The UX Book

The UX Book

Process and Guidelines for Ensuring a Quality User Experience

1st Edition - January 25, 2012

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  • Authors: Rex Hartson, Pardha Pyla
  • eBook ISBN: 9780123852427

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The UX Book: Process and Guidelines for Ensuring a Quality User Experience aims to help readers learn how to create and refine interaction designs that ensure a quality user experience (UX). The book seeks to expand the concept of traditional usability to a broader notion of user experience; to provide a hands-on, practical guide to best practices and established principles in a UX lifecycle; and to describe a pragmatic process for managing the overall development effort. The book provides an iterative and evaluation-centered UX lifecycle template, called the Wheel, for interaction design. Key concepts discussed include contextual inquiry and analysis; extracting interaction design requirements; constructing design-informing models; design production; UX goals, metrics, and targets; prototyping; UX evaluation; the interaction cycle and the user action framework; and UX design guidelines. This book will be useful to anyone interested in learning more about creating interaction designs to ensure a quality user experience. These include interaction designers, graphic designers, usability analysts, software engineers, programmers, systems analysts, software quality-assurance specialists, human factors engineers, cognitive psychologists, cosmic psychics, trainers, technical writers, documentation specialists, marketing personnel, and project managers.

Key Features

  • A very broad approach to user experience through its components—usability, usefulness, and emotional impact with special attention to lightweight methods such as rapid UX evaluation techniques and an agile UX development process
  • Universal applicability of processes, principles, and guidelines—not just for GUIs and the Web, but for all kinds of interaction and devices: embodied interaction, mobile devices, ATMs, refrigerators, and elevator controls, and even highway signage
  • Extensive design guidelines applied in the context of the various kinds of affordances necessary to support all aspects of interaction
  • Real-world stories and contributions from accomplished UX practitioners
  • A practical guide to best practices and established principles in UX
  • A lifecycle template that can be instantiated and tailored to a given project, for a given type of system development, on a given budget


usability practitioners, experienced practitioners, project managers, usability and user experience consultants, software engineers, programmers, software testers, graduate and senior undergraduate students in user experience-related courses

Table of Contents

  • Endorsement



    Goals for this book

    Usability is still important

    But user experience is more than usability

    A practical approach

    Order of the material

    Our audience

    Increasing maturity of the discipline and audience

    What we do not cover

    About the exercises


    Origins of the book

    Arousing the design “stickler” in you

    Further information on our website

    About the authors


    Guiding Principles for the UX Practitioner

    Chapter 1. Introduction


    1.1 Ubiquitous interaction

    1.2 Emerging desire for usability

    1.3 From usability to user experience

    1.4 Emotional impact as part of the user experience

    1.5 User experience needs a business case

    1.6 Roots of usability

    Chapter 2. The Wheel: A Lifecycle Template


    2.1 Introduction

    2.2 A UX process lifecycle template

    2.3 Choosing a process instance for your project

    2.4 The system complexity space

    2.5 Meet the user interface team

    2.6 Scope of UX presence within the team

    2.7 More about UX lifecycles

    The Pre-Design Part of the UX Lifecycle

    Chapter 3. Contextual Inquiry: Eliciting Work Activity Data


    3.1 Introduction

    3.2 The system concept statement

    3.3 User work activity data gathering

    3.4 Look for emotional aspects of work practice

    3.5 Abridged contextual inquiry process

    3.6 Data-driven vs. model-driven inquiry

    3.7 History

    Chapter 4. Contextual Analysis: Consolidating and Interpreting Work Activity Data


