Apps! Websites! Rubber Ducks! Naked Ninjas! This book has everything. If you want to get started in user experience design (UX), you've come to the right place: 100 self-contained lessons that cover the whole spectrum of fundamentals.
Forget dry, technical material. This book—based on the wildly popular UX Crash Course from Joel Marsh’s blog The Hipper Element—is laced with the author's snarky brand of humor, and teaches UX in a simple, practical way. Becoming a professional doesn’t have to be boring.
Follow the real-life UX process from start-to-finish and apply the skills as you learn, or refresh your memory before the next meeting. UX for Beginners is perfect for non-designers who want to become designers, managers who teach UX, and programmers, salespeople, or marketers who want to learn more.
Start from scratch: the fundamentals of UX
Research the weird and wonderful things users do
The process and science of making anything user-friendly
Use size, color, and layout to help and influence users
Plan and create wireframes
Make your designs feel engaging and persuasive
Measure how your design works in the real world
Find out what a UX designer does all day
Chapter 1Key Ideas
LESSON 1. What Is UX?
LESSON 2. The Five Main Ingredients of UX
LESSON 3. Your Perspective
LESSON 4. The Three “Whats” of User Perspective
LESSON 5. Solutions versus Ideas
LESSON 6. The Pyramid of UX Impact
Chapter 2Before You Start
LESSON 7. User Goals and Business Goals
LESSON 8. UX Is a Process
LESSON 9. Gathering Requirements
LESSON 10. Building Consensus
Chapter 3Behavior Basics
LESSON 11. Psychology versus Culture
LESSON 12. What Is User Psychology?
LESSON 13. What Is An Experience?
LESSON 14. Conscious vs Subconscious Experience
LESSON 15. Emotions
LESSON 16. What Are Motivations?
LESSON 17. Motivation: Sex and Love
LESSON 18. Motivation: Affiliation
LESSON 19. Motivation: Status
LESSON 20. Motivation: Justice
LESSON 21. Motivation: Understanding (Curiosity)
Chapter 4User Research
LESSON 22. What Is User Research?
LESSON 23. What Isn’t User Research?
LESSON 24. How Many Users Do You Need?
LESSON 25. How to Ask Questions
LESSON 26. How to Observe a User
LESSON 27. Interviews
LESSON 28. Surveys
LESSON 29. Card Sorting
LESSON 30. Creating User Profiles
LESSON 31. Devices
Chapter 5The Limits of Our Minds
LESSON 32. What Is Intuition?
LESSON 33. What Is a Cognitive Bias?
LESSON 34. The Illusion of Choice
LESSON 35. Attention
LESSON 36. Memory
LESSON 37. Hyperbolic Discounting
Chapter 6Information Architecture
LESSON 38. What Is Information Architecture?
LESSON 39. User Stories
LESSON 40. Types of Information Architecture
LESSON 41. Static and Dynamic Pages
LESSON 42. What Is a Flow?
LESSON 43. Users Don’t Go Backward
Chapter 7Designing Behavior
LESSON 44. Designing with Intention
LESSON 45. Rewards and Punishments
LESSON 46. Conditioning and Addiction
LESSON 47. Gamification
LESSON 48. Social/Viral Structure
LESSON 49. How to Create Trust
LESSON 50. How Experience Changes Experience
Chapter 8Visual Design Principles
LESSON 51. Visual Weight (Contrast and Size)
LESSON 52. Color
LESSON 53. Repetition and Pattern-Breaking
LESSON 54. Line Tension and Edge Tension
LESSON 55. Alignment and Proximity
LESSON 56. Using Motion for UX
Chapter 9Wireframes and Prototypes
LESSON 57. What Is a Wireframe?
LESSON 58. What Isn’t a Wireframe?
LESSON 59. Learn Skills, Not Tools
LESSON 60. Avoid Convenient Examples
LESSON 61. What Is a Design Pattern?
LESSON 62. Z-Pattern, F-Pattern, Visual Hierarchy
LESSON 63. Layout: Page Framework
LESSON 64. Layout: The Fold, Images, and Headlines
LESSON 65. Layout: The Axis of Interaction
LESSON 66. Forms
LESSON 67. Primary and Secondary Buttons
LESSON 68. Adaptive and Responsive Design
LESSON 69. To Design or Redesign?
LESSON 70. Touch versus Mouse
Chapter 10Psychology of Usability
LESSON 71. What Is Usability, Really?
LESSON 72. Simple, Easy, Fast, or Minimal
LESSON 73. Browsing, Searching, or Discovery
LESSON 74. Consistency and Expectations
LESSON 75. Anti-UX
LESSON 76. Accessibility
LESSON 77. UX Copywriting versus Brand Copywriting
LESSON 78. The Call-To-Action Formula
LESSON 79. Instructions, Labels and Buttons
LESSON 80. Landing Pages
LESSON 81. Readability
LESSON 82. The Persuasion Formula
LESSON 83. How to Motivate People to Share
Chapter 12The Moment of Truth
LESSON 84. The Launch Is an Experiment
Chapter 13Data for Designers
LESSON 85. Can You Measure a Soul?
LESSON 86. What Are Analytics?
LESSON 87. Graph Shapes
LESSON 88. Stats—Sessions versus Users
LESSON 89. Stats—New versus Return Visitors
LESSON 90. Stats—Pageviews
LESSON 91. Stats—Time
LESSON 92. Stats—Bounce Rate and Exit Rate
LESSON 93. The Probabilities of Interaction
LESSON 94. Structure versus Choice
LESSON 95. A/B Tests
LESSON 96. A Multi-what-now Test?!
LESSON 97. Sometimes A/ B Testing Is the Only Way to Know
Joel Marsh (@HipperElement) has been a professional designer for more than a decade. His work for disruptive startups and famous global brands like Absolute Vodka, Samsung, and McDonald’s, has affected more than half-a-billion people. He can also play drums pretty well, but that’s not very relevant for this book.
There are only few "technical" books that I read from the first to the last page because I just can't stop: This one is one of those. Every chapter "scratches on the surface" of another aspect of UX in a short and funny way.
I was no UX designer before reading this book. Now, I'm still no UX designer but at least I have a better understanding of the many, many aspects that are important. And maybe I avoid some of the many pitfalls or at least I'm more aware of the topic when a future project involves user interaction.
I liked that the book was divided in 100 easy-to-read short "stories" - each with a unique message that is worth thinking about. The book itself is a good example of good UX.
I would recommend the book mainly to beginners and people that are not aware that something like User Experience Design exists - especially because it doesn't go into depth* and also hardly recommends literature that gets reader further. The used language might considered inappropriate by some readers. I would definitely buy that book again.
*e.g. the book recommends to test design decisions, e.g. with A/B tests. But how exactly such a test should be performed is not mentioned.
Bottom Line Yes, I would recommend this to a friend