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Bill Buxton’s Sketching User Experiences

I’m about half-way through Bill Buxton’s Sketching User Experiences and, even though this book definitely is a tome (if not in size, then definitely in weight – the paper quality is very high – the book must weigh in at 5-10 lbs), it’s a fantastic read. First off, this book is about *a lot* more than sketching. In fact, Buxton doesn’t even get to actually talking about this (at least in practical terms) until around p. 250 or so(!), which is approximately where I am now. Instead, he lays the groundwork with multiple sweeps across a range of disciplines, from ‘designing for the wild’ (an incredible story of a close friend’s encounter with an avalanche and the testament to the power of good design in the face of a life or death situation) to a (I think) completely unique take on the story of the iPod and why it has become such a huge success (it’s probably not what you think) to a section on the history of industrial design, placing the actual meat of the book – methodologies and best practices for nitty-gritty everyday design – into powerful perspective. The part I’m on right now talks about the value, nay critical importance, of learning and understanding the practices of other team members in a design team, as in programmers developing an understanding of visual design and vice versa. Maybe what’s most weird about the book is that while it is incredibly dense, as in a 10pt serif font, because Buxton’s writing style is so fluid, and he is so passionate and knowledgeable about design (in the absolutely broadest sense of the word), reading this 5lb (10lb?) tome feels more like another equally great but much lighter read.

  1. Well, it felt like 5 pounds – Buxton thinks lots of heavy thoughts :)

  2. 5-10 pounds! I think you need to recalibrate. :-) Amazon says the shipping weight of Buxton’s book is two pounds. (That’s less than the last Harry Potter book.)

  3. I’ve had my eyes on this book for a while now. Your comments piqued my curiosity! Think I’m going to pick it up!

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