Book Review – USER EXPERIENCE DESIGN (A Basics Interactive Design book by Fairchild Books)

ISBN 978-2-9404-9613-6
USER EXPERIENCE DESIGN by Gavin Allanwood and Peter Beare
A BASICS INTERACTIVE DESIGN book by Fairchild Books an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing (published February 2014)

Price £23.99


Overview – Introduction
5 Colour Coded Chapters (Each chapter includes a practical activity)
Further Reading
Picture Credits

Chapter 1 – What is User Experience Design (UXD)?
And in answer to that Question P26 states ‘UXD is a UCD (User Centred Design) approach that also considers the user experience’. Chapter 1 explores this in greater detail over 28 pages. Page 23 (1.7) shows a simple chart which sufficiently demonstrates how a multidisciplinary team can link and work together. Experiences and working practices are relayed as examples to help workers/leaders channel creative skills effectively, and straightforward methodology further demonstrates key points made

Chapter 2 – Users
Chapter 2 is devoted to the importance in identifying the target audience who will potentially be the users. It states that the two important questions to ask at the beginning of a new interactive design project are:
(1) Who will use it?
(2) What will it do?
Suggestions are given in regard to marketing strategies that could or should be deployed when undertaking research, and this chapter is acknowledging too, the importance of meeting the high expectation of the user when they encounter an interactive design for the first time and what will motivate them to return to it

Chapter 3 – Experience design
Many businesses keep a close eye on their ROI, and like to measure the return for the outlay. The authors acknowledge the difficulty in being able to quantify the effects of UXD. Branding can add value to a product, and higher pricing comes in to play when something is regarded as premium. Pricing is one of the four Ps in marketing, with the Product, the Place and the Promotion being the other three, these things get a small mention over just one or two pages. This Chapter’s title gives little away but this chapter is mostly about Usability, especially in terms of the visual experience, the narrative and the fun aspect (for users) and not just the measuring of it. This chapter includes an interview with Chris Artherton who works as a Freelance User Experience Architect. The Gestalt Theory is overviewed with some depth, and the importance and problems with constraints is debated

Chapter 4 – Design Process

An interesting chapter. The life span of a design can be relatively short or long lasting. Whether the design is good or bad, the experience of using it (positive or negative) can be far reaching because of it being web based. Chapter 4 acknowledges the value of a positive online presence and the importance of working to standards. This chapter includes an interview with Garry Byrne, head of Powered by Reason – a strategic, creative and technical digital agency based in the UK

Chapter 5 – Design methods
This section is more about the nuts and bolts for evaluating the user experience. To give you some idea the Sub headings are as follows:
• Platforms and technologies
• Meeting the requirements
• Semantic Design
• Mindset and toolset
• Design Patterns
• Layout
• Type
• Image

TSS says: This book has a simple structure and pattern to its layout. This is an extremely useful reference/activity hand book if you are a Design Teacher, a Project Leader, a Design Team Member or if you are mentoring a Design Team for example. Use for guidance, to stimulate ideas and to plan project meetings. The book is a good resource to aid lesson planning, or to compile presentations. Also stepping away from focusing on the work of a design team a little, know the book can work very well for a digital or search engine marketer to dip into for snippets of information. Just a few of the photographic images are of an average quality. Illustrative work is visually pleasing. Illustrations of graphic design work is eye catching

Interface Design
Also Available in the BASICS INTERACTIVE DESIGN series is: Interface Design by Dave Wood ISBN 978-2-9404-1199-3
This book is solely about Interface, Visual, and Product Design and is more about the work of a graphic designer than the book above under review. This book is the same in layout as the UXD book and its format matches too, except this book has 6 Chapters.

academic award Bloomsbury


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