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Communicating Design: Developing Web Site Documentation for Design and Planning (2nd Edition) (Voices That Matter) 2nd Edition

15 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0321712462
ISBN-10: 0321712463
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Communicating Design: Developing Web Site Documentation for Design and Planning (2nd Edition) (Voices That Matter) + Don't Make Me Think, Revisited: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability (3rd Edition) (Voices That Matter)
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Product Details

  • Series: Voices That Matter
  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: New Riders; 2 edition (September 25, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321712463
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321712462
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 0.9 x 10.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #262,619 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Amelia on December 9, 2010
Format: Paperback
A great update to the first edition, which was a classic. This belongs in the reference library of every web and user experience designer. Although Dan Brown clearly wrote this with web designers from the IA/UX persuasion in mind, there's guidance throughout that can be leveraged by those from other design and creative disciplines that need to communicate their work to various audiences.

For me, that's the secret sauce that makes this book so valuable. Besides the excellent information (and more illustrations) on structure and tools for creating effective communications, it provides guidance on when and how to frame and use different types of communications (deliverables or diagrams) to facilitate discussions, work with stakeholders, clients, and other contributors, and enable projects to move forward. If you work with clients or stakeholders (what designer doesn't?), this book will help you be more successful.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Anastasia on October 13, 2011
Format: Paperback
As some other reviewers have pointed out this book is best suited to those who are interested in managing the project as well as actually doing the design job. I can see how from his perspective this book does not agree with some designers, who care very little about how to set-up meetings to discuss design deliverables, and just want get their primary job done. However, as a product manager, I found this part interesting.
What is really bothering me is the style of the author's writing. Overcomplicated long phrasings mixed with out-of-place comments (or are those jokes?) about author's hobbies... sometimes I feel I am reading a blog not a book, it's a waste of time.
I would suggest that for the 3rd edition the author teams up with a good editor who would help him phrase his thoughts more laconically, and remove all the noise from the book. Until then, if you are considering buying this book, I suggest you keep looking (unless you have lots of free time).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tamara Adlin on November 22, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
OK, I'm biased, but I love this book. Dan did such a great job creating a book that you actually WANT to come back to time and again. If you're like me, you probably have lots of books on your shelf, and they look nice up there, but you may not take them down and actually use them very much. This book might not look as nice on your shelf, because you'll use it so much that it will get beat up. Which is a good thing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By CharleyB on April 17, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was a great resource in giving best practices of how to display complicated UX ideas and design. The cherry on top was that each design section also comes with suggestions on how to run a client through a meeting using the tools referenced.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Susanne C on December 31, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Communicating Design Second Edition by Dan M. Brown is a delightful read--one especially suited for those taking Web programming courses or wanting to learn the inside strategies on Web site design/programming preparation.

The book starts off by covering the fundamentals of wireframes, personas, site maps, concept models, and flowcharts. These components of the book are not only technical in a how-to format, but also practical in a business sense. In fact, Dan Brown makes a point of stressing how to negotiate these "deliverables" in business meetings, in essence preparing the reader for a career in design strategies.

The second part of the book not only emphasizes how to format the products (i.e., wireframes, personas, etc) into professional deliverables through providing structure for the reports, but also delves into competitive reviews, usability plans, and usability reports. Of most interest to me was the competitive review, as it helped establish the framework (including site map) of a site I'm about to build. One easily overlooked shortcoming of the book is that it doesn't spend the time on research strategies, such as focus groups and interviews that the book A Project Guide To UX Design by Russ Unger does. However, Communicating Design exceeds many other books in its elaboration on the personas, wireframes, site maps, flow carts, etc.--the actual deliverables.

Although the book doesn't delve into how to create the deliverables in different software programs (it only mentions a few of the usable programs like Illustrator and Microsoft Visio, for instance), one can go to Lynda.com for a month-to-month membership and access tutorials on these components.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Barbara R. on March 21, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book and the way it walked through the process. I have overseen the building of several sites and always keep in mind the ideas I learned in this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Joeb on April 16, 2012
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I purchased this book because I needed it for school. I haven't had any trouble reading it and there are a lot of good and helpful ideas within.
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By jamie schmid on April 5, 2014
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Lots to take in. I liked that they stressed that this is more a process for discovering/understanding your content than a goal of creating charts and graphs and Excel files... the goal isnt to make all this documentation, it's to do what works for you in order to HELP you make better decisions, so you can pick and choose which strategies work for you. That's a really valuable lesson to learn. Haven't even finished the book yet but really enjoying it.
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