Graham Herrli's Reviews > The Elements of User Experience: User-Centered Design for the Web (Voices

The Elements of User Experience by Jesse James Garrett
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May 30, 2013

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bookshelves: design-related, published-by-new-riders

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 surface, skeleton, structure, scope, and strategy (20-21). I initially interpreted these as roughly corresponding to the roles of graphic designer, interaction designer, information architect, developer, and business analyst, with a project manager overseeing all five, but found that Garret further subdivided each plane based on whether the website was approached from a functional standpoint or information standpoint to create a different set of labels (27-9). To me, the most interesting aspect of this division was his decision to place interaction design and information architecture on the same level (the structure plane) with interface design and navigation design overlaying these elements. I had assumed that interaction design overlaid information architecture, but he makes a good case for treating interaction design as a functional interpretation of the structure and information architecture as an information model of the structure, placing them at equivalent levels in the hierarchy.

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Reading Progress

Started Reading
May 30, 2013 – Shelved
May 30, 2013 – Shelved as: design-related
May 30, 2013 – Shelved as: published-by-new-riders
May 30, 2013 – Finished Reading

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