Usability and User Experience Resources
|Usability Bookshelf R - Z
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
Raman, T.V., Auditory User Interfaces: Towards the Speaking
Computer. Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1997 ISBN:0792399846 Amazon
Raskin, J. Humane Interface, The: New Directions for Designing Interactive
Systems. Addison-Wesley, 2000. ISBN: 0201379376Amazon
Redmond-Pyle, D. and Moore, A. Graphical User Interface Design and Evaluation
(GUIDE): A Practical Process. Prentice Hall: London, UK, 1995.
The GUIDE process is a systematic and practical approach to user interface design.
The authors have taken techniques like usability engineering, scenarios, and task
analysis, and combined them into a development process. The primary audience for this book
is an analyst or user interface designer who is not a human factors specialist.
Rees, M,, White, A. and White, B. Designing Web Interfaces Interactive Workbook
Prentice Hall PTR: Upper Saddle River, NJ, 2002. ISBN: 0-13-085897-8 Book
Are you a designer looking to get up to speed on what makes a Web interface different from any
other kind of design? Then pick up a copy of this interactive workbook. You'll learn crucial
interface design principles, guidelines, and techniques. Get to know the
Golden Rules of Hypertext, what webmasters have learned about making their
sites usable and readable, and the ins and outs of multimedia. This practical, hands-on learning system walks you step-by-step through
every issue associated with successful Web user interface design.
Reeves, B. and Nass, C. The Media Equation: How People Treat Computers, Television,
and New Media Like Real People and Places. CLSI Publications: Stanford, CA, 1996.
Reeves and Nass are professors of communication at Stanford University. The Media
Equation summarizes several years of research on how humans relate to computers,
television, and other types of new media. Reeves and Nass present findings that humans
treat computes and other media technology as real people and places. Some of their
conclusions are that people have natural social responses to computers, that people assign
traits to computers, and that designers of "new media" could improve ease of use
by employing rules for social and physical relationships. One design problem with this
book is that it only has an author index.
Reilly, J. P. Rapid Prototyping: Moving to Business-centric Development. Thomson
Computer Press: Boston, MA, 1996.
Reilly provides a framework for integrating the analysis of business functions,
workflow, visual design, and product development into a rapid application prototyping
(RAP) process. There is significant focus on defining technical requirements, business
process modeling, and evolutionary prototyping. This book seems focused toward designers
working on very large systems like those used in manufacturing, retail sales, or the
financial departments of large companies.
Roberts, D., Berry, D., Isensee, S., and Mullaly, J. Designing for the User
with OVID: Bridging User Interface Design and Software Engineering. Macmillan
Technical Publishing: Indianapolis, IN, 1998. ISBN 1-57870-101-5.
OVID stands for Object, View, and Interaction Design. This book is an interface
methodology that attempts to bring some structure to the often chaotic design process. The
book makes the point that you can do a good job at user and task analysis, but still have
a poor product if the implementation is flawed. The authors combine notation and modeling
techniques used by successful coders (UML, state diagrams, class models) with the methods
of user interface designers. This book includes a case study and exercises. - CW 12/98
Rosenfeld, L. & Morville, P. Information Architecture for the World Wide Web.
O'Reilly & Associates: Cambridge, MA, 1998.
Rosson, M.B. and Carroll, J. Usability Engineering: Scenario-Based
Development of Human-Computer Interaction. Morgan Kauffmann, 2001
See review in Usability Interface
Rosson and Carroll have put together a "minimalist" text book that is
designed for a 14 week course. The book is miimalist in that it presents a broad rather than a deep view of HCI practices. For example, the book
discusses user interface inspection methods in two pages - not enough to have
much understanding of what the methods entail. A strength of the book is that
it spends more time on the requirements process than most other HCI textbooks. The book follows a case study throughout the chapters to provide
students with an extended example. This book is a mixed bag. Students might
enjoy it more than other textbooks but I would surely have to write some good
lectures to cover the holes in the book (usability testing is a major hole in
the book). - CW 5/2002
Ruble, D. A. Practical Analysis and Design for Client/Server and GUI Systems. Yourdon
Press: Uppper Saddle River, NJ, 1997.
Ruble introduces users to a variety of modeling techniques including context
models, event models, information models, interface prototypes, object-oriented models,
and client/server architecture models. Ruble discussed many trade-offs that can determine
the success of a client/server system. There is a good chapter on GUI design principles
and a detailed discussion of how to organize windows to match particular types of
Rubin, J. Handbook of Usability Testing: How to Plan, Design, and Conduct Effective
Tests. Wiley: New York, NY, 1994.
