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The Elements of User Experience: User-Centered Design for the Web and Beyond

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  1,628 ratings  ·  76 reviews
From the moment it was published almost ten years ago, "Elements of User Experience" became a vital reference for web and interaction designers the world over, and has come to define the core principles of the practice. Now, in this updated, expanded, and full-color new edition, Jesse James Garrett has refined his thinking about the Web, going "beyond "the desktop to inclu ...more
ebook, 190 pages
Published December 16th 2010 by New Riders Publishing (first published October 21st 2002)
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This book essentially dissects the process of website creation, clearly defining every element that goes into planning and implementing a website. This would have provided an invaluable visual map during our last website redesign. Rather than a tangled ball of yarn, I can now see all of the wheels and cogs fit together in a logical manner.

It seems that, of the five planes of the user experience development process (the surface plane, the skeleton plane, the structure plane, the scope plane and
Haider Al-Mosawi
This is a must-read book for anyone involved in web development.

It takes a holistic look at the subject of user experience and provides a very useful vocabulary for all the elements involved in user experience design.

The author provides a model that consists of 5 planes that cover the abstract as well as the concrete aspects of the user experience.

The 5 planes are:

1- Strategy (why you're building the site for you and your users)
2- Scope
3- Structure
4- Skeleton
5- Surface (the visual elements of th
Asia Hoe
Jul 03, 2013 Asia Hoe rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: User Experience Designers, Business Analysts, Etc.
Recommended to Asia by: General Assembly
I read this book in preparation for a class at General Assembly on User Experience Design. Excellent resource on User Experience for both designers and everyone they meet in a product's life cycle. The methodologies herein are invaluable and worth revisiting at the start of each project, and at each phase of a project. You won't find specific examples, as the book is more about methodology than application. This is helpful if you're trying to wrap your mind around what UX is, and how to go about ...more
Josh Lee
The diagram that lies at the heart of the book, a layered view of user experience design, is solid. The book itself feels kind of padded, though, and I found myself skimming a lot. You might be better served by simply meditating on the diagram itself ( ), and only referring to the book if you need more explication.
This book defines each phrase of user-centered designs well.
Strategy(user needs, site objectives),
Scope(functional spedifications, content requirements),
Structure(interaction design, information architecture),
Skeleton(information design), and
Surface(visual design)
Mike Hales
Absolutely essential reading if this is an area of professional or personal interest.

I try and reread this book once a year as a kind of grounding and to re-establish the key processes and steps involved in considered and effective UX design.
Eric Phetteplace
Somewhere, Nietzsche has a quote (probably directed at Kant) dissing philosophers who, rather than introduce new ideas or vectors of exploration, simply schematize already existing terms. That is, they take a bunch of signifiers and try to ground them in reality or each other.
Jesse James Garrett takes schematization to a new level in The Elements of User Experience: User-Centered Design for the Web, unfortunately. See, the problem with user experience is we haven't defined its constituent terms
Graham Herrli
Perhaps the most pleasantly surprising thing about this book was realizing part-way through that it's a theory book. For the most part, I can't abide theory. I prefer writings that demonstrate their ideas with concrete principles, so I was pleased to realize while reading this book that I hadn't even noticed I was reading theory. The prose style is clear and concise enough that the pages fly by despite their abstract content.

Garrett considers five overlapping planes in website design: the surfa
Aug 24, 2008 Kelley rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Web developers and designers who want to understand UX
I just finished Andy Clarke's Transcending CSS and deciding to delve into The Elements of User Experience which I picked up because, skimming, I realized it was giving me names for what most of us are already doing.

So far, it's concise and Garrett does a nice job of making sure that a web developer doesn't leave a reading of the book with impression that user-centered design isn't connected to a much bigger discipline, human factors design. Garrett hasn't used that word -- or Computer Human Int
Bayu Amus
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Grant Patten
Absolutely brilliant distillation, worth it for the 'product as functionality/product as information' abstract/concrete visualization alone. Key word: PRODUCT. Let's remember that these concepts are not merely meant for websites. They can be applied to product design in general. I see this as the SEMINAL and FOUNDATIONAL text of user experience design. The UXD Bible, perhaps.
Philippe Heckly
In my opinion Jesse James Garrett was one of the first to analyze User Experience Design and try to understand how it worked and I thank him for that. But his book doesn't create the kind of epiphany I experienced reading Donald Norman's "The Design of Everyday Things", Steve Krug's "Don't Make me Think" or Susan Weinschenk "100 Things Designers Should Know".
More of a primer than a reference book, Elements provides a valuable, if not brief, look into five fundamental aspects of UX. It also communicates the basics of project management in the context of Web design, but look elsewhere for a go-to reference on it, interaction design, or UX.
Philippe Heckly
A basic of UX it didn't impress me as much as others. That websites have layers of meaning, interactivity and can trigger various emotions is something that perhaps more than 10 years after the book was written we now take for granted?
This book succeeds in presenting a clear conceptual model of UX, especially UX in a digital context. Unfortunately, it relies a bit too heavily on the author's own theory, and would have benefitted from more real-world examples.
Momoko Price
Wonderfully concise and logical fundamentals book. Was a bit disappointed — although not at all surprised —that the chapter on "sensory design" didn't mention even one basic heuristic or guideline for effective content/copy.

