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Usability and User Experience Resources

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Usability Bookshelf A - E

A B C D E   F G H I J K  L M N O P Q  R S T U V W X Y Z


Adler, P. S. and Winograd, T. A. (Eds.) USABILITY: Turning Technologies into Tools. Oxford University Press: New York, 1992.
Adler and Winograd present a series of essays on designing for usability. The essays discuss the dimensions of usability, the role of usability in learning, and collaborative design.

Albers, J. Interaction of Color. Yale University Press: New Haven, CT,1975.
Albers’ 80 page book describes an experiential way of studying how colors interact with with other colors. Albers’ aim is to develop "… through experience – by trial and error – an eye for color". The constant theme throughout the book is the relativity of color.

Alesso, H. P. and Smith, C. F. The Intelligent Wireless Web. Addison-Wesley, 2000.  ISBN: 0201730634 

Alreck, P. L. and Settle, R. B. The Survey Research Handbook (2nd Edition): Guidelines and Strategies for Conducting a Survey. Irwin Publishing: Chicago, IL, 1995.

Andersson, U., Humanware-Practical Usability Engineering. Trafford Publishing, 1999 ISBN: 1552122808 Amazon

Arlov, L. GUI Design for Dummies. IDG Books: Foster City, CA, 1997.
This book is not for "dummies". In fact, it is packed with information on how to design usable GUIs. The book covers methods for setting goals, understanding users and their work, choosing the best navigation model, deciding on the right widget for detailed designs, and evaluating usability. The book includes a CD with sample files and documents. One of the sample documents is an outline for a GUI style guide that can be used as a template for a corporate style guide.

Armor, D. The E-Business (R)Evolution: Living and Working in an Interconnected World. Second Ed. Prentice Hall, 2001, ISBN: 0-13-067039-1  Book Site
Fresh insight into every facet of e-Business technology and operations. Real business cases, practical strategies, and expert implementation guidance: your complete blueprint for e-Business profit (publisher's blurb)

Ashcraft, M. H. Fundamentals of Cognition. Addison-Wesley: New York, NY, 1998.
Mark Ashcraft's book on cognition is both readable and comprehensive. You get detailed information on perception, memory, language acquisition and comprehension, and thinking and reasoning. This book is an excellent reference for the usability specialist who wants to understand more about memory than the much cited (and not well understood) article on the "magic number 7".  Chauncey Wilson


Baber, C. Beyond the Desktop: Designing and Using Interaction Devices. North Light Books: Cincinnati, OH,1997.
Beyond the Desktop is a clear and entertaining summary of research on various interaction devices, including: keyboards, pointing devices, speech recognizers, and gestural inputs, face recognition, and wearable computers. Baber summarizes existing research, points out flaws in some common beliefs about interaction devices and theories, and highlights current issues for practitioners and theorist. The author’s careful dissection and analysis of the QWERTY keyboard history was invigorating.

Badre, A. N. Shaping Web Usability: Interaction Design In Context. 
Addison-Wesley: Boston, MA. 2002. ISBN: 0-201-72993-8.

Baecker, R. M., Grudin, J. Buxton, W. A. S. and Greenberg, S. (Eds.) Readings in Human-Computer Interaction: Toward the Year 2000 (2nd ed.). Morgan Kaufmann Publishers: San Francisco, CA, 1995.
This book is a massive collection of articles on all aspects of human-computer interaction. Authors include: Gould, Norman, Boehm, Myers, Shneiderman, Grudin, and Lewis.

Bailey, R. W. Human Performance Engineering: Designing High Quality Professional user Interfaces for Computer Products, Applications, and Systems (3rd Edition.). Prentice-Hall: Upper Saddle River, NJ, 1996.