This handbook is a step-by-step guide to effective usability testing. Rubin
provides many tips that will benefit both the new and the experience usability
practitioner. The book was written with the assumption that readers wont have human
Salant, P. A. and Dillman, D. A. How to Conduct Your Own Survey. Wiley: New
York, NY, 1994.
Salvendy, G. (Ed.). Handbook of Human Factors and Ergonomics
(Second Edition). Wiley: New York, NY, 1997. ISBN 0-471-11690-4 Amazon
This is a thick, expensive, and useful handbook. The book covers human factors
fundamentals, job design, equipment and workplace design, health and safety, performance
modeling, evaluation (including a chapter by Jakob Nielsen on Usability Testing), and HCI.
Salzman, H. and Rosenthal, S. Software by Design: Shaping Technology and the
Workplace. Oxford University Press: New York, 1994.
This book is not in the usability or design mainstream, but it has some valuable
advice about the impact of organizational structures, strategic marketing, and workplace
conditions on the design of software. This book comes at design from a sociological
perspective. There are several in-depth case studies of large-scale design projects (e.g.,
a banking services system) that will appeal to professionals who use contextual inquiry.
Sanders, M. S. and McCormick, E. J. Human Factors in Engineering and Design (7th
ed.). McGraw-Hill, NH, 1993.
This is a classic human factors textbook that explains human input and output
capabilities. A careful reading of this book can provide usability specialists with
research to support design decisions.
Sano, D. Designing Large-Scale Web Sites: A Visual Design Methodology. Wiley:
New York, NY, 1996.
Sano provides a broad review of topics related to the design of web sites. He
describes how to prepare for a web design project, how to build the framework for a web
site, and how to apply principles of good visual design and navigation. Quite a useful
book for those getting into web site design.
Scholtes, Peter R., Joiner, B. L., Streibel, B. J., The Team Handbook Second
Edition Oriel, Inc. 1995 ISBN: 1884731112
Schriver, K. A. Dynamics in Document Design: Creating Text for Readers. Wiley:
New York, NY,1997.
Schrivers book describes how document design has evolved, discusses how users
react to different facets of documents (for example typography, illustrations, and
examples). The book uses case studies extensively and draws on research from rhetoric,
design, writing and cognitive science. Schrivers work highlights how interactions
among different variables (for example, justification, word spacing, and leading) affect
readability and interpretation and how designers should be cautious about basing decisions
on "main effects".
Schuler, D. and Namioka, A., Eds., Participatory Design, Principles and Practices,
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Hillsdale, NJ, 1993.
Shneiderman, B. Designing the User Interface: Strategies for Human-Computer
Interaction (Third Edition). Addison-Wesley: Reading, MA, 1998.
Designing the User Interface is broad sampling of many topics in human-computer
interaction. Topics include: human factors of interactive systems, managing the design
process, methods for evaluating user interfaces, menu and dialog box design, virtual
environments, user assistance, computer-supported cooperative work, and hypermedia. Each
chapter has theory, empirical research, and design guidelines. There is a Web site with
links to additional reading, examples, and HCI sites. Each chapter has an excellent
Snyder. C. Paper prototyping The fast and easy way to define and
refine user interfaces. Morgan Kaufmann, San Francisco, CA, 2003
Spence, R. Information Visualization. Pearson Education
Limited: Essex, UK, 2001. ISBN: 0-201-59626-1.
Spolsky, J. User Interface Design for
Programmers. Apress: Berkeley, CA.
2001. ISBN: 1-893115-94-1
I just finished reading the book User Interface Design for Programmers by Joel Spolsky. I've generally found this genre of book to be pretty useless, but this one had a certain verve that I found refreshing, some lessons about real-world software development issues that UI designers can take to heart, and some comments, theories, and principles that were well-intentioned, but somewhat misguided (for example, he does not seem to understand that you can do usability testing in the middle of a project and rails against anything beyond single feature "grab-someone-in-the-hall" testing).
A point that Spolsky makes that is quite good is that many usability tests focus on learnability and don't deal with issues that crop up after a person does learn to do something. He describes obliquely what I believe is an essay by Jakob Nielsen about how users didn't scroll much in web sites (he doesn't mention names much, he refers to people he disagrees as as misguided pundits). Spolsky makes the point that people learn to scroll very quickly so the "superstition" or myth that users don't scroll has led many web designers to cram everything into a single page that fits on a 640 x 480 screen.
The book is engaging and has good examples throughout. I disagree with a lot of what the author has to say, but even in those disagreements, he makes some
points for bringing up novel issues that aren't addressed much by non-programming UI designers.