    4.1 Introduction

    4.2 Organizing concepts: work roles and flow model

    4.3 Creating and managing work activity notes

    4.4 Constructing your work activity affinity diagram (WAAD)

    4.5 Abridged contextual analysis process

    4.6 History of affinity diagrams

    Chapter 5. Extracting Interaction Design Requirements


    5.1 Introduction

    5.2 Needs and requirements: first span of the bridge

    5.3 Formal requirements extraction

    5.4 Abridged methods for requirements extraction

    Chapter 6. Constructing Design-Informing Models


    6.1 Introduction

    6.2 Design-informing models: second span of the bridge

    6.3 Some general “how to” suggestions

    6.4 A New example domain: slideshow presentations

    6.5 User models

    6.6 Usage models

    6.7 Work environment models

    6.8 Barrier summaries

    6.9 Model consolidation

    6.10 Protecting your sources

    6.11 Abridged methods for design-informing models extraction

    6.12 Roots of essential use cases in software use cases

    Chapter 7. Design Thinking, Ideation, and Sketching


    7.1 Introduction

    7.2 Design paradigms

    7.3 Design thinking

    7.4 Design perspectives

    7.5 User personas

    7.6 Ideation

    7.7 Sketching

    7.8 More about phenomenology

    Chapter 8. Mental Models and Conceptual Design


    8.1 Introduction

    8.2 Mental models

    8.3 Conceptual design

    8.4 Storyboards

    8.5 Design influencing user behavior

    8.6 Design for embodied interaction

    8.7 Ubiquitous and situated interaction

    Chapter 9. Design Production


    9.1 Introduction

    9.2 Macro view of lifecycle iterations for design

    9.3 Intermediate design

    9.4 Detailed design

    9.5 Wireframes

    9.6 Maintain a custom style guide

    9.7 Interaction design specifications

    9.8 More about participatory design

    Summary of the Flow of Actitives in Chapters 3 through 9

    Chapter 10. UX Goals, Metrics, and Targets


    10.1 Introduction

    10.2 UX goals

    10.3 UX target tables

    10.4 Work roles, user classes, and ux goals

    10.5 UX measures

    10.6 Measuring instruments

    10.7 UX metrics

    10.8 Baseline level

    10.9 Target level

    10.10 Setting levels

    10.11 Observed results

    10.12 Practical tips and cautions for creating ux targets

    10.13 How UX targets help manage the user experience engineering process

    10.14 An abridged approach to UX goals, metrics, and targets

    Chapter 11. Prototyping


    11.1 Introduction

    11.2 Depth and breadth of a prototype

    11.3 Fidelity of prototypes

    11.4 Interactivity of prototypes

    11.5 Choosing the right breadth, depth, level of fidelity, and amount of interactivity

    11.6 Paper prototypes

    11.7 Advantages of and cautions about using prototypes

    11.8 Prototypes in transition to the product

    11.9 Software tools for prototyping

    Chapter 12. UX Evaluation Introduction


    12.1 Introduction

    12.2 Formative vs. summative evaluation

    12.3 Types of formative and informal summative evaluation methods

    12.4 Types of evaluation data

    12.5 Some data collection techniques

    12.6 Variations in formative evaluation results

    Chapter 13. Rapid Evaluation Methods


    13.1 Introduction

    13.2 Design walkthroughs and reviews

    13.3 UX Inspection

    13.4 Heuristic evaluation, a UX inspection method

    13.5 Our practical approach to UX Inspection

    13.6 Do UX Evaluation rite

    13.7 Quasi-empirical UX evaluation

    13.8 Questionnaires

    13.9 Specialized rapid UX evaluation methods

    13.10 More about “discount” UX engineering methods

    Chapter 14. Rigorous Empirical Evaluation: Preparation


    14.1 Introduction

    14.2 Plan for rigorous empirical UX evaluation

    14.3 Team roles for rigorous evaluation

    14.4 Prepare an effective range of tasks

    14.5 Select and adapt evaluation method and data collection techniques

    14.6 Select participants

    14.7 Recruit participants

    14.8 Prepare for participants

    14.9 Do final pilot testing: fix your wobbly wheels

    14.10 More about determining the right number of participants

    Chapter 15. Rigorous Empirical Evaluation: Running the Session


    15.1 Introduction

    15.2 Preliminaries with participants

    15.3 Protocol issues

    15.4 Generating and collecting quantitative UX data

    15.5 Generating and collecting qualitative UX data

    15.6 Generating and collecting emotional impact data

    15.7 Generating and collecting phenomenological evaluation data

    15.8 Wrapping up an evaluation session

    15.9 The humaine project

    Chapter 16. Rigorous Empirical Evaluation: Analysis


    16.1 Introduction

    16.2 Informal summative (quantitative) data analysis

    16.3 Analysis of subjective questionnaire data

    16.4 Formative (qualitative) data analysis

    16.5 Cost-importance analysis: prioritizing problems to fix

    16.6 Feedback to process

    16.7 Lessons from the field

