The UX Book

1st Edition

Process and Guidelines for Ensuring a Quality User Experience

Authors: Rex Hartson Pardha Pyla
Hardcover ISBN: 9780123852410
eBook ISBN: 9780123852427
Imprint: Morgan Kaufmann
Published Date: 17th February 2012
Page Count: 968
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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 af


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© Morgan Kaufmann 2012
Morgan Kaufmann
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About the Author

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 S. Pyla is a Senior User Experience Specialist and Interaction Design Team Lead at Bloomberg LP. Before that he was a researcher and a UX consultant. As an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Computer Science at Virginia Tech he worked on user experience methodologies and taught graduate and undergraduate courses in HCI and Software Engineering. He is a pioneer researcher in the area of bridging the gaps between software engineering and UX engineering lifecycle processes.

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