Dean Kaplan recently sent me a free iPhone Application Sketch Book. Before I go on, I would like to clear up a couple of things. First, I did not get this book for review purposes. I got it for winning an online drawing. Second, this is not an iPhone application. It is an actual book. I have had people be mistaken when I tell them I recent got an “iPhone sketch book.”
After winning the contest, I received the book a few days later via Amazon. I was impressed right off the bat with the quality of the book. Despite being a few sheets of spiral bound paper, it feels like something I can throw in my backpack and carry around with me. There is plenty of margin space to jot down notes about your interface’s paper prototype. The screen is life size and will give an accurate picture of what your application will look like when it is compiled.
I have used it to prototype the interface for an application that I working on and I enjoyed using it.
While this is a great thing to just carry around and work in, there is a disadvantage to having a notebook like this. There are 100 iPhone sketching pages. Eventually, you will run out of paper. That is why I think that keeping a good stencil around is a good call. Do your rough sketches by hand, then move on to the stencil, then put your finalized UI designs into the iPhone Application SketchBook. I recommend this design process because it forces you to go over the same design again and again before it is finally implemented and put in from of users. More importantly, it will help you conserve precious pages in your dedicated UI sketch book.
Overall, this is an excellent product. If you have not already purchased one for $9.99 before midnight on October 29, 2009, then you are out of luck. However, I believe Kapsoft will return with a new and improved sketchbook. My opinion of this product: highly excellent, useful, and practical.