This is a book about process and design. Divided into two parts, Bill Buxton engage you (designers, product managers, business executives, etc.) in a analysis about methods, processes and business careers from a historical point of view.
It brings other fields of the industry into the emerging User Experience with Sketching as the starting point of new ideas and as a way to lead the new product requirements for innovation.
It makes you think about your role and your company culture reminding us:
how important innovation is to the future of your company, the role of design in this, a recognition that innovation cannot be ghettoized in the research or design departments, since it is an overall cultural issue, and awareness of the inevitable and dire consequences of ignoring the previous three points.
Buxton stops when talking about Design when makes distinction between Interface Desgin and Experience Design (may we say design for experience?), when clarifies why Sketches are not Prototypes and disagrees with D. Norman who stated “We are all designers”.
Reducing things to such a level trivializes the hard-won and highly developed skills of the professional designer.
It is not a how-to book, although there’s a complete section about techniques to create sketches, with best practices where the main messages is: think, create, share and test.
When reading this book I have had always the feeling of mixing things and not going into the real root of any point. I would love to have the two parts of it into two different books with a more deeply detailed materials where to learn more about the author’s ideas.
Nevertheless, for me, it has represented a creative way of learning tips to introduce simple, fast and cheap sketching techniques into my daily work at the same time that I have considered the need of innovation not only in products but also in the process itself.
In order to create successful products, it is as important (if not more) to invest in the design of the design process, as in the design of the product itself.