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Communicating Design: Developing Web Site Documentation for Design and Planning
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Communicating Design: Developing Web Site Documentation for Design and Planning

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  1,209 ratings  ·  40 reviews
Most discussion about Web design seems to focus on the creative process, yet turning concept into reality requires a strong set of deliverablesâthe documentation (concept model, site maps, usability reports, and more) that serves as the primary communication tool between designers and customers. Here at last is a guide devoted to just that topic. Combining quick tips for ...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published September 16th 2006 by New Riders (first published July 25th 2006)
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Average rating 3.90  · 
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 ·  1,209 ratings  ·  40 reviews

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Jan 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ia
I am a freelance information architect (sometimes called user experience designer or user interface design) who subcontracts to large ad agencies for the design portion of web site creation, usually large-scale b2b and b2c sites. I am fortunate in that I am often exposed to different approaches and uses of design deliverables, but unfortunate in that everyone seems to do it a little differently. I hoped this book -- recommended by a colleague in a different state -- could help standardize my ...more
Katherine McCauley
This guy sure does love mandolins and hate meetings—two opinions I can get on board with. Most of this was completely irrelevant to me at this time, but fortunately I’m immortal and have unlimited life minutes to expend on reading practical manuals for things I’m not doing. Oh, wait—what’s that? Really? Oh dear. I’m hearing reports that in fact I am going to die one day and that I’m wasting my youth
This is an essential cookbook on creating and presenting UX deliverables.
Mar 03, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good information. But wordy and complex. Wonder if use of color would make easier to engage
Jennifer Schooley
Good advice and examples for creating documentation, but much of it seemed extraneously wordy.
Apr 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Provides really helpful breakdowns of the basics around workflows, wireframes, conceptual maps, and more.
Aug 18, 2019 rated it it was ok
Excellent book of writing advice. I love Writer’s style. Highly recommend for other.
Natasha Flint
Nov 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great for fundamentals of UX
Trevor Owens
Jan 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: design-process
I first read this book in a Digital History seminar I took a decade ago. Just finished re-reading it for a Digital History seminar I'm teaching this year. It remains a fantastic introduction to the process of creating digital web projects.

While the technologies for creating web projects has developed significantly, this book ages well because it focuses on the process and methods of creating various deliverables in a design process. Students often come wanting to make a web site, or create some
Clint Ribble
Feb 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
It's a well-written and approachable book about documenting design processes. I'm glad the topic was addressed and it's a great resource and reference when needed, but it's still a book about documentation.
Dave Emmett
Apr 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This is the first textbook that I’ve finished reading this year; it was assigned for my Interactive Information Design class. What I really like about it is the way it breaks down all the types of documents it discusses (things like content audits, wireframes, personas, all that good stuff) into three layers of information. So you get a good sense of what actually goes into making any of these documents at a basic level, but also at a deeper level if it’s required for your projects.

The other
This book has some helpful sections, but altogether I did not find it very useful. The author presents a lengthy and detailed description of how to present Information Architecture project deliverables to clients, but it seemed there were few opportunities for flexibility in the process he describes. If you follow this model, you might end up creating deliverables that look and function like everyone else's. Maybe that kind of consistency is needed. You may decide for yourself.

This is a minor
Mar 09, 2008 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: consultancy artists who want to call themselves web developers
Recommended to Tod by: Amazon. The bastards.
This is the least useful book ever written related to the topic of web development. I got mine at a discount price, used, and I still feel cheated. If you're looking for any conceptual tools, flexible frameworks, taxonomical systems, immediately-applicable forms or practical structures for brainstorming and project management, you won't find them here. What you will find is a stream-of-consciousness of what-if scenarios, and tons of illustrations resembling abstract art more than anything else. ...more
May 30, 2010 rated it it was ok
I read this book mostly for the last section of the book on Design (truthfully, I skipped the first two sections). I was specifically interested in Site Maps and Wireframes. The info was light, and didn't talk as much about the process of creating the maps/wireframes as I would have liked, and when it did, I sorta disagreed with the approach.

I think the biggest disconnect for me was that the book felt like it was focused on being used in a waterfall-based environment, and I lean more towards
If you need to present ideas on a web site to others, this is your book. Covers the processes of creating web-related documents in a comprehensive manner. It's focused on the documents, but also lets you know how to approach them, what to watch out for, how they work with each other, and how they fit into the processes of developing and designing a website. It covers each document in a similar way and from a layered approach, rather than a 'always do it this way' style. It's easy to read, but ...more
Jun 11, 2014 rated it it was ok
This one is for those with at least some experience in the web development field. It gets more technical. Lots of detail and personal experience tips from the author.

The author is a geek who loves comics and uses them in example and analogies throughout the book, which I thought I'd find endearing (I like them too), but instead, it was just kind of annoying.
Went through the first 2/3 of the book in an hour. Nothing new for me, but a concise path through documentation of usability and strategy. Slowed down and read through last third on design of site including flow charts and wireframes. I like these chapters better than other books I've read on flow charts.
Jul 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
You'd be forgiven for thinking that this book would go out of date very quickly - but I still find it useful. It's well written and full of neat ways of doing things. It's perhaps lacking Lean UX thinking (which seems all the rage these days) and responsive documentation, but the base principals are there for lot of concepts.
Fritz Desir
Oct 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
Excellent book on a too overlooked subject. Read some time ago but still have it very much dog-eared on my desk. If you didn't the 2nd edition is out, have it can't wait to dog-ear it! Kudos @brownorama (Dan Brown, the author)
Michael Ryan
Jul 24, 2011 rated it liked it
good book. useful stuff about personas, segmentation and usability reports and things. for smaller websites you could slip some of these things to v2 if you are coming under time pressure. that could be useful.
Nov 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
Like so many introductory level books, I wish I'd read it sooner. Nevertheless if you're just starting out in UX design, this will walk you through all the deliverables you're likely to create (or encounter) in your work.
Feb 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great HOW-To Book
Jun 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The art of user experience design is so much in communicating the thinking behind. A great book to help you refine your craft
Dec 14, 2008 added it
Shelves: design
great reference book for anyone working on the web.
May 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
A great resource for both seasoned and novice designers. A lot of tips and examples of good business practice to aid the designer in communicating effectively and maintaining good project management.
Sep 21, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: study, design, cmd
Good explanation of the design deliverables in a design proces. I must say I would've liked some better life examples..
Dec 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ux
The most useful ideas I got from this book were: how to effectively involve stakeholders in the design process, and how to successfully facilitate review meetings.
Oct 20, 2008 rated it really liked it
Thourough and solid overview of website design documentation - with excellent heads up on presenting and leading meetings to review said documentation.
Cameron Stewart
May 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-design
Loved it, much better then version 1. Links to lots of templates etc.
Sara S.
Apr 08, 2008 rated it really liked it
Very practical reference for documenting web development deliverables
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