What’s that… writing this post title for SEO purposes you say? Well, yes, that and because there are some very good free online books for UX professionals to be found on the internet. So free, legally free, and so plenty, that you would think that it is your birthday today!
I am a frequent reader of work related books. The last book I read, Eric Reiss’ Usable Usability was good in that it wasn’t filled with UX jargon. Straight talking is what I like, and when a book is written in the said style… hey, I’ll buy the book. Guess what though… not all good UX books come with a price. Let me tell you about some free UX books!
UX Storytellers is a special project. The eBook is a collection of stories out of the life of IA-, UX- and IxD professionals and is available in 3 different format types: epub, PDF, mobi
The project was started several years ago by Jan Jursa. The motivation behind the project is explained as follows:
Does this situation seem familiar to you? … You’re at a conference or a party or another occasion, you’re talking IA and UX and suddenly someone tells a remarkable story. You and your pals either laugh or shudder; perhaps the story made your skin crawl. Days later, when you think back, your hair stands on end, and every time you face a certain situation, you remember what you learned through this particular story.
The project’s aim is to make these stories available for free, via their blog, PDF and other digital formats.
Userfocus, is a London based usability consulting and training company who do a terrific job sharing their knowledge via their website. The folks over at Userfocus have several resources available on their website, including these two free UX books, both of which are available in the formats epub, PDF, and mobi. Both books are a collection of the most popular articles on their website and are also available via iTunes.
The two books, and their synopsis are as follows:
Bright Ideas for User Experience Designers
- A CRAP way to improve usability
- 7 myths about paper prototyping
- Help! What The Beatles can teach us about writing support material
- Confessions of an Axure Master: 5 shortcuts for laying out Axure pages in record time
- Communicating errors
- 4 ways to prototype faster
- Why you need a user experience vision (and how to create and publicise it)
- Card Games for Information Architects
- Tips for writing user manuals
- Five kinds of ‘alt’ text
Bright Ideas for User Experience Researchers
- What user researchers can learn from Sherlock Holmes
- The 4 questions to ask in a cognitive walkthrough
- Usability test data
- Red route usability: The key user journeys with your web site
- Measuring satisfaction: Beyond the usability questionnaire
- Site visit interviews: from good to great
- The 5 habits of highly effective field researchers
- Is consumer research losing its focus?
- Do you make these 4 mistakes when carrying out a usability review?
- How to create personas your design team will believe in
Monetate is a US based marketing- and conversion optimisation company, who also offer great free resources on their website. Although the content is difficult to categorize as free UX books, the books do offer some interesting insights into testing, targeting, and optimising for smartphone. ‘Food For Thought’ type books.
The 3 free books, which are only available as PDF files, that caught my attention are:
Catering to the Smartphone User: Best Practices for Mobile Optimization
Winning over the mobile shopper isn’t just a best practice anymore. It’s crucial to the success of almost every ecommerce business. The problem: Mobile shoppers want a best-in-class experience when they visit your website on their smartphones. And if they don’t get it, they’ll spend their money elsewhere. So how can you ensure you are catering to the mobile shopper and serving up the features and functionalities that’ll win them over? This eBook reveals best practices for optimizing mobile websites and mobile landing pages.
10 Testing, Targeting and Optimization Best Practices: Second Edition
To stay competitive in the age of agile commerce, you must test and target your website content in order to deliver more relevant shopping experiences to visitors. But what content should you leverage to produce the strongest results? This eBook reveals the 10 best techniques, culled from countless targeting and testing campaigns.
The Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Your Website for Holiday Traffic
Updated for 2012, you’ll learn:
- How to conduct a segmentation and metrics review of your holiday shoppers, including what you can learn from your analytics to turn new customers into high-value customers.
- How to highlight your unique value propositions, differentiated for each of your customer segments.
- And much more!
Flow In Web Design
As an added bonus, well, something that I would also recommend you read, is a chapter from Andrew B. King’s book Speed Up Your Website. Now, you don’t have to buy his book, although I would recommend it (if you can find it), but what I think that UX professionals should pay some attention to is the effects of website performance on the user experience.
Flow is an “optimal experience” that is “intrinsically enjoyable.” Time seems to stand still, and we lose our sense of self. We feel playful and are willing to try (and presumably buy) new things. Although flow can occur anywhere, certain activities like rock climbing, performing surgery, chess, and sailing lend themselves to this optimal state of focused attention. Responsive, well-designed web sites can also induce a flow state in their users.
On his website, Andrew has made available chapter 2 of his book, titled ‘Flow in Web Design’. The chapter includes an interview with Dr. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, the author of the world-renowned book ‘Flow‘.
Know of more free online books? Please Share
As you can see, there are plenty of high quality free online books for UX professionals, written by true authorities in the field. If you know of any more, please do share them in the comments. Your fellow UX professionals would definitely appreciate it.