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The elements of user experience: User-centered design for the web (Voices that matter)

4.1 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Unknown Binding: 189 pages
  • Publisher: New Riders (2003)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0006S370G
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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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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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By A Customer on 5 Aug. 2004
Format: Paperback
Really good, creative source of knowledge and wisdom. You always know when book is bad, middle or excellent. This one is excellent. From the illustrations to the content, it's full of creative ideas, tested in real world environments.
Book is written in friendly style and can be read and understood quite easily. Highly recommend it to professionals and students.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I believe this book is directed towards absolute beginners in the area of online plannning and production. Anyone who has previously been involved in any sort of web project would perhaps find this book too light-weight. I certainly did. Usability is a technical discipline, with deep foundations in HCI (human-computer interaction). It is not pragmatic either, and there is no sign of a single real-world example.

I bought this book in light of fine-tuning the user experience of an interactive online application still in development. The elements, e.g. scope, strategy, skeleton, sounded appealing. Instead the chapters dedicated to each of these elements were half-baked and strangely lacking. I can't exactly justify my disappointment. Maybe this quote from the book will clarify:

"For resource constraints, technological or organization changes can sometimes - but, importantly, not always - reduce the resource burden, enabling a feature to be implemented. (However, impossible things will remain impossible. Sorry.)"

That marks my turning point, and giving up with it altogether. That's after 80 pages of similar torture. I just felt slightly insulted, perhaps. But again, this might be perfectly suited to someone who, for instance, has just leapt from an avid knitting, scrapbooking or crafts career into the online production world.

My 11 and some pounds could have been spent on a third of a decent book.
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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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