    Chapter 17. Evaluation Reporting


    17.1 Introduction

    17.2 Reporting informal summative results

    17.3 Reporting qualitative formative results

    17.4 Formative reporting content

    17.5 Formative reporting audience, needs, goals, and context of use

    Chapter 18. Wrapping up UX Evaluation


    18.1 Goal-directed UX evaluation

    18.2 Choose your UX evaluation methods

    18.3 Focus on the essentials

    18.4 Parting thoughts: be flexible and avoid dogma during UX evaluation

    18.5 Connecting back to the lifecycle

    Chapter 19. UX Methods for Agile Development


    19.1 Introduction

    19.2 Basics of agile se methods

    19.3 Drawbacks of agile se methods from the UX perspective

    19.4 What is needed on the UX side

    19.5 Problems to anticipate

    19.6 A synthesized approach to integrating UX

    Chapter 20. Affordances Demystified


    20.1 What are affordances?

    20.2 A little background

    20.3 Four kinds of affordances in UX design

    20.4 Affordances in interaction design

    20.5 False cognitive affordances misinform and mislead

    20.6 User-created affordances as a wake-up call to designers

    20.7 Emotional affordances

    Chapter 21. The Interaction Cycle and the User Action Framework


    21.1 Introduction

    21.2 The interaction cycle

    21.3 The user action framework—adding a structured knowledge base to the interaction cycle

    21.4 Interaction cycle and user action framework content categories

    21.5 Role of affordances within the uaf

    21.6 Practical value of uaf

    Chapter 22. UX Design Guidelines


    22.1 Introduction

    22.2 Using and interpreting design guidelines

    22.3 Human memory limitations

    22.4 Selected ux design guidelines and examples

    22.5 Planning

    22.6 Translation

    22.7 Physical actions

    22.8 Outcomes

    22.9 Assessment

    22.10 Overall

    22.11 Conclusions

    Chapter 23. Connections with Software Engineering


    23.1 Introduction

    23.2 Locus of influence in an organization

    23.3 Which scenario is right for you?

    23.4 Foundations for success in SE–UX development

    23.5 The challenge of connecting SE and UX

    23.6 The ripple model to connect SE and UX

    23.7 Conclusions

    Chapter 24. Making It Work in the Real World


    24.1 Putting it to work as a new practitioner

    24.2 Be a smart ux practitioner

    24.3 UX professionalism

    24.4 Cost-justifying UX

    24.5 UX within your organization

    24.6 Parting words



    Introduction to exercises

    Chapter 3 exercises

    Chapter 4 exercises

    Chapter 5 exercises

    Chapter 6 exercises

    Chapter 7 exercises

    Chapter 8 exercises

    Chapter 9 exercises

    Chapter 10 exercises

    Chapter 11 exercises

    Chapter 13 exercises

    Chapter 14 exercises

    Chapter 15 exercises

    Chapter 16 exercises

    Chapter 17 exercises


Product details

  • No. of pages: 976
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Morgan Kaufmann 2012
  • Published: January 25, 2012
  • Imprint: Morgan Kaufmann
  • eBook ISBN: 9780123852427

About the Authors

Rex Hartson

Rex Hartson
Rex Hartson is a pioneer researcher, teacher, and practitioner-consultant in HCI and UX. He is the founding faculty member of HCI (in 1979) in the Department of Computer Science at Virginia Tech. With Deborah Hix, he was co-author of one of the first books to emphasize the usability engineering process, Developing user interfaces: Ensuring usability through product & process. Hartson has been principle investigator or co-PI at Virginia Tech on a large number of research grants and has published many journal articles, conference papers, and book chapters. He has presented many tutorials, invited lectures, workshops, seminars, and international talks. He was editor or co-editor for Advances in Human-Computer Interaction, Volumes 1-4, Ablex Publishing Co., Norwood, NJ. His HCI practice is grounded in over 30 years of consulting and user experience engineering training for dozens of clients in business, industry, government, and the military.

Affiliations and Expertise

Professor Emeritus, Computer Science, Virginia Tech

Pardha Pyla

Pardha Pyla is an award-winning designer and product strategist with deep expertise in envisioning and delivering industry-leading products. He is the founding member of multiple thriving product and design (UX) practices that were responsible for producing successful enterprise software solutions in use across many industries. He is a pioneering researcher in the area of coordinating software engineering and UX lifecycle processes and the author of several peer-reviewed research publications in human-computer interaction and software engineering. He has received numerous awards in recognition of his work in design thinking, research, teaching, leadership, and service.

Affiliations and Expertise

Senior User Experience Specialist and Lead Interaction Designer for Mobile Platforms, Bloomberg LP

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