Undercover User Experience Design
Product Author Bios
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.
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 trickier. 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.
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Summarizing what UX is about in less than 200 pages,
This review is from: Undercover User Experience Design (Voices That Matter) (Paperback)In the past few years, I have read many UX books, and most of them were either extremely boring or very badly written, so I approached this one with a lot of cynicism. Luckily, it is neither boring nor badly written: it actually has a very good pace, talks about most aspects of User Experience just in the right length, and maintains a tone throughout that relaxes you and makes you feel that you're actually doing something that you enjoy.
The authors maintain the position that some UX work in design is better than none, and show ways how research, design and production can be influenced by User Experience work (performed by you, the reader) without big budgets or a sense of perfectionism.
Having worked in various companies large and small for UX teams both successfully and unsuccessfully, I found that the relaxed approach by the authors resonated with me. It's a bit like books by Steve Krug, but less descriptive in what needs to be done. "Undercover User Experience Design"... Read more
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Excellent "how to do it" book,
This review is from: Undercover User Experience Design (Voices That Matter) (Paperback)I wish I'd had this book 13 years ago when I was a technical writer in a software company moving into what I later found out was called information architecture and which we would now know as user experience.
It is a fantastic resource for anyone new to the field. It gives an excellent introduction to what is involved and what you can do to improve user experience while retaining your day job.
One highpoint for me is the chapter on generating ideas, which demonstrates many of the well-known methods (excellently illustrated) as well as some more esoteric activities. Even seasoned UXers will find something new here.
There's also a very good chapter on deliverables with one of my favourite lines in the book: "Deliverables are a step on the journey, not the end of the line". Perhaps it would be good if the authors warned here that in agencies (I refuse to perpetuate the authors' use of the appalling terms "outties' and innies"!) deliverables are often seen... Read more
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Truly useful for UX learners,
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This review is from: Undercover User Experience Design (Voices That Matter) (Paperback)Strengths:
- 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... Read more
› See all 9 customer reviews...
Online Sample Chapter
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Going Undercover
Chapter 2 Exploring the Problem
Chapter 3 Generating Ideas
Chapter 4 Making It Real
Chapter 5 Refining Your Solution
Chapter 6 Working with…
Chapter 7 Where Next?
Download the sample pages (includes Chapter 4 and Index)
In the Index, "Ross Unger" should be "Russ Unger"
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