Usability and User Experience Resources
|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
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 "
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
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 authors 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.
Bauersfeld, P. Software by Design: Creating People Friendly Software. M&T
Books: New York, NY, 1994.
Bauersfelds 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
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.
Bickfords 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,
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:
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.
Brownes book is a detailed practitioners 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
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.
Carrolls 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,
Cleveland, W. S. The Elements of Graphing Data (Revised Edition). Hobart Press:
Summit, NJ, 1994.
Clevelands 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
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
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
Druin, Allison, ed. The Design of Childrens 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org Available in Europe and elsewhere from the publisher at www.intellectbooks.com or email@example.com
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:
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.