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The Elements of User Experience: User-Centered Design for the Web [Paperback]

Jesse James Garrett
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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There is a newer edition of this item:
The Elements of User Experience: User-Centered Design for the Web and Beyond (2nd Edition) The Elements of User Experience: User-Centered Design for the Web and Beyond (2nd Edition) 5.0 out of 5 stars (1)
CDN$ 29.60
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Book Description

Oct. 21 2002 0735712026 978-0735712027 1

Smart organizations recognize that Web design is more than just creating clean code and sharp graphics. A site that really works fulfills your strategic objectives while meeting the needs of your users. Even the best content and the most sophisticated technology won't help you balance those goals without a cohesive, consistent user experience to support it.

But creating the user experience can seem overwhelmingly complex. With so many issues involved-usability, brand identity, information architecture, interaction design-it can seem as if the only way to build a successful site is to spend a fortune on specialists who understand all the details.

The Elements of User Experience cuts through the complexity of user-centered design for the Web with clear explanations and vivid illustrations that focus on ideas rather than tools or techniques. Jesse James Garrett gives readers the big picture of Web user experience development, from strategy and requirements to information architecture and visual design. This accessible introduction helps any Web development team, large or small, to create a successful user experience.


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From the Author

I really love the web. I really hate bad web sites. One day I was sitting on the back patio of Carbon IQ with Jeff Veen, and mentioned both of these sentiments. I said, "Dang it, if people would just slow down and do a few blueprints before they made web sites, they'd all improve 200%. I mean, it doesn't take that much -- you just talk to some users, do a couple card sorts, and blooie! a better web site." And he said, "You should write a book." Well, it's a year later, and I have written a book. My brain is now sitting in your hands, between these covers. I still spend a lot of time online -- so far I found a career, a husband, a car, a publisher, and many tickets to exotic locales all online. I love the web -- it has the power to change people's lives. I still hate bad web sites though, and now I'd like to encourage you to read this book and go make some good ones. Please. I'll swing by when you're done.

From the Back Cover

Smart organizations recognize that Web design is more than just creating clean code and sharp graphics. Building a site that really works means making sure it fulfills your strategic objectives while meeting the needs of your users. Having the best content and the most sophisticated technology won't help you balance those goals if you don't integrate them within a coherent, consistent user experience.

But creating the user experience can seem overwhelmingly complex. With so many issues to deal with usability, brand identity, information architecture, interaction design it can seem that the only way to build a successful site is to spend a fortune on specialists who understand all the details.

The Elements of User Experience cuts through the complexity of user-centered design for the Web, breaking it down with clear explanations and vivid illustrations that focus on ideas rather than tools or techniques. Jesse James Garrett gives readers the big picture of Web user experience development, from strategy and requirements to information architecture and visual design. This accessible introduction demystifies the field, putting key concepts in context so that any web development team, large or small, can create a successful user experience.

Thousands of web developers around the world have used Jesse James Garrett's ideas to build sites that work more effectively. Instead of a cookie-cutter process or a list of rules to follow, The Elements of User Experience provides the strategic foundation for solving the problems unique to your business and your users.


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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
I got a EUREKA moment when I first saw the Jesse James Garrett's diagram "Elements of User Experience". I had been trying for years to put in a diagram the various elements of web site design that start with web objectives and finish as the completed web site. Just for that, I had to thank the author by buying his book. The book is both great and average.

I will start with the average part. The book is a little boring. Thankfully, it is short (174 pages). It is made up mostly of flowing text without the use of bulleted lists or boxes of text to draw attention to important stuff. He writes about elements of user experience but gives very few examples. Those not familiar with the subject will find it too theoretical. The web professionals will find the content of limited value.

