The Joy of UX: User Experience and Interactive Design for Developers

The Joy of UX: User Experience and Interactive Design for Developers

by David Platt

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“For years now, I’ve been running around preaching to anyone who’ll listen that UX is something that everybody (not just UX people) needs to be doing. Dave has done an excellent job of explaining what developers need to know about UX, in a complete but compact, easy-to-absorb, and implementable form. Developers, come and get it!”

Steve Krug, author of Don’t Make Me Think! A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability

Master User Experience and Interaction Design from the Developer’s Perspective

For modern developers, UX expertise is indispensable: Without outstanding user experience, your software will fail. Now, David Platt has written the first and only comprehensive developer’s guide to achieving a world-class user experience.

Quality user experience isn’t hard, but it does require developers to think in new ways. The Joy of UX shows you how, with plenty of concrete examples. Firmly grounded in reality, this guide will help you optimize usability and engagement while also coping with difficult technical, schedule, and budget constraints.

Platt’s technology-agnostic approach illuminates all the principles, techniques, and best practices you need to build great user experiences for the web, mobile devices, and desktop environments. He covers the entire process, from user personas and stories through wireframes, layouts, and execution. He also addresses key issues—such as telemetry and security—that many other UX guides ignore. You’ll find all the resources and artifacts you need: complete case studies, sample design documents, testing plans, and more.

This guide shows you how to

  • Recognize and avoid pitfalls that lead to poor user experiences
  • Learn the crucial difference between design and mere decoration
  • Put yourself in your users’ shoes—understand what they want (and where, when, and why)
  • Quickly sketch and prototype user interfaces for easy refinement
  • Test your sketches on real users or appropriate surrogates
  • Integrate telemetry to capture the best possible usage information
  • Use analytics to accurately interpret the data you’ve captured
  • Solve unique experience problems presented by mobile environments
  • Secure your app without compromising usability any more than necessary
  • “Polish” your UX to eliminate user effort everywhere you can

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780134277806
Publisher: Pearson Education
Publication date: 06/02/2016
Series: Usability
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 240
File size: 22 MB
Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

About the Author

David S. Platt teaches .NET programming at Harvard University Extension School and at companies all over the world. He’s the author of 11 programming books, including Why Software Sucks (Addison-Wesley, 2006) and Introducing Microsoft .NET (Microsoft Press, 2002). Microsoft named him a Software Legend in 2002.

Table of Contents

Foreword xiii

About the Author xv


Introduction: UX Rules the Roost 1

Your Biggest Advantage 2

UX Is Not Fonts and Colors 2

Fundamental Example 4

The Three Fundamental Corollaries 7

Example: Save Me? 8

Bake UX In from the Beginning 10

Why Developers Don’t Consider UX 11

Where to Get the Skills 12

You Can Do This 13

This Book’s Web Site 15

And Here We Go . . . 15


Chapter 1: Personas 17

Putting a Face on the User 18

Creating the Simplest Persona 18

Adding Detail 22

Using Personas 27

Succeeding with Personas 28


Chapter 2: What Do Users Want? (and Where, and When, and Why?) 31

We’re Not Programming Yet 32

But Users Don’t Know What They Want! 32

Finding Users to Examine 34

Interviewing Users 35

Observing Users 37

Explaining It to the Geeks 39

Storytelling 41


Chapter 3: Sketching and Prototyping 47

Prototyping: The Wrong Way to Start 48

Starting with a Good Sketch 49

Mockup Tool Example: Balsamiq 51

Showing Interaction through a Storyboard 61

Demonstrating through Live Action 64


Chapter 4: Testing on Live Users 67

Testing Constantly, Testing Throughout 68

Why Isn’t Testing Done? 69

Start Testing Early 72

What We Learn from UX Testing 72

Finding Test Users 73

Compensating Test Users 75

Test Area Design and Setup 75

Using a Moderator 76

Task Design and Description 77

Watching and Debriefing 78

User Testing Example 79

The Last Word in Usability Testing 87


Chapter 5: Telemetry and Analytics 89

The Guessing Game Era 90

Telemetry as a Solution 91

Evolution of Telemetry 93

Permission and Privacy 96

Selecting a Telemetry Provider 98

What to Track 99

Telemetry Example 100

Suggestions for Telemetry Today 104

Getting Telemetry Wrong 105


Chapter 6: Security and Privacy 107

Everything’s a Trade-off 108

Users Are Human 108

What Users Really Care About 109

The Hassle Budget 110

Case Study: 116

Securing Our Applications 121

The Last Word on Security 129


Chapter 7: Making It Just Work 131

The Key to Everything 132

Start with Good Defaults 132

Remember Everything That You Should 136

Speak Your Users’ Language 137

Don’t Make Users Do Your Work 139

Don’t Let Edge Cases Dictate the Mainstream 141

Don’t Make the User Think 142

Don’t Confirm 144

Do Undo 146

Have the Correct Configurability 152

Lead the Witness 154


Chapter 8: Case Study: Commuter Rail Mobile App 157

Pity the Poor Commuter 158

Current State of the Art 158

Step 1: Who? 162

Step 2: What (and When, and Where, and Why)? 166

Step 3: How? 170

Step 4: Try It Out 173

Step 5: Telemetry Plan 179

Step 6: Security and Privacy Plan 180

Step 7: Make It Just Work 181


Chapter 9: Case Study: Medical Patient Portal 183

A Good First Try 184

Current State of the Art 184

Step 1: Who? 193

Step 2: What (and When, and Where, and Why)? 196

Step 3: How? 198

Step 4: Try It Out 202

Step 5: Telemetry Plan 207

Step 6: Security and Privacy Plan 209

Step 7: Make It Just Work 211



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