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A Project Guide to UX Design: For User Experience Designers in the Field or in the Making

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“If you are a young designer entering or contemplating entering the UX field this is a canonical book. If you are an organization that really needs to start grokking UX this book is also for you. "  -- Chris Bernard, User Experience Evangelist, Microsoft

User experience design is the discipline of creating a useful and usable Web site or application—one that’s easily navigated and meets the needs of both the site owner and its users. But there’s a lot more to successful UX design than knowing the latest Web technologies or design trends: It takes diplomacy, project management skills, and business savvy. That’s where this book comes in. Authors Russ Unger and Carolyn Chandler show you how to integrate UX principles into your project from start to finish.

• Understand the various roles in UX design, identify stakeholders, and enlist their support
• Obtain consensus from your team on project objectives
• Define the scope of your project and avoid mission creep
• Conduct user research and document your findings
• Understand and communicate user behavior with personas
• Design and prototype your application or site
• Make your product findable with search engine optimization
• Plan for development, product rollout, and ongoing quality assurance

267 pages, Paperback

First published January 12, 2009

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About the author

Russ Unger

9 books9 followers
Russ Unger is the director of experience planning for Draftfcb, the largest advertising/marketing agency in the Midwest. He has been involved in the information architecture of large-scale public-facing sites for such companies as Oprah.com and United Airlines. He has taught courses in Web and interactive design and contributes to Boxes and Arrows. He also serves on the board of the Information Architecture Institute.

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5 stars
555 (31%)
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651 (36%)
3 stars
377 (21%)
2 stars
121 (6%)
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57 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 59 reviews
Profile Image for Anne.
28 reviews
February 10, 2017
An introductory guide to the typical UX design process in a business setting. Not the most thrilling read, but certainly covers a decent breadth of topics (as opposed to depth) for someone with a minimal background in UX design. I would have appreciated much more detail in certain chapters regarding sitemaps, wireframes, prototyping, and user tests, and overall, more examples/use cases in-book as opposed to references and links to other sources, which, let's face it - not most readers would eagerly pursue anyways. This book succeeds in telling you the "whats", barely brushes on the "whys", but doesn't dive headfirst into the "hows", which is an angle I'm personally more interested in.
Profile Image for Sean Yo.
3 reviews2 followers
September 1, 2013
I was not impressed by this book. At it's best, it provides useful advice on how to manage the non-UX work of being a UX Professional. At it's worst, it gets lost in vague suggestions that seem to be more about surviving office politics as a freelancer, rather than how to be awesome at UX Design or being an awesome design professional.

At a minimum, the fact that the cover design calls out the words "UX" and "Design" is a poor User Experience, in that it presents the book as being about UX Design. It is not.

This book is about the business of UX Design. If that's what you're looking for, you'll likely find some value. I was looking for a book about the discipline of doing UX Design.
Profile Image for Tom Panning.
44 reviews10 followers
February 23, 2012
This is a pretty good introduction to the usability process and methods, but if you're a "user experience designer in the field", you probably won't get much out of it. So for the "UX designers in the making", this gives enough of an overview of the methods to know when and why you would use a particular method. It also includes enough of the "how" that you could get by on a smaller project (or a larger project with a mentor). But if you need to be a self-taught UX designer, you'll need to find a resource that goes into more detail. Luckily, the authors call out external references for when you want to learn more.
In summary, if you look through the table of contents and you see topics that are unfamiliar (or that you've heard of but don't know the basic what, why, and how), then this book is a good way to fill in those gaps. But if everything looks pretty familiar, don't expect to get much.
One last caveat: this book is pretty web-centric. A lot of the methods still apply to other user interfaces, but the examples and wording of this book are all websites.
Profile Image for Wendy White.
Author 5 books22 followers
August 26, 2010
I used this book along with Steve Krug's publications on web usability to conduct my first usability testing sessions early this year. I would definitely recommend it to people starting out on UX looking for a bit of structure, or those with a moderate amount of experience who are interested in fleshing out their processes a little more.

The writing is straightforward, clear, and examples are well-laid out, with many opportunities for deeper reading online. I found myself diving in and out of this book at different stages rather than reading it cover-to-cover, which is why it took me so long to actually read it all the way through.

A good companion for web developers and worth sharing with your project managers too.
Profile Image for Jess.
170 reviews32 followers
August 6, 2016
The greatest value of this book, at least upon a cursory skim-through, seems to lie in how it gives the completely lost UX newbie a practical framework for actually starting work on a project. That alone may be reason enough to buy this book. I will update this review when I have completed a UX={IA,IxD,webdesign} - project with reference to the process and ideas in this book.
Profile Image for Adam Wiggins.
250 reviews95 followers
August 19, 2012
The emphasis is on project management of content websites, rather than information about user experience or interaction design as I had been hoping. Gave up halfway through.
Profile Image for Peter.
25 reviews2 followers
November 20, 2017
I'd call this book "Real-life UX in projects for absolute beginners". It provides a good overview on practicalities on how to do UX in any project - however most of the examples or just the way of thinking refers to web projects. Kindof missing the whole lean / product revolution. Still seems useful when you are just starting on the field and have absolutely no idea on basics like wireframes or usability testing.

