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The UX Book - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780123852410, 9780123852427

The UX Book

1st Edition

Process and Guidelines for Ensuring a Quality User Experience

Authors: Rex Hartson Pardha Pyla
eBook ISBN: 9780123852427
Hardcover ISBN: 9780123852410
Imprint: Morgan Kaufmann
Published Date: 25th January 2012
Page Count: 976
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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




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



No. of pages:
© Morgan Kaufmann 2012
25th January 2012
Morgan Kaufmann
eBook ISBN:
Hardcover ISBN:

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


2013 Most Promising New Textbook Award, Text and Academic Authors Association


"The book is brimming with advanced knowledge for perfecting written communication in our mobile digital age… If you write anything at all (you send emails, don’t you?), you need to grab a copy of Letting Go of the Words and keep it close at hand…This book has joined my writer’s bookshelf as a valued aid I refer to every day.", January 21, 2014

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