The Elements of User Experience: User-Centered Design for the Web by Jesse James Garrett
Jesse James Garrett brings a complete description of the different planes his now infamous Elements of User Experience. He provides examples, explanations and clear explanations about how the techniques of user-centered design affect different parts of the process of building a web application. His framework provides a logical grouping of the existing user-centered methodologies without being limited to particular techniques. Peter Merholz extends Jesse’s Elements to include user research techniques demonstrating the flexibility of the framework to help classify the tools and techniques used by our profession.
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Built for Use: Driving Profitability Through the User Experience by Karen Donoghue
I was surprised when I found Built for Use it was in the business section of the book store. In my experience, while the user experience plays a critical role in the success of a business, most are not written for a business-focused audience (the exceptions to this would be Tom Landauer’s The Trouble with Computers: Usefulness, Usability and Productivity and Randolph Bias and Deborah Mayhew’s Cost-Justifying Usability). Ms. Donoghue covers the essentials of the business impact of the user experience on the web. She maps user experience designs to business goals and proposes metrics to test and measure the success in obtaining these goals. The book is required reading for user experience design professionals to tie our work to business goals and drivers.
The Design of Sites: Patterns, Principles, and Processes for Crafting a Customer-Centered Web Experience by Douglas K. van Duyne, James Landay and Jason Hong
The Design of Sites brings a complete set of research and analysis of hundreds of successful web sites. The book distills the best practices and principles to make sites usability, learnable, consistent. The book features a set of "design patterns" that offer solutions to the most common design problems found on the Web. The patterns are relevant to a wide variety of sites including informational, transactional and community-oriented. They cover principles from design, content management, site performance and page layout and navigation. The book offers examples of how to do it right and the research backing up these decisions. It provides practical real-world patterns that can be used to build better web sites. I would like to match each of the patterns to the planes presented in The Elements of User Experience.
I haven’t had the chance to read Christina Wodtke’s Information Architecture. I am looking forward to reading it and determining where it fits into my recommendations.