Practical books for HCI practitioners - Long list
Here are some books that I've found useful over the years on the three
topics you mention. The books at the top are relatively new ones. Some are
Cooper, A., Reimann, R., & Cronin, D. (2007). *About face 3: The essentials
of interaction design.* Indianapolis, IN: Wiley.
Courage, C., & Baxter, K. (2004). *Understanding your users: A practical
guide to user requirements methods, tools, and techniques.*
Dorst, K. (2004). Understanding Design; 150 Reflections on Being a Designer
(very entertaining with some good wisdom – gets at the diversity of issues
with "design" in UX).
Dreyfuss, H. (2003). *Designing for people.* (Some might argue that this
book is the first one on "user experience" and probably the original book
that discusses "personas".)
Pruitt, J. & Adlin, T. (2006). *The persona lifecycle: Keeping people in
mind throughout product design.* San Francisco, CA: Morgan Kaufmann.
Barnum, C. M. (2002). *Usability testing and research.* New York, NY:
Card, S. K., Moran, T. P., & Newell, A. (1983). *The psychology of
human-computer interaction.* Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Earlbaum.
Constantine, L. L. & Lockwood, L. A. D. (2000). *Software for use: A
practical guide to the models and methods of usage-centered Design*. New
York, NY: ACM Press.
Donoghue, K. (2002). *Built for use: Driving profitability through the user
experience. *New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
Karen Donoghue's book links the value of a good user experience to
profitability. *Built for Use* focuses on the strategic benefits of a good
user experience and provides a set of best practices for planners and
practitioners. Part one of the book builds the business case for good
customer experiences. Part two explains how to meld business and interface
models. Part three examines the future and evolution of user experience
design as systems become more intelligent and mobile.
Fogg, B. J. (2003). *Persuasive technology: Using computers to change what
we think and do.* San Francisco, CA: Morgan Kaufmann.
There are classes in business schools that teach future entrepreneurs the
principles of human-human persuasion; Fogg's groundbreaking book describes
how technology designers can take apply many of these same principles to the
design of hardware and software products "to change what we think and
starts his book with an introduction to Captology, the study of computers as
persuasive technologies and a discussion of the advantages that computers
have over human persuaders. He then elaborates on computers as persuasive
tools, persuasive media, and social actors. Each chapter contains a set of
design principles (for example, the principle of suggestion notes that a
computer technology will have more persuasive power "if it offers
suggestions at opportune moments."), examples from multiple technologies,
and a detailed set of research notes for those who want more background.
Chapters 6 and 7 focus on issues of computer and Web credibility (a critical
topic for this Web-enabled world). Chapter 8 delves into the persuasive
potential of mobile technologies (imagine advertisements in stores or on
billboards that change to meet your interests as you walk or drive by).
Chapter 9 deals with the dark side of persuasive computing – can you
persuade people to do things that are not in their best interest? This
ethical discussion is an important one since persuasive computers, like many
other new technologies, can be used in socially acceptable or unacceptable
Galitz, W. O. (2002). *The essential guide to user interface design: An
introduction to GUI design principles and techniques. (Second Edition).* New
York, NY: Wiley.
Galitz's book is a classic on basic user interface design principles. His
earlier work doesn't seem to get the respect it deserves, possibly because
his graphics and style are not flashy. Galitz has examples of evolutionary
designs that are quite useful for understanding design trade-offs.
Garrett, J. J. (2003).*The elements of user experience: User-centered design
for the web.* Indianapolis, IN. New Riders.
Gause, D. C. & Weinberg, G. M. (1989). *Exploring requirements: Quality
before design.** *New York, NY: Dorset House Publishing.
This book is a collection of ideas on how to gather requirements that meet
the needs of customers and users. While not specific to usability
requirements, many of the techniques would apply.
Gottesdiener, E. ((2002). *Requirements by collaboration: Workshops for
defining needs.* Boston, MA: Addison-Wesley.
The purpose of this book is to provide detailed guidance on how to conduct
requirements definition workshops involving both clients and members of the
product team. This book overflows with advice on facilitation, deliverables,
logistics of meetings, and social dynamics. There are several case studies
which illustrates the principles and methods highlighted by the author. If
you will be involved in helping groups define requirements, this book would
be a good resource.
Isaacs, E. & Walendowski, A. (2002). *Designing from both sides of the
screen: How designers and engineers can collaborate to build cooperative
technology.* Indianapolis, IN: New Riders.
Jacko, J. A. & Sears, A. (Eds.). (2003). *The human-computer interaction
handbook: Fundamentals, evolving technologies, and emerging applications.*
Mahwah, NY: Lawrence Erlbaum.
This 1277 page collection of review articles is the most up-to-date survey
of the field of HCI. Many of the articles are excellent summaries and
critiques of the field. I would recommend this book to practitioners and
researchers alike. Examples of excellent chapters are:
· User-based evaluations
· Inspection-based evaluations
· Human-computer interaction in health care
· Cost justification
· Motivating, influencing, and persuading users
· Information appliances
Jordan, P. W. (2000). *Designing pleasurable products: An introduction to
the new human factors*. London, UK: Taylor & Francis.