The just-won't-die convention of keeping copy / content removed from UX design processes is a perpetual point of frustration for me. I love content strategy, but I am getting really tired of being brought in at the point of web-project crisis and expected to resolve strategy
If I read this a year ago, I would have awarded it 5 stars. It's still a great book and explains the basic principles of UX really well but overall, nothing was really fresh to me. It's rewarding to notice my knowledge progression from novice to competent in the academic arena of UXD.

Garrett touched on the importance of success metrics early into the book and it sparked my interest. With so much to cover in such a small time, this subject wasn't discussed in my curriculum. When applying learned
A must read book for ux designers. It gives you better understanding for ux process and methodology. It hasn't large scope or detailed explanation for the techniques but it is fundamental reference to understand ux elements and flow.
Mehdi Sadeghi
A good read for software engineers and programmers and in general for anyone who wants to make their customers happy.
Мнение сугубо личное, но думаю, с ним согласятся специалисты со стажем.
Книга будет интересна только новичкам или узкопрофильным специалистам. Большинство рекомендаций из области "здравого смысла", которые приобрели популярность с распространением IT технологий в массах.
Очень трудно было читать на русском - во первых, перевод если и без грубых ошибок, то все же написан слишком формальным языком и, как следствие, воспринимается в большим трудом; во вторых - мне лично очень редко приходится читать
Accessible, beautifully and clearly designed graphics and concepts.
Matt Kirchstein
A little dated now, but still a seminal UX work.
This was one of the texts for my Information Architecture class. I really liked it both as a textbook and in general as a resource on web design. It's straightforwardness and pure usefulness are its biggest assets. Garrett is clear, direct, and concise throughout the the book, and the diagrams were truly helpful in illustrating and explaining concepts. His framework and approach is logical and practical - it would be relevant and useful for just about any type of website or other such projects.
Pete Meyers
Concise, commensensical roundup of how to develop great user experiences. Garrett mainly focuses on websites, but in this editions pays a bit of attention to other products (mobile apps, e.g.). There's no one bit of advice in here that will strike digital veterans as revelatory; instead, the value of this book lies in the way he puts all steps of the develop process into a unified framework (from strategy to visual design). It's a great refresher for anyone about to get started on a new project.
Pankaj Ghanshani
Pretty dry but provides vocabulary. A good book for starters may be...
Still every bit as valuable as when I read the first edition. Garrett provides a practical framework for building a user experience from the ground up. There may be situations where another approach is called for, but this approach will serve you will for most of the projects you will ever encounter.
This book was incredibly painful for me to read. It's well written and really spells everything out. It would be great for someone just getting into web design or getting into Web project management, but for someone who's done multiple Web redesigns and has a career in the field, it was just TEDIOUS. I did learn a few terms, so I'm glad I made it through, it just took me over a year to read 160 pages.
Great book that walks you through the stages of designing a good user experience. It focuses on websites, but it has applications for client software as well. Loved how he explained how each stage builds on the next, and his explanations of how various disciplines such as info architecture, visual design, interaction design, etc. work together. A must-read for anyone in web or software development.
Christopher Stella
Though digital design has evolved dramatically since this book was first published, every element still rings true.

Like the well designed products for which JJG is providing a blueprint, the book is beautifully structured, its messages clearly and succinctly articulated - providing readers with an enjoyable experience that educates and entertains. This is a must read for any designer or marketer.
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Question? 1 4 Sep 10, 2014 05:38PM  
  • Web Form Design: Filling in the Blanks
  • Communicating Design: Developing Web Site Documentation for Design and Planning
  • About Face 3: The Essentials of Interaction Design
  • A Project Guide to UX Design: For User Experience Designers in the Field or in the Making
  • Information Architecture for the World Wide Web: Designing Large-Scale Web Sites
  • Observing the User Experience: A Practitioner's Guide to User Research
  • Sketching User Experiences:  Getting the Design Right and the Right Design
  • Measuring the User Experience: Collecting, Analyzing, and Presenting Usability Metrics
  • Designing Interfaces: Patterns for Effective Interaction Design
  • Designing with the Mind in Mind: Simple Guide to Understanding User Interface Design Rules
  • Designing the Obvious: A Common Sense Approach to Web Application Design
  • Mental Models: Aligning Design Strategy with Human Behavior
  • Information Architecture: Blueprints for the Web
  • Seductive Interaction Design: Creating Playful, Fun, and Effective User Experiences
  • Designing for the Digital Age: How to Create Human-Centered Products and Services
  • The Humane Interface: New Directions for Designing Interactive Systems
  • Rocket Surgery Made Easy: The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Finding and Fixing Usability Problems
  • Designing for Interaction: Creating Smart Applications and Clever Devices
Jesse James Garrett is a user experience designer as well as a co-founder of Adaptive Path, a user experience strategy and design firm, and of the Information Architecture Institute. His essays have appeared in New Architect, Boxes and Arrows, and Digital Web Magazine. Jesse attended the University of Florida.

Garrett authored The Elements of User Experience, a conceptual model of user-centered des
More about Jesse James Garrett...

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