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User-Centered Design

Book Description

How do you design engaging applications that people love to use? This book demonstrates several ways to include valuable input from potential clients and customers throughout the process. With practical guidelines and insights from his own experience, author Travis Lowdermilk shows you how usability and user-centered design will dramatically change the way people interact with your application.

Learn valuable strategies for conducting each stage of the design process—from interviewing likely users and discovering your application’s purpose to creating a rich user experience with sound design principles. User-Centered Design is invaluable no matter what platform you use or audience you target.

  • Explore usability and how it relates to user-centered design
  • Learn how to deal with users and their unique personalities
  • Clarify your application’s purpose, using a simple narrative to describe its use
  • Plan your project’s development with a software development life cycle
  • Be creative within the context of your user experience goals
  • Use visibility, consistency, and other design principles to enhance user experience
  • Collect valuable user feedback on your prototype with surveys, interviews, and usability studies

Table of Contents

  1. Dedication
  2. Preface
    1. Is This Book Right for Me?
    2. Conventions Used in This Book
    3. Using Code Examples
    4. Safari® Books Online
    5. How to Contact Us
    6. Acknowledgments
      1. People Who Helped Me Write This Book
        1. Julian Walker
        2. Jeff Weir
        3. Billy Hollis
        4. Robby Ingebretsen
        5. Mark and Lisa
        6. Mary Treseler and the O’Reilly Media Family
      2. People Who Helped Me with Life
        1. My parents
        2. My brothers
        3. My sister
        4. My good friends
        5. My coworkers
        6. My boys
        7. My wife
  3. 1. Our World Has Changed
  4. 2. What Is User-Centered Design?
    1. UCD Is Not Usability
    2. UCD Is Not Subjective
    3. UCD Is Not Just Design
    4. UCD Is Not a Waste of Time or Money
    5. UCD Is Not a Bug Report
    6. UCD Is Not a Distraction
  5. 3. Working with Users
    1. What If I Don’t Have Access to Users?
      1. Knowing When to Listen to Users and When to Not
    2. Dealing with Different Types of Users
      1. The Information Overloader
      2. The Control Freak
      3. The Devil’s Advocate
    3. Dealing with Negativity
  6. 4. Having a Plan
    1. How Do I Know Which Plan Is Right for Me?
    2. Creating a Team Mission Statement
    3. Defining Your Project
    4. Collecting User Requirements
    5. Creating Functional Requirements
    6. Documenting Data and Workflow Models
    7. Documenting Prototypes
    8. Reviewing Your Documentation
  7. 5. Creating a Personal Manifesto
    1. Exercising Restraint
    2. Building a Narrative
    3. Creating Personas
    4. Creating Scenarios
  8. 6. Creativity and User Experience
    1. Having User-Experience Goals
    2. Creativity Requires Courage and Hard Work
      1. Pick Up a Pencil
      2. Creative Freedom
      3. Understanding Your Goal
      4. Steal (I Mean Borrow) from Others
    3. Creativity Requires Questioning
  9. 7. Design Principles
    1. Principle of Proximity (Gestalt Principle)
    2. Visibility, Visual Feedback, and Visual Prominence
    3. Hierarchy
    4. Mental Models and Metaphors
      1. Progressive Disclosure
      2. Consistency
      3. Affordance and Constraints
      4. Confirmation
      5. Hick’s Law
      6. Fitt’s Law
  10. 8. Gathering Feedback
    1. How Many Users Will I Need?
    2. Surveys
    3. Conducting Interviews
    4. Task Analysis
    5. Heuristic Evaluation
    6. Storyboarding
    7. Using Prototypes
    8. A/B Testing
  11. 9. Usability Studies
    1. What Are Usability Studies?
    2. Creating a Testing Plan
      1. Introduction
      2. Reassurance
      3. Testing Guidelines
      4. Tasks
      5. Conclusion
      6. Thanks
    3. What You’ll Need
      1. Stopwatch
      2. Notepad
      3. Environment
      4. Spreadsheet or Database
      5. Cameras or Audio Recording
    4. Conducting the Study
    5. Don’t Hesitate to Practice
    6. Compiling Your Findings
  12. 10. You’re Never Finished
    1. It’s Impossible to Get It Right the First Time
    2. Be Prepared to Reboot
    3. Final Thoughts
  13. 11. Other Resources
    1. Twitter
    2. Tools for Prototyping
    3. Websites
  14. A. Sample Project Template
    1. Template
    2. Project Title
      1. Software Development Life Cycle Project Template
      2. Software Development Life Cycle Summary
      3. Project Details
      4. User Requirements
      5. Specifications Sheet (Functional Requirements)
      6. Data and Workflow Models
      7. Data Processes
      8. Prototypes
      9. Maintenance Notes
    3. Example Persona
      1. Dan Welks
    4. Sample Script for a Usability Study
      1. Introduction to Study
  15. B. References
    1.  
      1.  
        1.  
  16. Index
  17. About the Author
  18. Colophon
  19. Copyright