Bain, S. and Gray, D. Looking Good Online: The Ultimate Resource to Creating Effective Web Designs. Ventana: Research Triangle Park, NC, 1996.
Bain and Gray provide useful guidelines on the definition and design of Web sites. The book contains advice on design themes, navigation, color schemes, graphics, and advanced design features like form, tables, frames, and animation. Chapter 7 contains a list of 13 common design mistakes (many of which reduce a Web sites usability). The final four chapters of the book focus on case studies of commercial Web sites used by USA Today, the National Football League, American Airlines, and the White House. Each case study points out Web site design hazards that should be avoided.

Bajaj, C. and Krishnamurthy, B., Data Visualization Techniques. Wiley Computer Books, 1999. ISBN: 0-471-96356-9

Barnum, C. Usability Testing and Research. Longman, 2001. ISBN: 0-205-31519-4

Bauersfeld, P. Software by Design: Creating People Friendly Software. M&T Books: New York, NY, 1994.
Bauersfeld’s book is a concise and clear summary of design and evaluation methodologies. The author has good practical advice on techniques like scenario building, storyboards, user interviews, and task analysis. Each chapter has a hints section and some exercises.

Benun, Ilise. Designing Web Sites for Every Audience. How Design Books, 2003. ISBN: 158180301X

Berk, E. and Devlin, J. (Eds.) Hypertext/Hypermedia Handbook. McGraw-Hill: New York, NY, 1991.

Beyer, H. and Holtzblatt, K. Contextual Design: Defining Customer-Centered Systems. Morgan Kaufmann: San Francisco, CA, 1998.
Beyer and Holtzblatt provide a set of practical methods for gathering data about users, tasks, and environments. Techniques for taking these data and generating system designs are explained. The book concludes with chapters on designing and evaluating prototypes and how to integrate contextual design into the software development process.

Bias, R. G. and Mayhew, D. J. (Eds.) Cost-Justifying Usability. Academic Press: Boston, MA, 1994.
Usability specialists are being asked how their work impacts the bottom line. The chapters in this book provide insight on how to determine the worth of usability contributions in the development process.

Bickford, P. Interface Design: The Art of Developing Easy-to-Use Software. AP Professional: Boston, MA, 1997.
Bickford’s book is a good introduction to basic GUI design issues. He starts out by discussing the difficulty of designing for a complex world then covers common design topics like error messages, toolbars, tabbed dialogs, icons, and responsiveness. Part 3 of his book deals with the emerging issues of Web computing. Part 4 deals with multimedia. Part 5 covers usability testing, prototyping, and interface fads. The book concludes with some case studies and philosophy of user-centered design.

Borenstein, N. S. Programming as if People Mattered: Friendly Programs, Software Engineering, and Other Noble Delusions. Princeton University Press: Princeton, NJ, 1991.
Borenstein gives an entertaining and enlightening look at the complexity inherent in designing complex GUIs. His perspective is that of a developer turned user interface designer. He gives some practical (and slightly irreverent) advice on the process for designing "friendly" programs.

Bowker, G. C. and Star, S. L. Sorting Things Out: Classification and Its   Consequences. MIT Press: Cambridge, MA, 2000. ISBN: 0-262-02461-6.

Brady, P. Using Type Right: 121 Basic No-nonsense Rules for Working with Type. 1988.
Debates about proper fonts, justification, leading, word spacing, and ways to highlight information are common among GUI designers. Brady provides well illustrated guidelines on these and other commonly debated topics. His guidelines are based on 35 years of experience. He does not cite any research to support his guidelines. The Typography Glossary at the end of his book is an excellent resource.

Brinck, T., Gergel, D., and Wood, S. D. Designing Web Sites That Work: Usability for the Web. Morgan Kaufmann: San Francisco, CA, 2002. ISBN: 1-55860-658-0.

