What the reviewers are saying:
"an instant classic"
"a quantum leap in explaining user experience"
"will change the way you think about Web development"
"the best book I have read so far about creating a great user experience"
"there is probably no better book on the market that so clearly and rationally covers the entire area of user experience"
What it says on the cover:
Smart organizations recognize that Web design is more than just creating clean code and sharp graphics. A site that really works fulfills your strategic objectives while meeting the needs of your users. Even the best content and the most sophisticated technology won't help you balance those goals without a cohesive, consistent user experience to support it.
But creating the user experience can seem overwhelmingly complex. With so many issues involved -- usability, brand identity, information architecture, interaction design -- it can seem as if the only way to build a successful site is to spend a fortune on specialists who understand all the details.
The Elements of User Experience cuts through the complexity of user-centered design for the Web with clear explanations and vivid illustrations that focus on ideas rather than tools or techniques. Jesse James Garrett gives readers the big picture of Web user experience development, from strategy and requirements to information architecture and visual design. This accessible introduction helps any Web development team, large or small, to create a successful user experience.
Advance praise for The Elements of User Experience:
"Finally, a concise explanation of user experience that synthesizes its many disparate parts. Clear-headed, readable, and necessary." -- Louis Rosenfeld, co-author of Information Architecture for the World Wide Web
"Jesse James Garrett has finally expanded his famous diagram into a book that clarifies the entire jumbled field of user experience design. And because he's a very smart fellow, he's kept it very short so there's a useful insight on almost every page." -- Steve Krug, author of Don't Make Me Think!
"Jesse James Garrett brings incisive clarity to the complex process of providing a high-quality experience to the people who use your Web site. Deconstructing and modeling both the human and conceptual issues, he exposes the essence of a problem usually obscured by thick layers of technical camouflage." -- Alan Cooper, author of About Face and The Inmates Are Running the Asylum
"The Elements of User Experience explains, systematically and simply, perhaps the most important development from the confluence of design, technology and business." -- Richard Grefé, Executive Director, American Institute of Graphic Arts
From the Introduction:
This is not a how-to book. There are many, many books out there that explain how Web sites get made. This is not one of them.
This is not a book about technology. There is not a single line of code to be found between these covers.
This is not a book of answers. Instead, this book is about asking the right questions.
This book will tell you what you need to know before you go read those other books. If you need the big picture, if you need to understand the context for the decisions that user experience practitioners make, this book is for you.
This book is designed to be read easily in just a few hours. If you're a newcomer to the world of user experience -- maybe you're an executive responsible for hiring a user experience team, or maybe you're a writer or designer just finding your way into this field -- this book will give you the foundation you need. If you're already familiar with the methods and concerns of the field of user experience, this book will help you communicate them more effectively to the people you work with.
The obligatory fake FAQ:
How is the book related to the diagram?
In keeping with the spirit of my original diagram (PDF), the book is intended to provide a conceptual framework for understanding the field.
One way to look at it is that the diagram is an abstract; the book is the full thesis. The book unravels the diagram's secrets, exploring the underlying ideas that I simply couldn't fit on a single sheet of paper. Also, the book allows for a deeper examination of the various elements in the diagram -- each element gets a whole section, not just a sentence.
Who is the book for?
Hopefully, just about everyone. The book's approach makes it accessible enough that a project sponsor could read it over the weekend and be able to discuss issues with the team on Monday. The structure of the book makes it an ideal introduction to the field for students or entry-level practitioners. And I hope that the book will provide experienced practitioners with some new ways of thinking about the work they've been doing.
Will the book tell me how to design a Web site?
Not really. The book will definitely explain how the elements inform the development of a process, but if you're looking for a book about the process itself, this isn't it.
Will the book cover any user experience issues not related to Web development?
Only in passing. The book's focus is the Web; user experience issues that could come up in developing other kinds of products are mentioned, but only to make a point about the Web.
Is the book illustrated?
Yes. I did a few dozen new illustrations for the book.