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A Project Guide to UX Design: For user experience designers in the field or in the making (2nd Edition) Paperback – Mar 9 2012
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About the Author
Russ Unger is a user experience design and research professional in the Chicago area. He has worked with top-tier digital agencies, Fortune 500 companies, and startups. He has presented and led workshops at events like South by Southwest, Web 2.0, and UX Week, and is an occasional contributor to various online UX magazines. In addition, he is on the Advisory Board for the Department of Web Design and Development at Harrington College of Design.
Carolyn Chandler is the experience design director for Manifest Digital, an interactive consultancy based in Chicago. She has taught design courses for DePaul University, and developed an interaction design course for the WaSP InterACT curriculum. She speaks internationally, and has been leading UX teams for over 12 years.
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The main target audience of the book are Information Architects, Interaction Designers, User Researchers, and other project stakeholders (Business Analysts, Content Strategists, Copywriters, Visual Designers, and Front-end Developers).
To make the contents more inviting, I've created an enclosing outline to provide abstract classifications for several groups of chapters. Each number represents the number of pages in each chapter:
- Chapter 1: The Tao of UXD (8)
- Chapter 2: The Project Ecosystem (29)
+ Business Perspective
- Chapter 3: Proposals for Consultants and Freelancers (15)
- Chapter 4: Project Objectives and Approach (10)
- Chapter 5: Business Requirements (15)
- Chapter 6: User Research (26)
- Chapter 7: Personas (13)
- Chapter 8: User Experience Design and SEO (17)
+ Information Architecture / Interaction Design
- Chapter 9: Transition from Defining to Designing (18)
- Chapter 10: Site Maps and Task Flows (17)
- Chapter 11: Wireframes and Annotations (17)
- Chapter 12: Prototyping (15)
- Chapter 13: Design testing with Users (25)
- Chapter 14: Transition: From Design to Development and Beyond (10)
The book also contains frequent references to books, online resources, and user experience groups and authors throughout as opposed to an Appendix or a 'For further reading' section nested in the back. This helps to drive home the thoughts as you read them, rather than 'when you are finished'.
As an aspiring user experience professional, I do believe that this book is worth owning, reading, and referencing as a compass to create effective user experience in any project setting.
This book deals not with the UX design, but mainly with the process of selling UX design services. You will learn very little if anything about the actual UX design process you haven't read elsewhere, but you will learn a lot of useless vague things like how to create a proposal, that a written contract is important, and that you have to "gather ideas from stakeholders" (duh!).
The book is full of empty managerial words like "gather, facilitate, manage, provide insight", but contains very little actual UX meat. For example there are subchapters called "Solidify Project Objectives", "Outline Responsibilities" or "Prioritize and Define". There is even a chapter called simply "Facilitating".
Even if you can stomach such vague language, you will be disappointed with the content. The actual content regarding UX design is barely fifty-something pages - including a weak chapter on SEO.
If you want not to "facilitate and prioritize" but to get some work done, look elsewhere. Information Architecture for the World Wide Web or S. Krug's books were much more helpful for me in this regard.
It's a crisp overview of all the foundational activities that you'll encounter as a UX professional.
If you've been practicing and in the UX field for a few years and want a good gut check to answer the question, "Am I doing this right" this is the book for you too. I don't think it will teach experienced professionals anything they don't already know but then again I don't think that was the goal of the book.
UX Design is really focused on how the work of UX designer gets done day to day and its focus on topics that some UX folks ignore, but are critical, like SEO and contract creation are refreshing. The best analogy I can think of regarding this book is that it reminds me of the excellent professional practice guides that the AIGA used to put out years ago.
There's a natural Web focus in this book but folks that are in the UX discipline in any realm should find it useful and perhaps essential reading.
After sitting on it for a week, I finally thought I'd take a look, mostly to review materials from the conference. 2 days later I had read every word, cover-to-cover and found it not only well written, (there were 3 typos (grammar) - sorry Russ) conversational style, highly legible - a typographically well designed read, but addressing what I had been attempting to put into context in the field of web development and design. Great examples from the trenches, a good review of the players in this arena along with a healthy amount of reference websites and resource materials. The metaphors of the 3 categories for further exploration were cleverly listed as 'Surfing,' 'Snorkeling,' and 'Deep Diving.' Good stuff.
If you're at all curious about what all this UX stuff is about, this is a good start. Also, I believe if you're looking for a good summary as well as some real world examples of UX in the field, Russ and Carolyn Chandler have put together a valuable working resource/reference.
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