Spolsky who is likable, provocative, and good with words, does exaggerate when on the front cover he claims that this book "Teaches any
to become a good user interface designer". No single book does this of course. I think that this book is a good eye-opener for UI designers.
- CW 5/2002
Spool, J, Scanlon, T. et.al. Web Site Usability: A Designer's
Guide. Morgan-Kaufmann, San Francisco, CA, 1999. ISBN: 15860569X Amazon
Strassmann, Paul. The Squandered Computer, The Information Economics Press, New
Canaan, CT 1997 ISBN: 0-9620413-1-9.
This book by gadfly, strategic planner, CIO and consultant Strassmann is directed
primarily at the executives in charge of making decisions about the technology
infrastructure of our large corporations. It is not a comfortable book. It looks hard at
the fallacies and mistakes that have been made in technology adoption and offers
recommendations for making information technologies serve the business. Despite the fact
that the word "usability" does not appear in the index, this work is of interest
because, like Tom Landauers The Trouble with Computers, it gives us a
business-oriented view of the problems with computers. While it may seem self-evident that
a company will get more value from its investment if software does not impede
productivity, it can be hard to make the case to a CIO buried under upgrade cycles and Y2K
problems. The ideas (and facts and figures) in this book could help make the case for
usability as a business solution that will bring IT efforts into better alignment with
business goals. (Whitney Quesenbery Usability Interface October 1998)
Stephens, R. Prototyping with Visual Basic. Que: Indianapolis, IN. 2002.
Stuart, R. The Design of Virtual Environments. McGraw-Hill: New York, NY, 1996.
The Design of Virtual Environments is broken into three parts. Part 1 focuses on
defining requirements for virutal environments. Part 2 discusses how to design virtual
systems and covers technologies like position trackers, instrumented gloves and suits, eye
tracking, visual displays, and computational requirements. The final part of the book
describes how to evaluate virtual environments from usability and system performance
perspectives. This book explains the many facets of virtual environment design in lucid
Sudman, S., Bradburn, N. M., and Schwarz, N. Thinking About Answers: The
Application of Cognitive Processes to Survey Methodology. Jossey-Bass: San
Francisco, CA, 1996. ISBN: 0-7879-0120-2
This book pulls together research in cognitive psychology and survey design. It
isn't a light read, but it has answers to some of the questions about
questionnaires/survey designs that have cropped up in discussions with usability
colleagues. (Chauncey Wilson, Usability Interface October 1998)
Sun Microsystems, Inc. JAVA Look and Feel Design Guidelines.
Addison-Wesley, Reading, MA, 1999. ISBN: 0201615851 Amazon
This is the first serious style guide for Java, written by designers at Sun
Microsystems. The guidelines in the book are based on the Java2 SDK which include the
Swing Classes. The book covers Java widgets, visual design, internationalization,
accessibility and keyboard access. This is a clear and readable style guide that provides
the foundation (but not the solution) for a consistent Java user interface. CW 11/99
Sutcliffe, A. User-centered requirements engineering Theory and
practice. Springer, London, UK, 2002
Tabachnick, B and Fidell, L. Using Multivariate Statistics,
Addison-Wesley, 1996. ISBN: 0673994147
Tannenbaum, R. Theoretical Foundations of Multimedia. Computer
Science Press, New York, 1998 (includes CD-ROM).
Templeton, J. F. The Focus Group: A Strategic Guide to Organizing, Conducting,
and Analyzing the Focus Group Interview. Irwin Professional Publishing:
Chicago, IL, 1994. ISBN: 1-55738-530-0
Thomas, R. C. Long Term Human-Computer Interaction: An Exploratory Perspective.
Springer-Verlag: London, UK, 1998.
This book focuses on research into long-term computer use, a topic seldom covered in most
basic books on usability. However, it is quite academic and probably most useful for
anyone who might be planning longitudinal research. Chauncey Wilson
Thorell, L.G. and Smith, W.J. Using Computer Color Effectively: An Illustrated
Reference. Prentice Hall: Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1990.
Tognazzini, B. Tog on Interface. Addison-Wesley: Reading MA, 1992.
Tognazzinis book is based on a series of columns, papers, and correspondence during
the development of System 7 for the Macintosh. These essays point out the complexity of
GUI design. Tog offers his own set of guidelines on topics ranging from user testing to
menu design. Though focused on the Macintosh, many of the guidelines would apply to any
Tognazzini, B. Tog on Software Design. Addison-Wesley: Reading, MA, 1996.
Tognazzinis new book focuses on the higher levels of design. He covers topics
ranging from trends in computing to the true meaning of quality. The book is full of
useful data and anecdotes for those aiming for the next generation of computing. This book
is highly recommended.