Jordan describes how there are three levels of human needs (relative to
consumer products): functionality, usability, and pleasure. The first two
levels are the primary focus of most product teams. Jordan argues that we
must go beyond usability and design pleasurable products. He defines four
pleasures: physio-pleasure, socio-pleasure, psycho-pleasure, and
ideo-pleasure. After describing these pleasures, Jordan gives some examples
of pleasurable products and methods for designing pleasurable products.
Jordan, P. (1998). *An introduction to usability.* London, UK: Taylor &
Jordan's book has only 120 pages, but those pages contain an excellent
survey of usability topics. Topics include usability requirements, measures
of usability, general principles of design, requirements gathering methods,
prototyping techniques, empirical and non-empirical usability methods, and
procedures for conducting usability evaluations. The book uses examples from
hardware, software, and documentation and mixes research with practical
advice. The book would be most appropriate for new usability practitioners.
Jordan, P. W., Thomas, B., Weerdmeester, B. A. & McClelland, I. L.
evaluation in industry.* London, UK: Taylor & Francis.
This book has 26 chapters dedicated to elements of usability evaluation,
selecting evaluation methods, field studies, informal usability methods, new
usability methods, "off-the-self" usability methods, task analysis, and
issues relating to usability evaluation. "Quick and dirty" techniques are
featured in about 25% of the chapters. The book describes some uncommon
techniques like the repertory grid method and the private camera
conversation where users are not asked questions, but are simply asked to
face a camera in a private cube (with no interviewer or observer) and tell a
story about their use of a product. The chapters vary in quality, but
overall this book is useful because it introduces some human factors
concepts and methods that are seldom considered by usability specialists who
lack formal training in human factors methods.
McGraw, K. L., & Harbison, K. (1997). *User-centered requirements: The
Scenarios-Based Engineering Process.** *Mahwah, New Jersey: LawrenceErlbaum.
Mayhew, D. (1999). *The usability engineering lifecycle: A practitioner's
handbook for user interface design. San Francisco*. CA: Morgan Kaufmann.
Mayhew's book is a detailed blueprint of the usability engineering life
cycle with a wealth of practical advice. This book has four sections:
Requirements Analysis, Design/Testing/Development, Installation, and
Organizational Issues. Each chapter discusses usability engineering tasks,
roles, resources, levels of effort, short cuts (quick and dirty techniques
to use when a rigorous approach isn't possible), Web notes, and sample work
products and templates. The book is both detailed and readable and
worthwhile for both new and experienced usability specialists.
Nielsen, J. (1994). *Usability engineering.* San Francisco, CA: Morgan
Nielsen's *Usability Engineering** *is highly recommended as a solid
introduction to the design of usable products. The book details how
usability issues must be considered throughout the development process and
provides techniques for gathering usability data. There is excellent
information on low-cost usability testing techniques. Don't let the age of
the book deter you. This is still a very good summary of basic principles
Nielsen, J. & Mack, R. L. (Eds.). (1994). *Usability Inspection Methods.** *New
York, NY: Wiley.
Nielsen and Mack describe the experiences of usability engineers who have
applied inspection techniques to user interfaces. This is still the best
summary of inspection techniques around.
Preece, J., Rogers, H., & Sharp, H. (2002). *Interaction design: Beyond
human-computer interaction.* New York, New York: Wiley. (I believe that
there is an updated edition)
*Interaction Design* is a textbook for undergraduate and graduate students
studying HCI. Preece et al. describe interaction design, conceptual
modeling, user and task analysis, style of interaction, requirements,
prototyping, and evaluation. Preece and her colleagues sprinkle the chapters
with examples from different types of systems and interviews with prominent
HCI researchers and practitioners. This book could be used for full semester
or short, intensive courses. The strength of *Interaction Design* is its
breadth of coverage of modern HCI topics. If you want a survey of
interaction design, this is a good book. If you want to learn about a
specific area of HCI, this gives you a starting point, but you will need
supplemental readings if you want to understand topics like usability
testing or participatory design in detail.
Straker, D. (1997). *Rapid problem solving with Post-it (R) Notes.* Aldershot,
Hampshire, UK: Gower Publishing Limited (North American edition published by
This is a simple, but useful little book that shows how Post-It Notes can be
used to solve problems. Many usability practitioners use Post-It Notes for
idea generation or classification. This book extends some of our common
uses of Post-It Notes and has good practical tips.
Van Duyne, D. K., Landay, J. A., & Hong, J. I. (2003). *The design of
sites: Patterns, principles, and processes for crafting a customer-centered
Web experience.* Boston, NY. Addison-Wesley. (new edition is out on this I
Wixon, D. & Ramey, J. (Eds.). (1996). *Field methods casebook for software
design.* New York, NY: Wiley. (Out of print, but still good).
Dennis Wixon and Judy Ramey's Casebook is replete with practical advice on
field research methods for the design of both hardware and software systems.
Methods like contextual inquiry, CARD, PICTIVE, usability round tables, task
analysis, and participatory design are explained with authors' commentary on
how to integrate the field methods into development cycles, the costs and
benefits associated with each technique, how to collect and analyze data,
and future trends. This book is out of print, but if you can get hold of a
copy, it would be a worthwhile contribution to your HCI library.
On 8/21/07, oliver green <oliverhci at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi all,
> I am compiling a list of "practical" books for the following three areas:
> 1) Understanding user needs
> 2) UI design
> 3) UI testing
> I am looking for books that don't just talk about methods theoretically,
> give a concrete process/procedure along with real life examples.
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
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