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Elements of User Experience

A sample chapter from Jesse James Garrett’s book Elements of User Experience is available for download. In the chapter, Garrett explains his framework of the five elements of user experience.


Henrik Olsen - October 21, 2002

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User-Centered Design

User-Centered Design: An Integrated Approach is a new book by Karel Vredenburg, Scott Isensee, and Carol Righi. The book is a practical guide to introducing, deploying, and optimizing user-centered design. It has a general approach to the process, and covers various types of interactive systems.


  • Description of the book
  • Interview with the authors about the book
  • The book at (with Look inside)
  • The book at

Henrik Olsen - October 03, 2002

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Leonardo's Laptop: Human Needs and the New Computing Technology

a new book by Ben Shneiderman - which amougnst other things looks at how designers can help people succeed


  • MIT Press book page
  • Sample Chapters!
  • The New Computing (Ubiquity interview)
  • New Computing (HCI Lab at Maryland Uni)

ben hyde - September 25, 2002

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Review of Information Architecture for the World Wide Web (2nd edition)

DigitalWeb has a review ready of the book Information Architecture for the World Wide Web (2nd edition), by Louis Rosenfeld and Peter Morville. Here's the conclusion of reviewer James McNally:

"Information Architecture for the World Wide Web is an introductory course in a discipline of which we are all slowly becoming practitioners. That it is such an enjoyable course is due entirely to the knowledge and experience of the authors. Their humility, evident in their willingness to point the reader to other sources of information, is also refreshing. The mixture of theoretical and practical material is particularly useful, especially the chapter on "selling" the need for information architecture in a skeptical, post-"Bubble" economy. I'm confident that this book can teach almost anyone the beginnings of what they need to know about how to define a web site's structure to facilitate information retrieval. Or, to cut the jargon, to make a web site work."


  • Review of Information Architecture for the World Wide Web, Second Edition
  • Order the book at
  • Order the book at

Henrik Olsen - August 29, 2002

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Information Architecture for the World Wide Web (2nd edition)

In case you haven't noticed, Louis Rosenfeld and Peter Morville's excellent book Information Architecture for the World Wide Web is soon available in a 2nd edition. You can download free previews of the table of content, chapter 1 and chapter 4 to 8.


Henrik Olsen - August 12, 2002 - via A

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software design and usability

Klaus Kaasgaard talks with Bonnie Nardi, Jakob Nielsen, David Smith, Austin Henderson & Jed Harris, Terry Winograd and Stephanie Rosenbaum. this unusual approach is rewarding for this very fact. the answers given to a similar set of questions are often contradictory, but again this is one of its strengths (unlike the near arguments found in titles such as Information Design, Jacobson Ed.) this book provides a very accessible starting point for those new to the field whilst at the same time pushing the boundaries of the discipline (admittedly some interviewees more than others ;-). another interesting aspect (fmm) is the language used (which of course is the interface of a book), probably caused by non-native english but this adds a certain edge to the dialogue.


  • publishers info (Copenhagen Business School Press)
  • amazon UK info
  • Klaus Kaasgaard (info on CBS Press site)

ben hyde - July 16, 2002

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Designing Web Usability

For a long time I wanted to write a review of Jakob Nielsen's Designing Web Usability. But I knew it would be hard because the book is so controversial. On the one hand the book has a lot of important stuff to tell, on the other, it has to be taken with a grain of salt.

Instead of writing a review myself, I found a good one by Andy Ihnatko from NewMedia. Some quotes:

"Reading Designing Web Usability might make you collapse to your knees and repent your sins, taking up a tambourine and joining the preacher's crusade right on the spot. It might just as well further commit you to add increasing complexity and sophistication to your creations."

"Honestly, it's like we're the parents in a house full of unruly kids and Jakob Nielsen has mailed us a big envelope of pamphlets promoting military schools. Maybe we'll buy in, maybe we won't. But just considering it will make us into different parents."


  • Andy Ihnatko's review of Designing Web Usability
  • Read more reviews and buy the book at
  • Read more reviews and buy the book at

Henrik Olsen - July 11, 2002

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Designing Visual Interfaces by Kevin Mullet and Darrell Sano

This is a book which graphic designers involved in web and application development should read, as it describes techniques used in communication-oriented visual design applied to graphical user interfaces.

Mullet and Sano's approach builds a bridge between the conservative web usability experts preaching their "speedy download" mantra, and the graphic designers who see the web as a media for artistic display. To Mullet and Sano "Communication-oriented visual design view these forces not as irreconcilable opponents, but as symbiotic components of every high-quality solution." As they say, "good graphic design can significantly improve the communicative value of the interface, leading to increased usability."

The book doesn't deal with the interactive aspect of interactive media, but describes principles and techniques to improve the aesthetic and functional aspects of screens and has lots of examples of good and bad interface design.


  • Read more reviews and buy the book at
  • Read more reviews and buy the book at

Henrik Olsen - June 02, 2002

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Where The Action Is: The Foundations of Embodied Interaction

This book is about the notion of -what I think of as- 'context sensitive computing', though it isn't described in these terms. It brings together the areas of tangible and social computing to highlight the importance of looking at the 'big picture'. In other words, examining the practise of using the computer r/t than the specific tasks. As is stated in the title, the intention is to identify the foundations of this subject. I think that it successfully achieves this and in doing so also provides a surprisingly clear overview of the numerous underlying and interwoven theories that shed light on this topic. It concludes by outlining 6 design principles - as opposed to recommendations, rules or guidelines - which are: computation is a medium; meaning arises on multiple levels; users, not designers, create and communicate meaning; users, not designers, manage coupling; embodied technologies participate in the world they represent; and embodied interactions turns action into meaning.


  • book info
  • an essay built around the material in the book
  • a longer article about embodied interaction - somewhat out of date
  • also by Paul - hacking jakob nielsen :)

ben hyde - May 30, 2002

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Web ReDesign by Kelly Goto and Emily Cotler

Reading this book was like going to a party with designers from other web agencies chit-chatting about how our companies prefer to organize Web projects. Every agency has its way of doing things. You might be inspired to some degree, but mostly it's basically the same.

The book's subtitle "Workflow that Works" made me expect a guide telling me how to make the diversity of stakeholder in a web project work together - more systematic, more efficient and with better results. But I was disappointed.

One of the major drawbacks is that their development framework - the "Core Process" - is described almost entirely from the designers' point of view and show very little understanding of the interdisciplinary aspect of web development.

Worse is that Kelly and Emily go on and on telling the same stories, which we've all heard before: "think about download times", "mind screen resolutions", "test in browsers"...


  • Read more reviews and buy the book at
  • Read more reviews and buy the book at

Henrik Olsen - April 30, 2002

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