50 Sketching Resources for User Experience Designers

50 Sketching Resources for User Experience Designers

Sketching is a critical part of the User Experience Design process.  Sketching allows us to explore ideas and iterate on concepts quickly and easily before creating detailed mockups.  Below is a roundup of many different sketching articles, tools, templates, presentations, videos, books, and examples to help User Experience Designers learn more about sketching and how it benefits UX design.

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Sketches are an effective modeling process for designers and lead to better design

“Because sketches are faster, require less overhead, and by their nature are perceived to be less ‘done,’ they are better suited to the task-artifact cycle of design exploration. They should be considered an effective modeling process for designers to be able to conceive and predict the consequences of certain design arguments during the design ideation phase and subsequently leading to better design.” – Will Evans

Read more in Will’s article “Shades of Grey: Thoughts on Sketching.”

Good design is design that changes behavior for the better

“Good design is design that changes behavior for the better. I think it needs to take into account the context of the environment, of the human condition, the culture and then attempt to make the things you do—make us do them better, make us do better things. It encourages us to change the way that we live.” – Jon Kolko

Read more in Jon’s interview with Forbes entitled “Jon Kolko On Design That Changes Human Behavior.”

The Importance of a Focused User Experience Strategy

The Importance of a Focused User Experience Strategy

An important aspect of user-centered design is identifying a strategy for how you will support an experience that  addresses user needs and business goals.  It is critical to remember that you need to focus your website’s strategy based on experiences that are relevant and valuable in context of the services your organization provides.

A fictional case study illustrating the need for a focused strategy

For example, let’s say you are a startup company that aims to help make food shopping easier.

Through user research, you may identify many user needs that may feed into your website’s experience. Your research may reveal the complexity things that people need to think about in context of food shopping including cost, nutritional value, meal planning, likes and dislikes, organic vs not organic, and sales happening that week.  You may also discover things relating to the actual experience of food shopping such as trying to get things done fast when you’re in a hurry, how difficult it can be to get shopping done when you have kids running around, the lure of impulse purchasing, and trying to find everything within the store.  People may also tell you about the reasons why they go food shopping such as to prepare family meals, make something for a bake sale, or party planning.

All of these findings may generate a wide variety of ideas about what type of experience your site could support.  The question becomes, how are you going to best take your research findings and turn them into an effective strategy?

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It’s not good enough to just be usable. Design has to fit into peoples’ lives.

“Design is less and less about solving problems, testing less and less about eliminating frustration. It’s all becoming more and more about making a good experience for users… Now it’s not good enough to just be usable. The design has to fit into peoples’ lives. It actually has to make people happy, and anticipate their needs.” – Dana Chisnell

Read more in Dana’s UX Magazine article “Beyond Frustration: Three levels of happy design.”

There is no right answer to a design problem. There are only bad, good and better answers.

“There is no right answer to a design problem… There are only bad, good and better answers for the current situation. Each of the potential solutions sits within a particular context… To find the better answers for your design problem, you need to know the context it sits within. You need to know what you are trying to achieve, what a successful outcome is and what you have to get you there.” – Donna Spencer

This quote is from Donna’s 52 Weeks of UX article “There’s No Right Answer.”