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Communicating the User Experience: A Practical Guide for Creating Useful UX Documentation Paperback – September 19, 2011

ISBN-13: 978-1119971108 ISBN-10: 1119971101 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (September 19, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1119971101
  • ISBN-13: 978-1119971108
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #815,320 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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It most certainly does not.
atmj
The main content of the book is divided into eight chapters, each discussing a separate document they formalized in the user experience design.
Sukru Tikves
Lots of diagrams and images to illustrate the concepts.
Hope T.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By atmj TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 16, 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I wasn't quite sure what to expect in getting this book. As an experienced UI person, there is the constant juggle of documentation versus development. You can work with developers in an Agile environment on the fly, but what does QA test to? I was hoping this book addressed this new age question. It most certainly does not. But that is my mistake as this book does not suggest that will do that. Instead, I found a fairly basic book on UI, that deals with the earlier stages or more basic stages of UI development and how to document that.
Imagine you are a consultant or a UI person looking into a new website or application, or reviewing an old site to resolve some issues. It is this level of early documentation this book is discussing:
*Personas
*Task Models
*User Journeys
*Content Requirements
*Sitemaps
*Wireframes
*Usability Test Reports
*Funnel Diagrams

What I found surprising was the detailed instructions on how to create each of these items in various Software programs; mostly Omnigraffle or MS Powerpoint. There was some reference to Axure, MS Word and MS Excel as well, but they were in the minority.
Nearly half of this book (158 pages versus 332 overall) concerned itself with detailed instructions for how to create this documentation in a very specific format.
Since the Omnigraffle instructions were uniquely for an Apple system; 81 pages had instructions that I could not use. Having not had Axure available to me, another 15 were of no use either.

A concern, I have with all this specificity for a format, was, that it may not fit all circumstances. I get that it may been graphically pleasing to present information in this format for various situations, but it is also highly limiting.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. McKnite VINE VOICE on April 21, 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The book's format was done in a step style and reads easily with a few editing errors. It gives practical instruction. But it was pretty specific on the tools to create a lot of the documentation which is only of use if the company you work for actually has and supports them. I've been in User Experience for 12 years and am currently a Lead Information Architect. I do wireframes in Visio and there was nothing about Visio in that section of the book. When I was a contractor, I found such a variety in tools and documentation that I think it's more useful to learn about concepts for creating good documentation rather than steps in a specific tool.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dave Edmiston TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 16, 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
* Some interesting ideas
* Sometimes well presented, sometimes not
* Not well written

Before going into details, here is the impression that I got from these authors: "We are good at our jobs. We are going to tell you exactly how we do our jobs. Do your job exactly the way we do ours, and you will be good at your job too." I don't see this approach very often in technical documents, but I always cringe when I do.

I have a couple of problems with that approach. Besides the underlying assumption ("we are good at our jobs"), there is an even worse assumption that one size fits all. The assumption that the reader can apply these basic steps as a formula and reach the same results with any client is a scary assumption. Life simply doesn't work that way. In my experience, I can't necessarily apply the same techniques from one client to the next, let alone expect different individuals to apply the techniques the same way. My other problem with this one size fits all approach is that if it were actually true, then there really isn't anything unique about the individual designer--anybody can follow these simple steps and reach the same results--even a caveman could do it.

And I hate to be so critical (and you can see from my other reviews that I'm normally not so critical), but the writing is really disappointing. A decent technical editor (or even diligent self-editing) should have caught some of the basic errors and helped polish the tone of the writing:

"By using decreasing the size of each block, you can more accurately represent the number of visitors on each page."

I make that same mistake all the time. I start a sentence and then the phone rings or someone walks into my cubicle and I get distracted.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jami Garrison VINE VOICE on March 19, 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Communicating the User Experience is a great introduction to creating documentation of the user experience. The authors do a great job of explaining the process and providing step by step instructions on how to create the various documentation products using different software applications. For that I'd give it 5-stars. However, where this book falls short is in the design of the book itself. At first I thought perhaps I had received an advanced reviewer-edition of the book because the images in the examples are awful and the thin, gray font on the light gray background is very difficult to read.

let me explain a little more about the images/diagrams. The authors put in sample diagrams, but they are so small that you can't read the text in them to get a feel for what's going on. It's great that they put in some "real world" type examples, but I only wish I could read them! In other places they've included photos but the shot is taken at some creative angle and out of focus in parts that it is ridiculous to even attempt to read. For a text-book style document you really want to be able to read the information in the sample shot.

The "how-to" step-by-step on creating the documentation is nice that they include several different options of software. But, really, PowerPoint?! A book like this I would have thought would be showing how to do these things using Visio as an alternative to OmniGraffle. I suppose, though, that almost everyone has PowerPoint so they reduced it to the easiest tool, but I would think that they would want to encourage people to use the best tools for the job. I enjoyed learning about Omnigraffle, as I had not heard about it prior to using this book.
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