What is great about the book is how it organizes the elements using a two dimension structure. The first dimension is from abstract (strategy) to concrete (visual). The other dimension is that some elements relate to information and others to tasks.
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Format:Paperback
6 Years later and still relevant...
Breaks the process down into sizeable bits that are understandable to all members of the organisation... Clearly states some of the biggest mistakes made : "Avoid jumping ahead to identify solutions when we don't yet fully understand the problem."
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book; Misleading Title Aug. 19 2003
Format:Paperback
Like many negative Amazon reviews, some detractors of this book seem to object to the fact that it is this book and not something else. In this case they may not be entirely unfair. If you are looking for advanced techniques in web design you won't find them in Garrett's book. If, however, you are looking for a good framework for thinking about design strategy--for your own thinking, for explaining things to clients, or for students--you will find this book indispensable. It is short, sweet, and straightforward. Whether that's good news of bad is something each reader will need to decide.
Some complain that The Elements of User Experience does not go deeply enough into a range of user experience issues. This may partially be the fault of the author and the publisher. The value of this book goes well beyond web projects and the "user experience" world. Much of it applies to a variety of design projects. If I were to make a major objection to the book it is not that it is too shallow but that it is conceived of as too narrow.
Much of the audience that would find this book to be an important breakthrough would never pick up a book that crams the word "User" into the title twice then gets in two buzz words and says "Web." I don't think this is one of the most important books about user experience or user-centered design. It is, however, a great basic book on design strategy. I hope disappointed people rating it poorly for not being the book they hoped for will not detract from this book finding the wider audience it richly deserves.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Superficial babble Aug. 19 2003
Format:Paperback
Not worth the paper it is printed on. A superficial treatment of analysis, design and implementation of web sites. After reading 73 pages of content-free material I finally gave up trying to find anything amid the fluff and chucked this one in the trash.
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3.0 out of 5 stars An Introduction to User Interface Design July 30 2003
By d024912
Format:Paperback
The book is an introduction text to the field of user interface design.
What I found useful in the book is thinking about the user interface as a number of layers and this reminds me of the layer approach used when explaining communication technologies. I've been using a simpler 3 layer model to communicate what is a user interface to non-professionals and that works.
However, even knowing that a user interface contains several layers does not help you build a user interface. From my experience, building user interfaces requires synthesis. This is where I found this book lacking, it tells you about the required parts but unfortunately doesn't really help tell you how to put them together. Using a cooking analogy, you have the ingredients for the meal but you are missing the quantities and cooking times.
Therefore this book is great to understand what a user interface but it is of limited help to build a user interface.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great starter for novice April 29 2003
Format:Paperback
Not to diminish the value of this great book, but, it is very basic. Establishes a good basic overall process to efficiently manage user interface development. Takes you through step by step. Essential to have this approach before looking at other aspects in more depth. Not technical, so you don't need to be a developer to understand concepts. Good value and a quick read.
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2.0 out of 5 stars nice starter for newbie but not much depth... March 26 2003
Format:Paperback
First off, the author is reportedly disdainful of "design education" (ie, scholarly programs that foster legitimate inquiry and exploration of critical issues in user experience) so it's no surprise that this book, mildly sufficient for beginners puzzled as to how to even start a web project, lacks the necessary conceptual foundations of design thinking for examining complex, application oriented, "beyond the web" design problems: interpretations, perspectives, etc. to enable a designer/IA to step "beyond" the immediate problem and extrapolate principles and patterns. Fundamental issues of cognition, social interaction, drama, emotion, etc. are not even hinted. Also, the core diagram, while visually interesting, has many gaps and simplifications. The fact is, the areas of interaction design and information architecture are quite dynamic in practice (and theory) to be declared with such an "easy" diagram. And the false dichotomies between UI, IA, ID, etc. reveal a unhealthy temptation to simplify and codify, leading to false perceptions by newbies about design practice.
So, while the book offers the rudimentary basics of web projects (which are quite useful), the array of techniques and over-simplification of process/forethought can be a disservice for someone truly trying to understand "user experience" elements. Instead, I'd highly recommend Clement Mok's "Designing Business", Veen's "Art and Science of Web Design" (especially the last chapter), HIllman Curtis' "Making the Invisible Visible", and Shedroff's "Experience Design" (though it is hard to "read" his book :-)
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Good for someone who knows nothing of User Experience Design
There was not much in this book that I didn't glean from Jesse's one page PDF back in 2000. If you're a professional designer that is curious about this book, just check out the... Read more
Published on March 13 2003 by "gzahnd"
4.0 out of 5 stars Good for someone who knows nothing of User Experience Design
There was not much in this book that I didn't glean from Jesse's one page PDF back in 2000. If you're a professional designer that is curious about this book, just check out the... Read more
Published on March 13 2003 by "gzahnd"
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential for your library!
"Ready...Fire...Aim!"
How many times have you been involved in a Web site design effort that seems to fit this approach? Sadly, we all have such experiences in our lives. Read more
Published on Feb. 8 2003 by Dick Miller
3.0 out of 5 stars If you have limited budget, skip it.
Ok, tons of books on user experience, UI desing, IA, etc....
So if you have limited budget, then I suggest trying out some
other books. Read more
Published on Jan. 6 2003 by Jisoo Kim
2.0 out of 5 stars Elementary elements
This book might be good for a beginner, but for anyone who does web design professionally, this book is much too basic. It's also extremely thin... Read more
Published on Dec 28 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars A clear and concise map of the user experience world
Subtitled 'User-Centred Design for the Web', this new book is designed to give the big picture, addressing ideas rather than techniques. Read more
Published on Dec 28 2002 by Louise Ferguson
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