In this column, you’ll find an overview of three IA books from a deliverables point of view. The purpose of this article is not to say whether one book is better than another, or even to comment on the overall quality of the books, but to provide a guide to what kind of deliverables information you can find in each book, and where.
“Making the Web Work: Designing Effective Web Applications” is a well-written, meaty book on the entire process of designing interactive websites from a user interface perspective. Those new to the field of user-centered design will find it most useful; intermediate or advanced practitioners looking for in-depth information specific to web applications may want to look elsewhere.
To welcome in December and the holiday season, the staff at Boxes and Arrows has put together a list of their favorite books. These are the tried and true. The books we can’t live without or have learned great lessons from over the years.
Teaching information architecture as a profession in the process of being born, author and educator, Earl Morrogh, in his new book, “Information Architecture: An Emerging 21st Century Profession” places IA in an historical context analogous to the history of architecture.
While there are many fine books that go into great depth on various aspects of the information architecture and design process, “Information Architecture: Blueprints for the Web” is, essentially, a primer on successful website design.
Upon publication of his new book, “The Elements of User Experience”, Boxes and Arrows talks to the author, Jesse James Garrett, to discover how the diagram evolved into the book, why he only wears black and how his work as an information architect has evolved.
Jesse James Garrett’s “The Elements of User Experience” is a concise yet meaty exploration of the many roles and disciplines that combine to create effective websites. By advocating a balanced blend of usability, creativity, and business sensibility, this text is a worthwhile introduction—or re-introduction—to the process of creating successful user experiences.
“Small Pieces Loosely Joined” is touted on the cover as “A Unified Theory of the Web.” But its author, David Weinberger, knows better. And he says as much in the book. It’s a unified theory, but not the kind you sum up in a tidy little equation.
Hillman Curtis’ minimalist approach to design also appears to be his approach to writing. In just a few words he captures the essence of what it means to be a New Media designer and what it takes to push into unknown territory.
“Experience design” doesn’t just apply to online design. Paco Underhill’s “Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping” explores customer experience and consumer behavior as they affect retail and offline environments and in turn provides dozens of lessons for those in web development.