Cambridge University Design / UX group

Review: A Project Guide to UX Design

Published in March this year, Russ Unger and Carolyn Chandler’s book, “A Project Guide to UX Desgin”, and less than £14 on Amazon, is well worth a look.

A Project Guide to UX Design (book cover)

A Project Guide to UX Design (book cover)

The back cover synopsis reads as follows:

User experience design is the discipline of creating a useful and usable Web site or application—one that’s easily navigated and meets the needs of both the site owner and its users. But there’s a lot more to successful UX design than knowing the latest Web technologies or design trends: It takes diplomacy, project management skills, and business savvy. That’s where this book comes in. Authors Russ Unger and Carolyn Chandler show you how to integrate UX principles into your project from start to finish.

It is modern, well laid-out, and fresh. I have only begun reading it, really, and scanned through the rest, but it is great so far. I have skipped ahead to the authors’ thoughts on integrating user-centred design principles with existing project practices, and there are similarly good sections on how to place yourself as a designer within a project.

The chapters on gathering requirements and user research also look especially good. At first glance, the authors arent simply propounding yet another way of tackling issues; they are considering the best practices that exist, and building on them, which looks good to me.

Check it out.

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Design with agility

I have been thinking recently about the approach that I take to running a project. Not necessarily project management as such, but the sort of processes or methodology that I apply to going from initial scoping to the end product. It is something worth considering, particularly if you are going to be working as part of a team, where a specific development process is already well-established.

Now, this isn’t the place to discuss all those different models for development processes, so if you want to know the difference between “pigs” and “chickens”, you can read all about it on Wikipedia!

Anyway, if you have any familiarity with this stuff already, you will know that the Agile model is a popular one amongst development teams. I spotted a couple of good presentations that cover the realities of Agile processes, the pros and cons, and how to fit and design and UX work in with an Agile process.

Here goes with two embedded presentations…

Read the rest of this entry »

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