The Elements of User Experience: User-Centered Design for the Web

by Jesse James Garrett

The Elements of User Experience is a vital reference for interaction and web designers the world over, and has come to define the key principles involved in effective UX design.

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About the Book

With so many issues involved—usability, brand identity, information architecture, interaction design—creating the user experience can be overwhelmingly complex. 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.

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The Five Planes

Garrett's Five Planes of User Experience represent a whole set of designer decisions about how a site looks, how it behaves, and what it allows the user to do. These decisions build on each other, informing and influencing all aspects of the user experience.

  1. The Strategy Plane
  2. The Scope Plane
  3. The Structure Plane
  4. The Skeleton Plane
  5. The Surface Plane
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About the Author

Jesse James Garrett photo

Jesse James Garrett is one of the founders of Adaptive Path, a user experience consultancy based in San Francisco. Since 1995, Jesse has worked on web projects for companies such as AT&T, Intel, Boeing, Motorola, Hewlett-Packard, and National Public Radio. His contributions to the field of user experience include the Visual Vocabulary, an open notation system for information architecture documentation that is now used by organizations around the world. His personal site is one of the web’s most popular destinations for information architecture resources, and he is a frequent speaker on information architecture and user experience issues.

From the Author

I really love the web. I really hate bad web sites. One day I was sitting on the back patio of Carbon IQ with Jeff Veen, and mentioned both of these sentiments. I said, “Dang it, if people would just slow down and do a few blueprints before they made web sites, they'd all improve 200%. I mean, it doesn't take that much—you just talk to some users, do a couple card sorts, and blooie! a better web site.” And he said, “You should write a book.” Well, it's a year later, and I have written a I'd like to encourage you to read this book and go make some good ones [websites].
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Elements of UX sample chapter User Experience teaser poster
➥ Read a sample chapter

Exerpts from Garrett's book. Click above to read a sample chapter from The Elements of User Experience or check out an exclusive Jesse James Garrett illustrated poster.

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Reader Reviews

Brilliant... A solid and very clear overview of the steps people should take to arrive at good, useful websites. And he does it with such panache...Inspiring.
—Marrije Schaake, Duck for Cover
Five stars...A cracking book that deserves to become a standard textbook. Every paragraph has impact...This book is essential.
—Davey Winder, PC Pro Magazine
A single book that can enlighten 'suits' about user experience issues while at the same time teaching designers, information architects, and usability specialists about the necessity of understanding the business aspects involved...There is probably no better book on the market that so clearly and rationally covers the entire area of user experience.
—Jeff Lash, Boxes and Arrows
Head and shoulders above the few other attempts that have been made to provide a complete and holistic view of the process of designing user experiences...One of the rare books that has the potential to not just improve the work processes of people in the web experience disciplines, but to possibly motivate them to pursue new ways of working.
—Anil Dash, Magazine
A quantum leap in explaining user experience...An informative and useful tool. You'll be surprised how simple and yet powerful Garrett's map of the user experience world is.
—Usability News
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