Sketching the User Experience as a Diagnostic

January 3, 2013

After reading Bill Buxton’s Sketching User Experiences: Getting the Design Right and the Right Design I was inspired to try capturing interactions in sketch form. While Buxton recommends this technique to convey design concepts, I’ve been using it as a diagnostic tool – capturing the “as is” interactions derived from user research.  Below are some quick sketches I made after conducting contextual interviews with therapists.  I believe that these simple sketches convey a lot about how technology in a therapy session informs the interactions between therapist and patient. Yet the sketches take less time than searching for words to describe an interaction.




As you can see, my scribbles are far from artistic, but they do the job of conveying both desirable and problematic interactions. This technique really is within anyone’s reach. If you want a confidence booster, warm up by spending an afternoon with Dan Roam’s Back of the Napkin. Roam makes sketching as a communication tool seem approachable even for those us who don’t identify as visual communicators.


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