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Effective UI: The Art of Building Great User Experience in Software Paperback – February 13, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-0596154783 ISBN-10: 059615478X Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (February 13, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 059615478X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596154783
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.6 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,209,165 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jonathan Anderson helped found EffectiveUI before becoming managing editor of UX Magazine, an online resource for user experience professionals and enthusiasts. In this role, Jonathan develops and oversees original content creation and sourcing that explores the maturing field of UX and details industry trends and emerging technologies.
John McRee is a lead information architect for EffectiveUI who brings more than a decade of experience to designing highly intuitive and engaging user interfaces. Specializing in design process management, user research, information architecture and interaction design, John has designed software for a diverse group of clients, including many Fortune 500 companies.
Robb Wilson is co-owner of UX Magazine and a technology research consultant for many Fortune 500 companies, including Qwest and National Geographic. An active member in the UX community, Robb's work affords him the unique opportunity to meld business strategy with creative processes and emerging technologies. He has worked as a creative executive at Time Warner and is an industry thought leader, providing innovative insight on emerging technologies and trends. Robb has founded four successful technology companies.

Customer Reviews

I didn't find too much practical advice in the book.
Marc Magrans De Abril
This is an excellent and insightful book on UI Design and User Experience based on the consulting experience of a leading firm in this industry.
Ira Laefsky
Bottom line, whether the book's description explains what it's actually about or not, the title is misleading.
Dan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Duane Moore on March 27, 2011
Format: Paperback
The authors of this book share many great insights into software project management, many of which I can confirm from my own experience. So why is the book called Effective UI? It does very little to describe tangible steps that need to be taken to introduce more effective design and development practices that will lead to better user experiences. Many insights the authors share such as "the raw materials that go into building a software product are the intelligence, ingenuity, and creativity of the team that builds it" risk sounding trite. Of course it is hard to fault the authors for sharing such insights because they may not be obvious to everyone. But I think it's fair to say that people thinking of buying this book will expect something quite different, as I did. In Chapter 7, for example, they describe how to map high-level workflows to help define requirements, making platform and framework choices, mapping interactions with external systems, defining business logic, how to use revision control and automated testing. Perhaps the authors felt it was necessary to cover these topics, even cursorily, but the topics really belong in a book called "Software Engineering" or "Software Project Management", not a book called "Effective UI". If someone you know has a copy of this book to borrow, you probably will not regret reading it, but I can't recommend buying the book as you will probably be getting something quite different than what you expect.
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33 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Andrzej J. Taramina on February 24, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are looking for a good book on UI design principles, methods, tips and tricks, with concrete examples and suggestions, then don't bother spending your money on this tome. It should have been titled "Effective PM (for beginners)", as it's almost exclusively about project management rather than UI design.

If you are familiar with iterative development practices, agile, the perils of waterfall, requirements analysis, stakeholder relations, team building and the overall software project management process, then you will find nothing new in this book. The first few chapters read like a marketing brochure for the Effective UI consulting group. If you know little of these areas, or have a manager/stakeholder that you want to try to convert, then this book might provide some value as a high level introduction to software project management.

To me, this was very disappointing. I have dozens and dozens of O'Reilly books, decades of SW dev experience from C-level on down, and this is the first O'Reilly book that I've purchased that I would send back (if that just wasn't worth the time/trouble to do so). I'll probably just give it to the Goodwill charity, and hope that someone can benefit from it.

With it's current title, I rate this barely as a 1, and then only because they included some interesting, albeit barely relevant, quotes from Clausewitz and Sun Tzu. If they had changed the title to "Effective PM - An Introduction to Software Development management/practices" then it might rate a 3.

O'Reilly dropped the ball on this one, IMO.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Ira Laefsky VINE VOICE on February 15, 2010
Format: Paperback
This invaluable review of the Processes & Business Benefits of User Interface/User Experience Design, provides so much unique and hard won insight into the process of developing superior user interfaces, the goals of users and the business, and in quantifying the benefits of UX design that I can only award it an outstanding Five Star review. One observation, that full engagement with the true goals of users is the end purpose of UI Design, is in itself worth the cost of this excellent book. But in spite of my viewing this book as revolutionary and offering outstanding and unique insights into what User Experience is, how to achieve it and what its benefits are, I do have one major criticism of this otherwise excellent book, its narrative approach and careful explication of its arguments on what the team at "Effective UI" lead to step by step discovery of these insights; there doesn't appear to be a top-down structure allowing for easy browsing of the book; it must be studied at length. Also, an experienced student of Interaction Design and User Experience cannot easily find what the new insights of this book are at a single glance, or find its prescription for a particular step of the design process.

This is an excellent and insightful book on UI Design and User Experience based on the consulting experience of a leading firm in this industry. But the book narrating their experience must be studied, it is difficult to browse.

--Ira Laefsky
MSE, MBA IT & HCI Researcher
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19 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Maxim Ischenko on June 1, 2010
Format: Paperback
This is NOT a book about creating UIs (user interfaces) as the title might suggest.

It's a book about politics and how to sell importance of UX inside your big and bulky organisation. I'd rate it higher if it were titled properly (though I would never bought it in the first place).
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By B. DuMont on March 5, 2010
Format: Paperback
Creating attractive and useful UI requires buy-in, support and input from people across the business. Effective UI is about more than just creating a good design, it is a resource that can help you effectively work and communicate with the project team, resulting in a usable, useful and innovative software.
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Effective UI: The Art of Building Great User Experience in Software
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