Evaluating Information Architecture
Users don’t visit Web sites to experience the joy of navigation. The content that is available to you (or that you have resources to obtain and manage) will play a huge role in shaping your site. In the case of our bookstore site example, we might decide that we want the users to be able to see cover images of all the books we sell. If we can get them, will we have a way to catalogue them, keep track of them, and keep them up to date? And what if we can’t get photos of the book covers at all? These content questions are essential to the ultimate user experience of the site. Second, technology can be just as important as content in creating a successful user experience. In many cases, the nature of the experience you can provide your users is largely determined by technology. In the early days of the Web, the tools to connect Web sites to databases were fairly primitive and limited. As the technology has advanced, however, databases have become more widely used to drive Web sites. This in turn has enabled more and more sophisticated user experience approaches, such as dynamic navigation systems that change in response to the way users move through the site. Technology is always changing, and the field of user experience always has to adapt to it. Nevertheless, the fundamental elements of user experience remain the same. The rest of this book looks at the elements, plane by plane, in greater detail. We’ll take a closer look at some of the tools and techniques commonly used to address each element. We’ll see what the elements on each plane have in common, what makes each one different, and how they affect each other to create the total user experience.
Whether you’re designing consumer electronics, medical devices, enterprise Web apps, or new ways to check out at the supermarket, today’s digitally-enabled products and services provide both great opportunities to deliver compelling user experiences and great risks of driving your customers crazy with complicated, confusing technology.
Designing successful products and services in the digital age requires a multi-disciplinary team with expertise in interaction design, visual design, industrial design, and other disciplines. It also takes the ability to come up with the big ideas that make a desirable product or service, as well as the skill and perseverance to execute on the thousand small ideas that get your design into the hands of users. It requires expertise in project management, user research, and consensus-building. This comprehensive, full-colour volume addresses all of these and more with detailed how-to information, real-life examples, and exercises. Topics include assembling a design team, planning and conducting user research, analyzing your data and turning it into personas, using scenarios to drive requirements definition and design, collaborating in design meetings, evaluating and iterating your design, and documenting finished design in a way that works for engineers and stakeholders alike.
It is the latest update to the book that shaped and evolved the landscape of interaction design. This comprehensive guide takes the worldwide shift to smartphones and tablets into account. New information includes discussions on mobile apps, touch interfaces, screen size considerations, and more. The new full–colour interior and unique layout better illustrate modern design concepts.
The interaction design profession is blooming with the success of design–intensive companies, priming customers to expect “design” as a critical ingredient of marketplace success. Consumers have little tolerance for websites, apps, and devices that don′t live up to their expectations, and the responding shift in business philosophy has become widespread. About Face is the book that brought interaction design out of the research labs and into the everyday lexicon, and the updated Fourth Edition continues to lead the way with ideas and methods relevant to today′s design practitioners and developers.
Since, don’t make me think (now available in four color) was first published in 2000, hundreds of thousands of web designers and developers have relied on usability Guru Steve Krug’s guide to help them understand the principles of intuitive navigation and information design. Witty, common-sensical, and eminently practical, it’s one of the best-loved and most recommended books on the subject. Now Steve returns with fresh perspective to re-examine the principles that made don’t make me think a classic–with updated examples and a new Chapter on mobile usability. And it’s still short, profusely illustrated and best of all–fun to read. If you’ve read it before, you’ll rediscover what made don’t make me think so essential to web designers and developers around the world. If you’ve never read it, you’ll see why so many people have said it should be required reading for anyone working on web sites.