Brown, Judith R., Earnshaw, Rae, Jern, Mikael, Vince, John. Visualization: Using Computer Graphics to Explore Data and Present Information, John Wiley & Sons: New York, 1995. (CD-ROM included)
This book combines an overview of the history of data visualization, examples of work in the field, and design guidelines. Although written three years ago, the information is still useful today, as visualization programs migrate down to the desktop from the workstations where they began. The chapter on the effective use of color contains excellent guidelines on color perception and domain-context meanings. The case studies include detailed examinations of the task goals and techniques as well as good color plates. All of the images are available on the accompanying CD-ROM, along with animations of some of the visualizations discussed. (Whitney Quesenbery - July 1998)  

Browne, D. STUDIO: Structured User-interface Design for Interaction Optimisation. Prentice Hall: New York, NY, 1994.
Browne’s book is a detailed practitioner’s guide for developing usable interfaces. The book has detailed examples and a list of the deliverables that emerge from each stage of development. This book is similar to the one listed below by Redmon-Pyle and Moore.


Caplin, S. Icon Design: Graphics Icons in Computer Interface Design. Watson-Guptill Publications: New York, NY, 2001. ISBN: 0-8230-2522-5.

Card, Stuart K, Mackinlay, Jock and Shneiderman, Ben, Readings in Information Visualization: Using Vision to Think, Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, June 1988

Carroll, J. M. (Ed.). HCI models, theories, and frameworks. Morgan Kaufmann, 2003

Carroll, J. M. (Ed.). Human-Computer Interaction in the New Millennium. ACM 
Press: New York, NY. 2002. ISBN: 0-201--70447-1. 

Carroll, J. M. (Ed.) Minimalism Beyond the Nurnberg Funnel. MIT Press: Cambridge, MA, 1998.

Carroll, J. M. The Nurnberg Funnel: Designing Minimalist Instruction for Practical Computer Skill. MIT Press: Cambridge, MA, 1990.
Carroll’s book summarizes work done at IBM on minimalist manuals - documentation that is pared down to the essentials.

Carroll, J. M. (Ed.) Scenario-Based Design: Envisioning Work and Technology in System Development. Wiley: New York, NY, 1995

Carey, J. (Ed.) Human Factors in Information Systems: The Relationship Between User Interface Design and Human Performance. Ablex: Greenwich, CN, 1997.

Cato, J. User-Centered Web Design. Addison Wesley Professional, 2002; ISBN: 0201398605

Chapanis, A. Human Factors in System Engineering. Wiley: New York, NY, 1996.

Clark, J. (2003). Building accessible web sites. New Riders, Indianapolis, 2003

Cleveland, W. S. The Elements of Graphing Data (Revised Edition). Hobart Press: Summit, NJ, 1994.
Cleveland’s book describes a wide variety of graphical techniques for visualizing data. He provides principles for creating effective graphs, a detailed analysis of graphical methods (for example, scatterplots, dot plots, and time series), and factors that affect how viewers will perceive graphical data. Anyone involved in devising ways to present large amounts of technical data to users would benefit from this book.

Cohen, L. Quality Function Deployment: How to Make QFD Work for You. Addison-Wesley: Reading, MA, 1995.

Coe, M. Human Factors for Technical Communicators. Wiley: New York, NY, 1996.
Coe's book provides technical communicators with clear explanations of the impact of human factors on technical communication.

Collins, D. Designing Object-Oriented User Interfaces. Benjamin/Cummings Publishing: Redwood City, CA, 1995.

Constantine, L. L. & Lockwood, L. A. D. Software for Use: A Practical Guide to the Models and Methods of Usage Centered Design. ACM Press, NY, NY, 1999 ISBN-0-201-92478-1. Amazon

Cooper, A. About Face: The Essentials of User Interface Design. IDG Books Worldwide: Foster City, CA, 1995.
About Face is a provocative look at both the process and details of user interface design. Cooper starts out by discussing user goals, software models, and high-level user interface design. As the book progresses, Cooper discusses GUI objects like windows, menus, and tabbed dialog boxes. Error prevention is a constant theme throughout the book. The book has many examples of good and bad design (including examples from Windows 95 applications). CW-11/99

