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on January 6, 2003
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.
It has some interesting and useful stuff.
Book is tries to be "theoretical", but it doesn't quite work.
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on December 28, 2002
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...not much text on the pages, and has been laid out in a way to make the page count much higher than it should be.
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on December 28, 2002
Subtitled 'User-Centred Design for the Web', this new book is designed to give the big picture, addressing ideas rather than techniques. At less than 200 pages and with many graphics, it's a book you can read in an afternoon, but at the same time it manages to cover a remarkable number of ideas.
The most powerful idea in the book is the Garrett's 'elements' referred to in the title, which he defines as five planes or layers of experience - surface, skeleton, structure, scope and strategy. Garrett explains clearly and elegantly how user needs, content requirements, navigation design, visual design and other components fit into this 5-plane scheme.
I can see Garrett's graphics become standard tools for UX professionals needing to explain to clients what they do, why it's important, and how it fits in with what others do.
This is a good book to put into the hands of senior and middle managers who know little about Web development, and specialists in other disciplines - such as graphic designers - who need an appreciation of how all the elements from different professionals slot together.
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on December 5, 2002
There is a fundamental question that must be asked about Jesse James Garrett's book: why did he need to write it? Mr. Garrett's well known "User Experience" stacking diagram is already a very clear rendition of the complicated process of designing for a web user's experience, so why did he have to write a book to explain it?
The answer is that vast numbers of people who should know about these processes don't. While JJG's stacking diagram may be familiar to Information Architects and other user experience designers, it is virtually unknown to the other 95% of the organization that is responsible for selling, marketing, building, and/or maintaining web sites.
True to his words, Jesse James Garrett delivers a book that neither explains how to do anything, nor provides answers to technology questions about web sites. In fewer than 200 pages, Mr. Garrett does provide a whirlwind survey of the intricacies of interactive design for the web.
Mr. Garrett begins by promising that the book will take only a few hours to read, and he's pretty close to the mark. As I would have expected, the book's design helps keep his promise. The pages are well laid out with plenty of whitespace and supporting diagrams nicely illustrating his points; his language is clear, concise and direct; his presentation not only supports (and is guided by) the stacking diagram, each point logically follows from the last.
Within a few pages, it is very clear that Mr. Garrett did not write the book for practitioners already familiar with his three dimensional diagram. He is focused instead on those people who are not in the daily struggle of designing appropriate experiences for web site visitors. But that doesn't mean the book can't be used by well-heeled user experience designers. Practitioners will find the book an invaluable aid in their on-going evangelical efforts within their own organizations, or as part of their consultancies, as they explain the processes, methods and vocabulary of user experience design to those unfamiliar with this emerging discipline.
For those individuals, the book provides a clear and straightforward introduction to the very complicated and intertwined issues of designing engaging experiences for the web, whether they are "content" or "application" driven.
I, for one, will be recommending Mr. Garrett's book as a "must read" for everyone in my company.
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on December 3, 2002
Garret's book is an exceptionally clear and concise outline of the structure of a website or application, with clear hooks onto which a development workflow can map. This book is simple enough for an introductory course, or to give to a colleague, but rich enough to re-orient a seasoned designed. A very useful contribution to our field.
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on November 15, 2002
This is one of those books that tells you, within reading the first ten pages, that you've got a classic on your hands. Straight-forward, accessible, and clear: Jesse James Garrett writes about the subject of user experience like he preaches.
Absolutely worth every penny and a spot on your bookcase.
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on November 12, 2002
This book is relevant to the designer/ developer and producer of many types of websites: educational, corporate and even ones of a more experimental nature.
After having read Alan Cooper, Louis Rosenfeld and Steve Krug I wasn't sure I'd learn anything new about information design/ architecture from this book. I was wrong. It's clear that Garrett knows his subject inside out but just as important is the way that the book is structured. It's a pleasure to read.
Another thing I appreciated was that his voice didn't get in the way of the information presented. Highly recommended.
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Garrett is the originator of a new way to describe the elements of the user experience when interacting with web sites. He has split it into five components that are called planes. They are
* The surface plane - the series of web pages, made up of images and text.
* The skeleton plane - the placement of the components of the pages: such as the buttons, textboxes and blocks of text.
* The structure plane - a concrete expression of the abstract structure of the site. Concepts such as the placement of the interface elements as well as the definition as to how users get to the site.
* The scope plane - the definition of how the components interact with each other.
* The strategy plane - the description of the purpose of the site. What do the people running it want to get from it as well as what the users want to accomplish when they use it.
A color diagram of these levels can be found at [...]
This segmentation of the structure of a web site is a sound strategy for the development of quality, effective web sites. It is consistent with the proven methods of software development, where the project is split into generally distinct segments that are more manageable. Each of the levels is thoroughly explained as well as the circumstances where they overlap. I consider it an excellent description of the proper way to develop a site and recommend the book for all who have a site, are planning a new site or are in the process of reorganizing an existing one.
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on November 4, 2002
I saw Jesse James Garrett speak in Portland and had been waiting for his book ever since. It belongs on the shelf next to Steve Krug's "Don't Make Me Think". It is very well written, clear and concise and worth every penny. If you want to understand the basics of user centered design this is the book for you.
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This book is a step-by-step guide on how to plan and create a Web site from strategy, to scope, to architecture, to wireframes, to visual design. It is the most straightforward book on what steps need to be taken during the requirements and design stages (and who needs to do them) to ensure that the site meets business objectives and user needs.
Garrett hits it right on the nose in this book when he says, "Creating the user experience is really little more than a very large collection of very small problems to be solved." By showing the steps in detail, and how they work together, Garrett shows how easy it is to address these small problems while keeping the bigger picture in mind. This book is truly a standard-setting piece of work that only takes a day to read and will change the way you think about Web development.
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