Communicating User Experience

I’m learning to draw.

In my quest to fully integrate User Experience (UX) design with lean startup methodology in my own practice, I’ve decided to learn how to represent my ideas visually.

Why draw?

It’s a great skill to have because human beings, for the most part, are hard wired to interpret visual images with much greater fluidity than the written word.

Or perhaps I should try and say,

User Experience communicated visually


In this case, as with most of my experiments, perfection is not the goal. Communication is.

How often have you spent hours writing back and forth emails with a remote coworker or outsourcer trying to explain a very basic point? We endlessly debate, only to be frustrated by a 10 pixel difference in alignment that could be easily understood if we were in the same room and could point to it.

Much as I love multisyllabic discourse, big word no help. This better:

good user experience


So I’ll be forcing myself to publish a doodle every Thursday. It will be painful. Mostly for you dear reader, who may have to endure it.

(However, I won’t be publishing these to my mailing list unless there’s something pertinent to lean startup methodology regarding my doodles.)

Please join me!

So…what should I post next? Tweet to tell me what to write:

Show me how to test product market fit!


How can I do lean startup in my friggin' huge company?

Discussion (3 comments)

  1. Brett G. says:

    I don’t know if this is the same as what you have in mind, but I’ve been using Gliffy through Google Apps to visually diagram my ideas, business processes, etc.

    I didn’t realize it until I started that I couldn’t really conceptualize and organize my ideas, concepts and plans without laying them out visually. Once they are down in some sort of visual layout, I can refine the ideas much more effectively as well as communicate them to investors and partners.

    If you don’t want to pay for Gliffy you can always download Inkscape for free and use that.

    1. Tristan says:

      Nah…flowcharting is easy. I’m talking about communicating the user experience in a way that is instructive in terms of understanding what to build and why.

      It’s easy to say “the second screen should ask for the user’s email address.” What’s more important is to understand what the user is trying to achieve and what emotions they should feel as a result of that. Flowcharts really don’t help with that.

      It’s changing requirements from functional specs, to experiential specs.

      For that, I need to learn to draw.

  2. Brett G. says:

    I agree. I wasn’t just speaking in terms of flow-charting processes. I’m talking about graphically laying out many different aspects of business from processes to customer experience, relationships, etc.

    Point being, using visual arts really helps to clarify and give another dimension to many different aspects of business.

  3. Pingback: Draw | Keith Ratner

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