It has been some time since I last posted a blog entry about upcoming User Experience Books and since it is once again Spring time, I thought I would share some great finds with you to help get rid of those cob webs in your head. In the past year some great books have been published and between now and the end of the year I can guarantee you will be wanting to buy a few more.
Digging around the internet, I have been able to find 3 books worth looking into. I was able to find 2 new books, and 1 update.
User Experience Books - Building by numbers
Personally, I work in a split role at my current employer. In my daily life at the office, I am tasked to not only look at the UX aspects where I focus a lot on qualitative research, but I am also responsible to the web analytics part. Behaviors and numbers, my daily routine. More and more often I see that companies are starting to build strong dependencies between the 2, and some authors have caught on.
Although a lot of value can be derived from user research methods such as (remote) usability testing, quantifying the insights, especially the more uncommon/non-task type insights is becoming more and more important. I shared a method for quantifying insights like these in a previous post, and believe me, it will only become more crucial in the development/optimisation cycle as user experience research and design traction grows within larger organisations.
UX for Lean Startups: Faster, Smarter User Experience Research and Design
When Laura was asked by her publisher to write a piece on ‘How to use the book’, text commonly found in work related books, she initially wrote ‘Just read it’. Her no-nonsense approach forms the basis of her book and makes it a great read (from what I have read so far).
As Laura continues to write about the practical aspects of her book, she says:
“Sometimes you need to design, sometimes you need to observe users, sometimes you need to run tests, and sometimes you need to do all that and a few dozen other things at the same time. In this book, you will learn practical, hands-on tactics for doing all those things leaner, better, faster, and more cheaply.”
According to the author:
No prior experience in UX or design is necessary to get started. If you’re an entrepreneur or an innovator, this book puts you right to work with proven tips and tools for researching, identifying, and designing an intuitive, easy-to-use product.
- Determine whether people will buy your product before you build it
- Listen to your customers throughout the product’s lifecycle
- Understand why you should design a test before you design a product
- Get nine tools that are critical to designing your product
- Discern the difference between necessary features and nice-to-haves
- Learn how a Minimum Viable Product affects your UX decisions
- Use A/B testing in conjunction with good UX practices
- Speed up your product development process without sacrificing quality
The book is set to launch somewhere between mid-May and the beginning of June and is worth every penny.
Practical Web Analytics for User Experience: How Analytics Can Help You Understand Your Users
Building by numbers… I mentioned in the beginning of this post. Closing the gap between user experience and web analytics is one of the key talents that will become more in demand day by day. As the title mentions analytics can help you understand your users. I can definitely vouch for this from my own professional experience.
Michael Beasley, the author of the book and former measurement team lead at Pure Visibility, where he fused web analytics with traditional user experience activities to better answer clients’ questions about their customers, wrote the book to help find answers to the complicated questions UX professionals are faced with today.
The book covers topics such as analyzing how users move through a website, measuring the effectiveness of design changes, gathering information about users’ information needs from what they search for, supporting usability testing findings and so on.
The book description tells us that it will help us:
- Discover concrete information on how web analytics data support user research and user-centered design
- Learn how to frame questions in a way that lets you navigate through massive amounts of data to get the answer you need
- Learn how to gather information for personas, verify behavior found in usability testing, support heuristic evaluation with data, analyze keyword data, and understand how to communicate these findings with business stakeholders
Now, the book won’t be published until September 2013, but my recommendation would be to pre-order today and make sure you get this book on your shelf. Stay ahead of the pack and do your best to keep that UX/Analytics gap closed!
Measuring the User Experience, 2nd Edition: Collecting, Analyzing, and Presenting Usability Metrics
This book is in my Top 10 User Experience books. Like Michael Beasley’s book above, this book focus on quantification, the numbers, not through web analytics tools, but through the research itself.
To give you an idea of the book’s content, and a practical example of what it will make you capable of doing, make sure to read my article on Measuring the User Experience versus Expectations.
So what’s new in this newest edition? The book now contains topics as measuring emotional engagement, personas, and the Net Promoter Score. The book also contains new research and updated examples, including tips on writing online survey questions, six new case studies, and much more!
The expected release date is July 29th.