What really made me think while reading this book, is the big generations of ux design - this is generation 2 (generation web?) the one after the dot-com bust and before the rise of lean, startups and product design. People realized information architecture is very important, but were still not referring to it as "design" or "ux as value", as they did after the rise of iphone and product thinking.
4 reviews
July 15, 2021
This was a comprehensive guide into starting (or improving) as a UX designer, and/or an excellent guide for how to conduct user research, and how to set up great meetings with purpose. Contrary to what I initially thought I was buying (which was a "project guide" - in that it would walk me through how to do a specific project to add to my portfolio), it is actually about how to tackle ANY UX project. The authors, Russ Unger and Carolyn Chandler break the whole, big, complicated process down into digestible bites that are easy to learn with supplemental reading throughout the whole book. I still have much more reading to do to catch up with their recommendations.

This is a must read for anyone entering the UX/UI field, project managers, and people in business, marking, and development who will be working with UX designers.
Profile Image for Catherine Woodman.
5,053 reviews104 followers
April 13, 2023
This is a straight forward, common language description of UX Design for web sites. I know almost nothing about this from the front end coding standpoint, or the design standpoint, but I am a frequent user of websites, and seeing them though this framework is interesting and gave me better vocabulary to verbalize what is good and what needs improvement when it comes to websites.
Profile Image for Josh Nelson.
3 reviews
May 1, 2020
A great book that goes super in-depth in all facets of UX. If you're a beginner, this is a great place to start and more informative than some online courses, but if you're in the industry it will be nothing new.
Profile Image for Chris.
7 reviews1 follower
May 3, 2019
Seemed a little dated. still had good points.
Profile Image for Whitney.
29 reviews1 follower
January 8, 2021
Looking for a text for my UX class. Perhaps I misunderstood the intention of the text. I thought it would cover UX design more. This book was mostly about project workflow.
Profile Image for Denys Sergushkin.
16 reviews9 followers
March 16, 2017
‘A Project Guide to UX Design’ is a must have for those starting out in the field of experience design as a brief but comprehensive guide to realising a web design project. For experienced practictioners, it’s a useful compendium of techniques and other resources.
Profile Image for Graham Herrli.
96 reviews67 followers
January 10, 2013
This book is abysmally written. At points, it takes full pages to say what could easily have been expressed in a single sentence. The visuals make me want to gouge my eyes out. However, the content makes up for the terrible writing. This book contains numerous essential details of how a UX Designer fits into a work environment--what the workflow is, the roles of coworkers, what tasks need to be performed, and when, and how. This book scopes itself ambitiously, attempting to serve as a guidebook to the disparate groups of UX students, practitioners, and managers. As far as I can tell, it addresses the needs of all three groups.

It includes numerous call-outs of references for additional reading, categorized as "surfing," "snorkeling," or "deep diving" based on how long they'll take to read (and how in-depth they are). Judging by the ones I've read, these seem generally to be a good collection of resources.

The two authors bring different perspectives to bear upon the book. Chandler's chapters provide a great deal of information about the logistics of dealing with the business side of the job, what paperwork to complete and what meetings to hold. Unger's chapters focus more on how to interact with sample users and how to map out and test the site.

From inside the book:
Profile Image for Rafael Bandeira.
18 reviews6 followers
March 18, 2010
Here is part of my review, there's more in http://wp.me/piW5A-4A.

The book brings the entire environment and life cycle of a web application project to discussion, showing how each piece connects with others and where the UX Designer role fits into it. It also details how particular activities and tasks look like and what are the best practices for them.

But it doesn’t stop there, it goes way beyond, really deep into what a UX Designer really needs to know and do to become a proficient and useful asset for products and projects and a valuable player for development teams.

The book details really strong points the designer has to have in mind and account for before, during, and after “designing”:

User research: methods are analyzed in practical terms of planning and execution like: challenges, time frame for estimation, budgeting, motivation…
Scope, requirements and prioritization: recognizing and engaging stakeholders, balancing user needs and business needs, presenting and defending requirements, working with legacy requirements…
Project Methodologies: differences between Agile and Waterfall and how to use the benefits and behave in both, how the rhythim and outcome of the team change from one to the other…
SEO: one of the largest chapters in the book is devoted for SEO, with a really good and rich overview of what SEO is and what are the common mistakes and things to look for when designing and defining navigation and interactions.
In order to enable Information Architects and Interaction Designers to work and provide good solutions for web based applications and content, you can’t just show them how to use a wireframing tool and define Personas. The real work consists in knowing what the web and the project offers to you and what are its constraints, and the books does a real good job in capturing it.

