- Series: Voices That Matter
- Paperback: 192 pages
- Publisher: New Riders; 1 edition (September 27, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0321719905
- ISBN-13: 978-0321719904
- Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.4 x 8.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 22 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #845,422 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Undercover User Experience Design (Voices That Matter) 1st Edition
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From the Back Cover
Once you catch the user experience bug, the world changes. Doors open the wrong way, websites don't work, and companies don't seem to care. And while anyone can learn the UX remedies: usability testing, personas, prototyping and so on unless your organization 'gets it', putting them into practice is tricky. Undercover User Experience is a pragmatic guide from the front lines, giving frank advice on making UX work in real companies with real problems. Readers will learn how to fit research, ideation, prototyping and testing into their daily workflow, and how to design good user experiences under the all-too-common constraints of time, budget and culture.
About the Author
Cennydd Bowles leapt into the world of user experience eight years ago and hasn't shut up about it since. He now works for Clearleft in Brighton, England and moonlights as a UX blogger, mentor and community evangelist. Cennydd is a regular public speaker (SXSW, IA Summit), a widely published writer (A List Apart, Johnny Holland, .net magazine) and co-conspirator of the UX London conference.
A self-confessed ‘user experience professional’, James Box works for Clearleft in the seaside town of Brighton, England. Part information architect and part interaction designer, when he’s not building sandcastles on the beach, James crafts websites that are fun and easy to use. On those few occasions he's not actually designing, you'll probably find him writing or talking about the subject. Either that or reminiscing about how all these social networks used to be fields.
Top customer reviews
However, if you're looking for something that clarifies the "why" of UX design, this might not be the book for you. The book largely assumes (although not stated) a website is a place such as a brick and mortar shop except that you can say change the walls, windows etc. I feel this is a pretty outdated idea of how people actually use websites so designing with this underlying framework will only lead to the same visual & functional pollution we see online.
The book tries too hard to be a roadmap for how to do UX design. It would have been more valuable to layout a point of view on design principles, for UX design is not necessarily different from good product design.
A standard website has several entry points and users rarely think through processes in a linear fashion. Any approach that assumes linearity seems to miss the mark even before it has started.
- concise prose; comprehensive and appropriate examples
- well-designed expository structure, organization, visual appearance
- in context introduction of standard UX terminology
- very complete 'further reading' section at each chapter end
- web application design, as opposed to website design, is not covered explicitly, in particular, there is no treatment of the essential application UX design issue of workflow
- the 'undercover' conceit feels like an unnecessary distraction
If you need a practical and thorough overview of website user experience design read this book.
I rate it 4 stars for meeting its stated objectives 100%.
This book is essentially an extremely well-organized list of the skills, terms and issues one must understand to practice UX. Each topic is treated evenly, with enough sub topics and examples to clarify why the item matters, what are the relevant techniques needed to address it, and how it fits into the overall UX practice. The result is something simple to read and understand as a narrative the first time through that also serves as fine reference to return to time and again.
My primary quibble with the book, and it is a minor thing, is that the 'undercover' bit feels like something manufactured to give the book a unique angle. Certainly there is validity to the point that one encounters resistance when introducing a UX agenda to organizations that don't yet have one. But using this issue as a leitmotif throughout the book adds a slightly defensive tone that I feel distracts from the book's otherwise elegant exposition of the essential theory and skills that make up user experience design
For those already familiar with user experience design, Suzanne's discussion of the device capabilities, navigation and interface elements/interplay is equally as valuable. Suzanne's book actually changed the way I approached my soon-to-be-released iPhone App DrivingBuddy. You could spend hours looking for examples of well-designed mobile apps and diagnosing why exactly they are great, or you could just read Suzanne's book :)
This book is clearly written for a designerly audience, but also lays the groundwork for user experience newbies. I highly recommend this book to anyone tackling the difficult task of designing for mobile.
Ginsburg's case studies alone make for illuminating lessons of user centered design and should be required reading for budding user experience designers, developers, and product managers. The scope includes both development of new products from the ground up and refining an existing application.
This is the best user experience book I've come across so far. This book is invaluable in the grand task of making compelling user experiences.
There's a wealth of information on sites like smashingmag, uxbooth etc. but it's hard to sometimes find the down and dirty techniques described throughout the book.
I got this book recently and even with my practical experience as ux designer I still learned a couple of things from the book.
If I could have gotten my hands on the book 3 years ago it would have saved me countless hours of web searches looking for proper, practical material on the techniques used in the industry.
Definitely worth the read especially for newcomers.