Cooper, A. The Inmates are Running the Asylum: Why High-Tech Products Drive us Crazy and How to Restore the Sanity. SAMS, Indianapolis, IN, 1999. ISBN 0-762-31649-8. Amazon
Those who have read Alan Cooper's About Face know that he writes a readable, well-organized book, and his latest follows that model. In The Inmates Are Running the Asylum, Alan advocates a very different approach to developing software than is currently widely in use. He likens the process he advocates to that used for making motion pictures. In both cases, the production portion (location shooting for movies; coding for software) is extremely expensive and done by specialists. In both cases significant time, about five times the production time is spent on post-production activities. These activities include editing, scoring, advertising, and distribution, etc. for movies, functionality, performance, and usability testing, user documentation, support strategies, and training for software). However, in pre-production, such as scriptwriting, storyboarding, location selection, casting, etc. for movies; interaction design, audience analysis, environment analysis, etc. for software, there is a huge difference. A movie may spend two years in pre-production for a film that takes six weeks to shoot and six months in post-production. Software development efforts typically spend extremely little time designing, and begin coding early in the process. Cooper suggests that having a thoroughly-researched and completely documented design saves a lot of expensive production time and resource because the coders are focussed on what needs to be done and has been agreed to and don't need to guess or assume anything. If I had to find a shortcoming of this book, and it's a minor one, I would have liked to see more specifics on the techniques he describes as being successful in the Interaction Design process. Dick Miller-Usability Interface 7/99


Del Galdo, E. M. and Nielsen, J. (Eds.) International User Interfaces. Wiley: New York, NY, 1996.
Del Galdo and Nielsen's book is a collection of chapters on topics dealing with usability engineering, culture and design, international differences in software user training, case studies on international user interface design, and the design of multilingual documents. Examples of Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, and Europeans designs are shown.

Dillman, Don, Mail and Telephone Surveys The Total Design Method. John Wiley and Sons, New York, NY 1978. ISBN: 0471215554

Dix, A., Finlay, J., Abowd, G., and Beale, R.  Human-Computer Interaction (2nd Edition). Prentice Hall Europe: London, 1998.

Donoghue, K. Built for Use: Driving Profitability Through the User Experience. McGraw-Hill: New York, NY. 2002.  ISBN: 0-07-138304-2. (Review in Usability Interface)

Druin, Allison, ed. The Design of Children’s Technology. Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, San Francisco, 1998
Allison Druin's book is divided into two sections. The first section deals with usability and the design process for creating children's products. The second section focuses on examples of future technologies. Specific topics include adapting design methodologies to work with children (e.g. contextual inquiry), user interface guidelines for children, kids as design informants, and participatory design. The authors are primarily from academia. Chauncey Wilson

Duffy, Thomas M., Palmer, J. E., Mehlenbacher, B., Online Help: Design and Evaluation, Albex Publishing, Norwood, NJ, 1992

Dumas, J. and Redish, J. A Practical Guide to Usability Testing, Revised Edition, Intellect, 1999. ISBN: 1-84150-020-8.
Available in the U S from International Specialized Book Services, Portland, OR, 1-800-944-6190 or Available in Europe and elsewhere from the publisher at or
This book provides excellent practical advice for groups who want to initiate usability testing. Highly recommended for both new and experienced usability professionals.


Eberts, R. E. User Interface Design. Prentice-Hall: Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1995.

Ehn, P. Work-Oriented Design of Computer Artifacts. Arbetslivscentrum: Stockholm, 1988.
Ehns book describes case studies in which users are an integral part of the design team from requirements setting to final design. Ehn also describes the theory behind the work-oriented design approach.

Ericsson, K. A. and Simon, H. A. Protocol Analysis: Verbal Reports as Data (Revised Edition). The MIT Press: Cambridge, MA, 1993.
Ericsson and Simon have compiled a massive amount of research on thinking aloud methods. This book discusses theory and empirical data on verbal protocols from psychology, education, and cognitive science. The validity, predictability, and completeness of verbal reports are reviewed. This book would be useful reading for anyone who uses thinking aloud methods and verbal data for usability testing and design.

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