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MA Web Design & Content Planning

User experience design

Reading

UX for Beginners: A Crash Course in 100 Short Lessons by Joel Marsh

This is a nice, easy book to read. It’s written in a very accessible manner with complimentary and humorous illustrations. In a short space of time, the reader can develop a very good understanding of the fundamentals of user experience design. This is a great place to start your UX learning, but it is very much a “crash course” and other books will be needed to extend your understanding of this increasingly complex area of study.

Stockwell Street Library: 6 copies (click for availability).

UX for Beginners is also available at Amazon.co.uk.

Also consider: Undercover User Experience Design by Cennydd Bowles.

Don't Make Me Think (3rd edition) by Steve Krug

This book, subtitled ‘A common sense approach to web usability’ is exactly that. Although, these days we tend to refer to this area of study as user experience (UX). Krug makes a point of stating the obvious and the not so obvious in order to give a complete picture of website usability. The book is printed in full colour and is thoughtfully illustrated — in fact, it’s an object lesson in usability. Clear writing and wry humour make Krug’s book a joy to read and he manages to get over some quite complicated ideas without you even noticing. There are also lots of excellent examples from real sites because as Krug points out ‘…you’ll find that the sites I use as examples tend to be excellent sites with minor flaws. I think you can learn more from looking at good sites than bad ones.’ Well said.

This third (or ‘revisited’) edition has been updated for mobile with 3 new chapters and updated content elsewhere. If you follow all the excellent advice in this book, your websites will be a joy to use and your visitors will be able to find the information they are looking for, quickly and easily, with no blind alleys, no ambiguity and no frustration.

Stockwell Street Library: 2 copies (click for availability).

Don’t Make Me Think (3rd edition) is also available at Amazon.co.uk.

Also consider: The Elements of User Experience (2nd edition): User-Centered Design for the Web and Beyond by Jesse James Garrett.