Thursday, October 04, 2012

Book Note: "Observing the user experience" by Goodman, Kuniavsky, and Moed

There are many books that in one way or another describe how to do interaction design (broadly defined). In most cases I do not find these book very interesting for one simple reason. The reason is that they are neither inspiring when it comes to theory, or practical when it comes to guidance. Books like these, mainly labeled as textbooks, are what I see as "in-between" books, that is, they present ideas and theory in a way that is far from grounded and foundational, and they present guidance that is not based on real insights and knowledge about practice.

I just got a copy of the second edition of "Observing the user experience--a practitioner's guide to user research" by Elizabeth Goodman, Mike Kuniavsky and Andrea Moed (Morgan Kaufmann, 2012). To me, this is a book that is not in-between. It is "a practitioner's guide" written in a language and at a level that is very useful. Each aspect of user research is presented in a simple and clear way with concrete and practical guidelines on how to do it. I find the book excellent for anyone who is new to the field and who not just want to know how important user research is but how to actually do it. The authors stay away from making large claims and from relating the practical guidance to more or less developed theoretical frameworks.

However, I think it is important that anyone who uses a book like this complements it other readings that in a solid intellectual way examines the broader aspects of practice and its relationship to theoretical traditions and paradigms.


Anonymous said...

interesting book

observing the user experience said...

Thanks you for this recommendation. I think that the mistake of lot of product producers and web designers is that they don't think about the customers. This causes them to create not user friendly and complicated products that cannot become popular. Therefor i think that the recommended book can be extremely useful.