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Elements of User Experience: User-centered Design for the Web (Voices (New Riders)) Paperback – 11 Oct 2002


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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: New Riders; 1 edition (11 Oct 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0735712026
  • ISBN-13: 978-0735712027
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 1 x 22.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 279,161 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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From the Back Cover

Smart organizations recognize that Web design is more than just creating clean code and sharp graphics. A site that really works fulfills your strategic objectives while meeting the needs of your users. Even the best content and the most sophisticated technology won't help you balance those goals without a cohesive, consistent user experience to support it.

But creating the user experience can seem overwhelmingly complex. With so many issues involved-usability, brand identity, information architecture, interaction design-it can seem as if the only way to build a successful site is to spend a fortune on specialists who understand all the details.

The Elements of User Experience cuts through the complexity of user-centered design for the Web with clear explanations and vivid illustrations that focus on ideas rather than tools or techniques. Jesse James Garrett gives readers the big picture of Web user experience development, from strategy and requirements to information architecture and visual design. This accessible introduction helps any Web development team, large or small, to create a successful user experience.

About the Author

Jesse James Garrett is one of the founders of Adaptive Path, a user experience consultancy based in San Francisco. Since it was first released in March 2000, his "Elements of User Experience" model has been downloaded more than 20,000 times. Jesse's Web experience includes projects for companies such as AT&T, Intel, Boeing, Motorola, Hewlett-Packard, and National Public Radio. His other contributions to the field of user experience include the Visual Vocabulary, an open notation system for information architecture documentation that is now used by organizations around the world. His personal site at www.jjg.net is one of the Web's most popular destinations for information architecture resources.


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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Yannick Warnier on 1 Mar 2006
Format: Paperback
This book is very good. With a very clear design (which helps when you read a book about user experience), you get a continuous and progressive flow of the different layers you should think about when designing applications. Mainly focused on the final user experience, it is a resource full of practical examples based on experience.
The concepts, though, are based on the presumption that you are the designer of a big application and that you have the mighty power to get what you want. Even though it's a pretty good tick-list of things you need to think about when designing an application, it is often only completely applicable if working with more than 5 people in the development team.
Excellent for technical/design managers that need to ensure an application will be designed wisely.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 29 Mar 2007
Format: Paperback
Like the other reviewers I thought this was worthwhile read. It's worth pointing out it's deliberately not a scholarly text, (similar in tone to Krug's Don't Make Me Think) so it's an easy read on a train journey or similar. I liked the way it's very business focused - I can see that this is couched in genuine experience of working within small to medium design projects. As an example, it is probably the only book I have read on usability which both acknowledges the existence of, and the risks associated with, UAT - an exercise which has probably wasted more of my time than any other. I also like the requirements focus, and the acknowledgement of "site objectives", other than just user requirements, having a place in design. In theory it should extend out to large projects, but I think that scenario presents a whole new set of problems, only some of which are touched on.

Where I think it falls down is that, while I like the bones, there's not much flesh. I think you actually need to be trained in the arts and magics of UCD beforehand to know what technique you would apply or what design principle is relevant at any given point (and, on behalf of the graphic designers and information scientists out there, I think it is equally light on what their work involves). Yes, it talks about lab tests and contextual enquiry but it needs some expertise to know exactly which method to apply, or which design choices to make. So, if you were a newcomer without an experienced UX professional on hand, you will need to do a bit of follow up reading. And also there is not a single mention on accessibility which, for a book on web user experience, is a shocking omission.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Since the day I got this book, my outlook on the process of designing for the web has changed entirely.

Regardless of the examples, the guidelines and advice in this book can be applied to any design for the web. The book is very manageable, starting off explaining Jesse James Garrett's 'Elements of User Experience' diagram in summary, so that you can grasp the concept, and then going into much more detail of how to plan the elements of a project in an effective way.

It isn't written in an academic tone, which makes this an interesting and easily-digestible read in a few hours and, if you're anything like me, you'll end up dipping into it for advice whenever you're broaching user testing or any similar exercise.

I am only currently a student, but I have the 'Elements of User Experience' diagram on my wall and I use it to help plan all of my projects. This book opens your eyes to so many aspects of user experience that it would be difficult coming away from reading it without learning something new.
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Format: Paperback
I initially wanted this book because I thought it would give me actual research insight into user experience for the web. In fact it's much more general, there are no specifics at all except an example of implementing a search engine, which is in itself only discussed in very general terms. But I still found the overview interesting and readable. A lot of it just reads like common sense, I can't say I learned much new when reading this - and I'm no expert - but it's useful to have all the processes, terminology and layers involved in building a website set out in an organised way for you to refer to. For more specific advice about each step in the process, there's further reading given. Agree with the reviewer who points out that the processes JJG advocates are really aimed at large organisations with big budgets.
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Format: Paperback
This book acts as both an excellent introduction and a roadmap into the field of user experience. It covers the process of creating a user centred website; all the way from gathering needs through to production of the website interface design.

As it leads you through the, now famous, conceptual model the key skills required to produce a user centric website are introduced. It carefully avoids the trap of going into great depth on each skill. Instead it suggests other books and media that focus on particular skills. This allows the book to focus on the high level process.

This book won't make you a UX professional but it will set you on the right road. It will also have the added benefit of improving your design process. I recommend it to all web designers and website managers.
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