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Effective UI

Book Description

People expect effortless, engaging interaction with desktop and web applications, but producing software that generates enjoyable user experiences is much harder than many companies anticipate. With Effective UI, you'll learn proven user-experience strategies that will satisfy your clients and customers, drive business value, and increase brand strength.

This book shows you how to capture the collaborative and cooperative spirit among designers, engineers, and management required for building engaging software. You'll also learn valuable methods for maintaining focus throughout the process -- whether you're a product manager who needs a clear roadmap, a developer or designer looking for guidance and advocacy, or a businessperson who wants to understand and manage user-experience software initiatives.

Learn how to build software that will:

  • Generate engaging and interactive experiences between consumers and businesses, or between businesspeople and their information systems
  • Account for how people work with, think about, and consume information
  • Establish a richer means of collaboration and communication
  • Reduce frustration by streamlining complex tasks and creating processes that are more intuitive
  • Distinguish products, services, and brands to create a competitive advantage
  • Create scalable systems that adapt to changing user needs and behaviors

Table of Contents

  1. Preface
    1. Thanks and Acknowledgments
      1. Thank You to Our Virtual Coauthor
      2. Thank You to Our Friends at O’Reilly Media
      3. Thank You to Everyone at EffectiveUI
      4. Additional Thank-Yous
      5. Thanks to Our Partners
    2. Safari Books Online®
  2. 1. Building an Effective UI
    1. Understanding UX
      1. What Good UX Accomplishes
        1. Engagement as immersion
        2. Engagement as the fourth wall
        3. Engagement as frictionless accomplishment of goals
        4. Engagement in software
      2. Why Engagement and Good UX Matter
      3. The Elements of Engaging UX
        1. Familiarity
        2. Responsiveness and feedback
        3. Performance
        4. Intuitiveness and efficiency
    2. Herff Jones eDesign: Intuitiveness Versus Efficiency
      1. Helpfulness in accomplishing real goals
        1. Helpfulness in accomplishing real goals
        2. Delivery of relevant, valuable content
        3. Internal consistency
        4. External consistency
    3. Herff Jones eDesign: Integrated Experience
      1. Appropriateness to context
        1. Appropriateness to context
        2. Trustworthiness
        3. Summing up
        4. Stakeholders and product managers
        5. UX architects and designers
        6. Technical architects
        7. Software engineers
        8. Quality assurance (QA) and user acceptance testing (UAT)
    4. Redefining Two Fundamental Terms
      1. Design
      2. Development
  3. 2. Building the Case for Better UX
    1. Why Now Is the Moment for UX
      1. Motive
        1. UX leaders and innovators are raising the bar
        2. Web technology is pushing the envelope
          1. Web 2.0
          2. Rich Internet applications
      2. Means
        1. The tools for better UX
        2. The money and time for better UX
        3. The professional support for better UX
      3. Opportunity
        1. The CX trend
        2. The rise of the information workplace
        3. Standing on the shoulders of giant IT expenditures
    2. Winning Support for Better UX
      1. Stakeholders
        1. Understanding the stakeholder perspective
      2. Education
        1. The UX Fund
        2. Connecting user goals to business goals
        3. Connecting business goals to user behaviors
          1. Call center information systems
        4. Using the examples of others
          1. Online tax preparation software
          2. Mint and Yodlee
        5. Expose stakeholders to user feedback
      3. Quantifying the Business Value
      4. Materializing and Proving the Concept
        1. Wireframes and graphic comps
        2. Storyboards
        3. Animatics
          1. Future vision
          2. UX showcase
          3. User experiences
      5. Other Strategies for Building Support
        1. Start with something small
        2. Lean on the credibility of outside experts
        3. Stay under the radar
  4. 3. Effective Planning and Requirements
    1. Uncertainty and the Unknown
      1. The Humility of Unknowing
      2. The Weakness of Foresight and Planning
      3. Friction in a Complex and Peculiar System
        1. The CAS of software
        2. The CAS of software development
        3. The peculiarity of the system
      4. Subjectivity and Change
    2. Lessons from Uncertainty and the Unknown
      1. The Further You Are in the Project, the Wiser You Are
      2. Start Development As Soon As Possible
      3. Written Functional Requirements and Specifications Are Inherently Flawed
      4. Commitments to Scope Are Untenable
      5. Relish and Respect the Unexpected
      6. Intolerance of Uncertainty Is Intolerable
    3. Effective Requirements
      1. How Framework Requirements Are Built
        1. Extending the requirements