Travis, D. E-commerce usability. Taylor &
Francis, London, UK, 2003
Trenner, L. and Bawa, J. (Eds.) The Politics of Usability: A Practical Guide to
Designing Usable Systems in Industry. Springer-Verlag: London, UK, 1998.
This short paperback has excellent advice for anyone who is trying to establish a
usability presence. Chapters topics include making a business case for usability,
overcoming inertia in large organizations, integrating usability into system development,
and cultivating an effective client relationship. Each chapter ends with a list of major
lessons learned. Newcomers to the field can gain some savvy from this book. Experienced
practitioners may find some new methods or political ideas that will make their work
easier. - CW 12/98
Tufte, E. R. The Visual Display of Quantitative Information. Graphics Press:
Chesire, CT, 1983.
This is a classic book on the minimalist approach to presenting quantitative
information. Tufte provides a language for discussing statistical graphics and suggests
many techniques for refining graphics and making them more usable.
Tufte, E. R. Envisioning Information. Graphics Press: Chesire, CT, 1990.
Envisioning Information is a guide to presenting multi-dimensional data in two
Tufte, E. R. Visual Explanations: Images and Quantities, Evidence and Narrative. Graphics
Press: Cheshire, CT, 1997.
In his third book on graphical design, Tufte focuses on how to present data about
"motion, process, mechanism, cause and effect." Tufte notes that visual
explanations are often used to make critical decisions. Tufte uses some provocative case
studies like the Space Shuttle Challenger hearings and esoteric examples like instructions
for magic tricks to illustrate some of the problems of visual explanation. Tuftes
work is beautiful, but it takes some work to draw out how his ideas can be applied in the
day-to-day bustle that confronts most user interface designers. His first book, The Visual
Display of Quantitative Information, has concepts (for example, chartjunk), that were much
easier to assimilate and apply.
Van Oostendorp, H. (Ed.). Cognition in a digital world.
Lawrence Erlbaum. Mahwah, NJ, 2003
Vicente, K. J. Cognitive Work Analysis: Toward Safe, Productive,
and Healthy Computer-Based Work. Lawrence Erlbaum: Mahwah, N.J. 1999. ISBN:
The goal of this book is to "help designers of complex sociotechnical systems
create computer-based information support that helps workers adapt to the unexpected and
changing demands of their jobs" (p. xiv). This book is based on the work of Jens
Rasmussen and his colleagues in Denmark over the last 3 decades. The book discusses
methods that are similar to contextual inquiry and design, but it does so in a very
complex way. This book feels like a Ph.D dissertation that was turned into a book. This
might be a good resource for anyone doing serious research on task analysis or work
modeling, but it is not a book for busy practitioners. (Submitted by Chauncey E. Wilson)
Vredenburg, K., Isensee, S., and Righi, C. User-Centered
Design: An Integrated Approach. Prentice Hall PTR: Upper Saddle River, NJ, 2002.
ISBN: 0-13-091295-6. Book
Optimize your customers' total experience with any technology product or service -
from purchase and installation through support, upgrades, and beyond. User-Centered Design's leading experts present methods, techniques, case
studies, and CD-ROM-based tools for introducing, deploying, and optimizing UCD to make products and websites that are simpler, more elegant, more
powerful, and more profitable.
Wainer, H. Visual Revelations: Graphical Tales of Fate and Deception from Napoleon
Bonaparte to Ross Perot. Copernicus: New York, NY, 1997.
Wainers book is a good companion to Ed Tuftes three books on the visual
design of information displays. Wainer provides a short history of graphical data
presentation and describes how graphic representations can highlight subtle aspects of
data or distort data in ways that manipulate the viewers perception. The final four
chapters in the book provide guidelines for improving graphical presentations. The
last chapter in the book is "Making Readable Overhead Displays", a very
Weinschenk, S., Jamar, P., and Yeo, S. C. GUI Design Essentials for Windows 95,
Windows 3.1, World Wide Web. Wiley: New York, NY, 1997.
GUI Design Essentials presents a clear explanation of the process used to design
user interfaces. This book explains how to develop user profiles, task analyses, design
metaphors, use case scenarios, and low and high-fidelity prototypes. There are many
checklist and tables that could prove useful in trying to integrate user interface
design into the overall development process. After the chapters on process, the authors
provide a set of design guidelines for user interface objects like windows, dialog boxes,
menus, and individual controls. There is a useful set of guidelines for Web design. The
book comes with a CD and a note on the cover that the online version of the book
can be customized to create instant GUI standards for your company".
