vs divergent thinking. I enjoyed the manner in which Buxton used historical quotes and relevant products to help me better understand effective design. In a sentence, iteration and pencil on paper design produce amazingly fruitful results. Buxton is not afraid to pound his chest claiming that few can design in the way that he can. But by the end of the read, one starts to believe him.

My takeaways are that design can be hard and is paramount to the success of products and processes. Attempting to design solutions before the problem has truly been defined will cause headaches. However, taking the time to sketch the entire process will pay dividends in cost savings and quality. Moreover, truly understanding the challenge is usually the greatest design deliverance.

Lastly, the most important takeaway: simple is beautiful. So, make your blog entries short. 6 words on a power-point slide are more powerful. Brevity is next to Godliness.

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