      2. Reexamining the Three-Legged Stool
      3. Commitments You Can Live Up To
    4. Effective Process
      1. Development Methodology
        1. Waterfall
        2. Big Design Up Front
        3. Agile with a capital “A”
        4. Effective development methodology
        5. Efficiency and the unknown
  5. 4. Bringing Together a Team
    1. The Project Leader
      1. Relationship to the Product
      2. Relationship to the Stakeholders
      3. Relationship to the Project Team
      4. Who Should Be the Project Leader
    2. The Stakeholders
      1. Securing Authority
        1. Authority afforded by trust
        2. Authority in rank
      2. Collaboration and Decision Making
    3. The Characteristics of a Successful Project Team
      1. Getting Professional Help
        1. Get specialized, professional help
        2. Cost considerations
      2. Insourcing Versus Outsourcing
        1. Offshoring
        2. Evaluating an outsource vendor
        3. Full disclosure
  6. 5. Getting the Business Perspective
    1. Defining Success
      1. Creating a Project Mission Statement
      2. Determining Project Success Criteria
      3. Exercising Restraint
      4. Applying the Pareto Principle
      5. What Not to Restrain
      6. Refocusing Product Objectives
      7. Omissions Aren’t Permanent
    2. Describing the Product’s Users
      1. User Attributes
      2. Exercises to Identify Key User Attributes
        1. First exercise: Getting to something narrower than “everyone”
        2. Second exercise: Consolidating similar attributes
        3. Third exercise: Distilling it to key user attributes
        4. Spending exercises
        5. Fourth exercise: Adding depth to the user attributes
        6. Documenting the results
    3. Creating Business Requirements
      1. Defining “Requirement”
      2. Exercises to Develop Business Requirements
        1. First exercise: Getting it all out there
        2. Second exercise: Group things together
        3. Affinity diagramming
        4. Third exercise: Prioritize
        5. Documenting the results
    4. Maintaining Stakeholder Buy-in
  7. 6. Getting to Know the User
    1. Valuing User Research
      1. Combating Pressure to Skip User Research
    2. Key Concepts in User Research
      1. Empathy
      2. User Goals Versus Product Features and Tasks
      3. Qualitative Versus Quantitative Research Methods
      4. Who Should Be Involved in the Research
      5. Finding Research Participants
      6. Determining the Research Sample Size
      7. Making Recordings
    3. Research Through Speaking with Users
      1. User Interviews
      2. Structured Interview Techniques
        1. Guided storytelling
        2. Task analysis
    4. Research Through Direct Observation
    5. Analyzing the Research Observations
      1. Discovering Personas
      2. Weaving User Stories
      3. Discovering User Priorities
    6. Guerilla User Research
    7. Stakeholder Buy-in Through User Research
  8. 7. Initial Product Architecture
    1. The Initial Product Architecture Team
    2. UX Architecture
      1. Contextual Scenarios
      2. Mapping High-Level Workflows
      3. Sketching Low-Fi Visual Representations of Requirements
      4. Examining Key Features and Interactions
      5. Setting a Style Vision
      6. Developing Nomenclature
    3. Technical Architecture
      1. Getting a Lay of the Land
      2. Making Platform and Framework Choices
      3. Understanding Data Requirements
      4. Mapping Interactions with Other Systems
      5. Finding Shortcuts Through Third-Party and Open Source Components
      6. Discovering Business Logic
    4. Software Architecture in Big Design Up Front (BDUF)
    5. Project Infrastructure Needs
      1. Code Source Control
      2. Graphic Asset Management
      3. Testing Infrastructure and Environments
  9. 8. The Iterative Development Process
    1. Regarding “Process”
    2. Iterations and Feedback
      1. The Scope of Iterations
      2. Prioritizing the Subjects of Iterations
      3. Finishing Iterations with Something Complete
      4. Estimating Iterations
      5. Basic Iterative Process
      6. Mapping Progress and Feedback Across Multiple Cycles
      7. Increasing the Amount of Feedback
        1. Increase collaboration efficiency
        2. Bring in more perspectives
    3. Iteration in Sub-Ideal Project Approaches
      1. Strict Waterfall Process
        1. Allow discretion and latitude down the line
        2. Don’t segregate the professional disciplines
        3. Allow the time and budget for major changes after the first delivery
        4. Rush the first two stages
      2. Iteration in a Big Design Up Front (BDUF) Process
  10. 9. Release and Post-Release
    1. Managing Expectations
    2. The Alpha and Beta Releases
      1. Receiving Orderly Feedback
    3. Last-Minute Housekeeping
    4. User Documentation
    5. And Champagne Corks Fly…
    6. Adoption
    7. Post-Release
      1. Review
        1. Checking against the original business goals
        2. Checking against original user goals
      2. Measurement and Tracking
  11. A. Afterword
  12. B. EffectiveUI Senior Class of ’09
  13. Index
  14. About the Authors
  15. Colophon
  16. Copyright