Weiss, E. Making Computers People-Literate. Jossey-Bass
Publishers: San Francisco, CA, 2000 ISBN: 1-55542-622-0 Amazon
Wickens, C. D. & Hollands, J. G. Engineering Psychology and Human
Performance (Third Edition). Prentice Hall: Upper Saddle River, NJ, 2000 ISBN:
There is a new edition of Engineering Psychology and Human Performance by Chris
Wickens and Justin Hollands. For people who want an excellent introduction to the research
and theory that underlies design guidelines, this is a well-writen reference. The newest
edition does more than earlier editions to relate theory to practical situations.
Wiklund, M.E., editor, Medical Device and Equipment Design: Usability
Engineering and Ergonomics.Interpharm Press, 1995. ISBN: 0935184694 Amazon
Wiklund, M. E. (Ed.) Usability in Practice: How Companies Develop User-Friendly
Products. Academic Press: Boston, MA, 1994.
Wiklunds book describes the experience of usability engineers and user
interface designers at 17 different companies. There is much information on how to create
and manage a usability team as well as information on the advantages and disadvantages of
various usability methods.
Wildbur, P. and Burke, M. Information Graphics: Innovative Solutions in
Contemporary Design. Thames and Hudson: London, UK, 1998.
This lavishly illustrated book presents case studies of the design of software,
signage, signaling systems, air traffic control systems, and multimedia kiosks. The book
is divided into sections (color coded) entitled: Informing the Traveller, Explaining How
Things Work, Controlling the Input, Interacting with the Screen, Exploring the 3-D
Interface, and Mapping the Internal and External Worlds. One drawback is the lack
of an index.
Williams, R. and Tollett, J. The Non-Designers Web Book: An Easy Guide to
Creating, Designing, and Posting Your Own Web Site. Peachpit Press: Berkeley, CA,
This book is a primer on Web design. Topics include: how Web design differs from
print design, basic design principles, navigation principles, typography, color, and how
to recognize good and bad design.
Winograd, T. (Ed.) Bringing Design to Software. ACM Press: New York, NY, 1996.
Wixon, D. and Ramey, J. (Eds.) Field Methods Casebook for Software Design.
Wiley: New York, NY, 1996.
Dennis Wixon and Judy Rameys 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 a valuable
addition to the literature on how to design useful and usable systems.
Wood, L. E. (Ed.) User Interface Design: Bridging the Gap from User Requirements to
Design. CRC Press: Boca Raton, FL, 1998. ISBN: 0-8493-3125-0.
One of the most difficult steps in product design is the move from textual
requirements to GUI (or Web) designs. The books presents a variety of techniques for
modeling work, creating scenarios, developing object-oriented presentations, and designing
breakthrough systems. Many of the chapters provide detailed descriptions of techniques for
bridging the gap between requirements and concrete designs. - CW 12/98
This book is a collection of 10 chapters describing how "experienced
designers use the results of user work/task analyses and other tools and resources to
bridge the gap between analysis and interface design." Many books describe
standards for screen layout, icon and color use and the general manipulation of the tools
of the GUI design environment. But few have been able to break into the initial moments of
creativity in which the basic architecture of the interface is created. The book grew out
of a workshop held at the CHI 96 conference, and has retained the immediacy of a
There are a wide variety of techniques described in these chapters. Some, like
The Bridge (a methodology from Bellcore for quickly designing object-oriented interfaces),
have been widely used. Others are more personal and are an attempt to describe practices
that have worked at individual companies. One, the Delta Method from Ericsson Radio
Systems, includes user documentation and usability requirements as an explicit output of
the work. Although the approaches and emphases vary, there are some common threads to
- Use of group design techniques, whether they involve users or only the design
- Methodologies which allow for rapid iteration, especially at the early stages of
- Low fidelity prototying techniques to create a visual, tangible representation of
the design early
- An emphasis on formulating a conceptual model
My copy is bristling with bookmarks. I have found both practical techniques to
try out in my own work and new approaches to think through. (Whitney Quesenbery,
Usability Interface October 1998)
Zelanski, P. and Fisher, M. P. Design Principles and Problems (2nd
Edition). Harcourt Brace College Publishers: Fort Worth, TX.
This goal of this book is to enlighten readers to universal principles of visual
design. The book has chapters on the awareness of design, unifying principles of design,
the use of lines, textures, color, shape, and space. Each chapter has "studio
problems" for reinforcing particular visual design principles.
Zetie, C. Practical User Interface Design: Making GUIs Work. McGraw-Hill:
London, UK, 1995.
Zetie has some practical tips for designing corporate applications that are not
found in other books. He discusses some of the sticky issues surrounding GUIs that are
front-ends for databases.