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The Elements of User Experience: User-Centered Design for the Web and Beyond (Voices That Matter) Paperback – 16 Dec 2010
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Top customer reviews
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.
- to explain the workflow that best responds to the needs and specificities of a web product and the tasks and roles involved in the whole process
- to establish a common ground of understanding and collaboration for every team member.
If you are new to this subject, you will learn to break a project into its several stages and analyse each problem on its turn. Decisions will be made with clear arguments and conflicts within the team will be reduced to a minimum.You will feel that the project will grow with ease, consistent and grounded on objectives.
From client and user needs and objectives, and from content and functionality requirements, to information architecture, interaction design, navigation and interface design, every stage of the process is clearly explained with techniques, context and diagrams.
This is a book for every member of a team working on a web project: account, project manager, designer, writer, developer and even for the client. This is not a comprehensive book on User Experience for an interaction designer or strategist, but a light and quick introduction to the overall process.
It is specially useful to a small team where the same person will have to understand the client and users needs and create the content and architecture, while another will have to both design the interaction, define the style and do the programming.
Note: this review is based on the 2002 edition, which targeted traditional desktop websites, without almost any reference to mobile applications.
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.
For me, as a UX professional working in an organisation, I can see its real value as part of practical training - for instance, giving non- or junior UX people this book to read (particularly other stakeholders in the design process such as BAs) and saying to them "Have a read, and then we can discuss which methods, techniques, design principles are the best ones for your product"
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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It made me think differently about some of the projects I was involved with over the...Read more