The UX Designer role is relatively new for most companies and even for Web Designers in general. The book does a good job on defining what a UX Designer is and what are the ideal attributions it has and what are other responsibilities it might have in different companies.

Mixing this with the really good overview in projects and companies environment, a summary of other common (and not-so-common) roles involved in web applications projects is also presented and the relationship between them and the designer is commented, as well as how the UX Design can benefit from them.

[...:] Read my entire review in http://wp.me/piW5A-4A :-)
Profile Image for Jennifer Hogan.
23 reviews
January 17, 2010
A Project Guide to UX Design provides a basic overview for designers new to the UX field. Unger reviews several process of UX design including how to gather business requirements, user research, wireframes, protoypes as well as SEO considerations and how they are integrated into projects. Unger also includes many references to other books and online resources throughout for further reading.

The book's description states that it is "for user experience designers in the field or in the making," however, the books is broad and doesn't offer a lot to those currently working in the field. If you're new to UX, it's a great book to reference.
Profile Image for Dustin.
37 reviews6 followers
June 12, 2011
Great overview of the field, very easy to read. It'll also make a great reference book for all those UX tasks I don't do every day. There were times where I wish it was a bit more detailed or prescriptive, but I understand that it isn't the true aim of the book. Plus, there are plenty of sidebars suggesting further reading in the form of books, articles, and blog posts. Definitely recommended to anyone who does UX work or who works with people that do.
Profile Image for Tiffany.
13 reviews
November 8, 2015
I read this book knowing nothing about UX. It was wonderful and showed lots of real world examples. My favorite part of it was how it divided each step of the process of UX Design into separate chapters. Although I didn't explore it in depth since it was just for casual reading, I learned a lot from this book. It gave me a good foundation for what to expect going into the field of UX Design. A must read for those who want to know the process of UX Design.
Profile Image for Gary Schroeder.
127 reviews9 followers
November 13, 2012
Somewhat basic. If you already have some experience managing a web team, building websites according to customer specifications, or managing the process of helping the customer define the problem in the first place, you may not need this book. If, on the other hand, you're a newbie, you could do worse than to spend a weekend with this book. Its list of online resources alone are worth it
Profile Image for Bagel.
185 reviews
January 22, 2013
UX design 101; user studies, personas, business strategy, project management, client management, etc. Good reference for those who would like to know the basics of what UX designers are doing - also gives in-line recommended further reading. Not as much info on integrating UX ideas into the visual design side; an interesting read nonetheless.
Profile Image for Marcel.
14 reviews2 followers
February 23, 2014
Fantastic. From the perspective of a startup founder and engineer, this book provided the perfect level of detail without getting bogged down in the nitty gritty of design, statistics, or any of the other topics that deserve full books of their own.
Seriously, I couldn't have asked for a better guide through the UX landscape and how it integrates with real projects.

Highly recommended!
1 review
April 22, 2015
Possibly the best organization of UX project information available in one publication. I returned to the first edition several times over a period of five years and recommend the second edition to anyone starting out in UX who wants to understand the true pace and needs of UX from an organizational understanding and practice.
Profile Image for Josh Clement.
109 reviews4 followers
August 2, 2015
Too simplistic, tries to cover everything and has already start to date. Ux is a difficult field to condense into one book, it's too new. As a designer I think you're better off getting feedback about your own process, and supplementing with articles, discussions, meet ups or shorter more specialised books. Maybe this book would be better if you're completely new to the field.
Profile Image for Jaret Manuel.
69 reviews11 followers
January 27, 2012
This is a go-to primer & all encompassing resource for new UX designers. I would highly recommend this book for those setting out in the agency & corporate design. I would not recommend this for startup hackers.
Profile Image for Autumn.
73 reviews14 followers
August 6, 2012
An essential book for digital marketers working with users, clients, and customers. Taught me in 2 weekends an entire course's worth of information, all without being overloaded. Plus it has bonus resources easily categorized for your convenience. Seriously recommend!
Profile Image for David Golden.
35 reviews9 followers
November 9, 2012
Comprehensive overview of the UX process

This book gives a process-centric view of UX projects. It's good intro material and chock full of links and references, but is inherently a mile wide and an inch deep. Fabulous if you're new to UX, but might not have lasting value.
April 7, 2013
It has been popular and recommended books among UX Leaders but i find book to be saying most of stuff already said by other books. However if you've read any other UX book yet, i suggest start with this because it is truly comprehensive book about UX at Practice.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 59 reviews

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