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Resources: Recommended Reading

This page includes a listing of recommended readings covering usability, accessibility, and user-centered design topics. The Process eXperience Architecture Grouphas a resource library containing many of these books as well as a variety of others. All UITS staff are eligible to sign out any book in our collection. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

Usability

Don't Make Me Think (Steve Krug)
Usability design is one of the most important - yet often least attractive - tasks for a Web developer. In Don't Make Me Think, author Steve Krug lightens up the subject with good humor and excellent, to-the-point examples.

Usability for the Web: Designing Web Sites that Work (Tom Brinck, Darren Gergle, Scott Wood)
Treats web usability as a practical and realizable business goal, not a buzzword or abstraction. It teaches you the concepts and skills you will need to know to produce cohesive, easy-to-use web sites while meeting tight deadlines and staying on budget.

The Inmates are Running the Asylum (Alan Cooper & Paul Saffo)
This book identifies the need for integrating HCI into the development lifecycle, with many illustrations from recent commercial projects. This makes an excellent resource for non-HCI specialists who wish to gain a better understanding of how to integrate HCI into a software or web development process.

Cost Justifying Usability (Randolph G. Bias and Deborah J. Mayhew, eds.)
Presents structured techniques for usability engineers and project managers to quantify the costs and benefits of a new product.

Usability Engineering Lifecycle: A Practitioner's Handbook for User Interface Design (Deborah J. Mayhew)
This book presents the techniques of usability engineering as a series of product lifecycle tasks. She discusses iterative design and development processes that do not end with a product launch but begin again with user feedback.

Handbook of Usability Testing: How to Plan, Design, and Conduct Effective Tests (Jeffrey Rubin)
A practical book with step-by-step guidelines for conducting a variety of usability tests. Topics covered include writing, user-interface design, graphic design, engineering, and more.

Information Architecture for the World Wide Web (Louis Rosenfeld and Peter Morville)
This is a great book to introduce people to information architecture. The book includes chapters on organization, labeling, navigation, searching, thesauri, controlled vocabularies, and metadata.

The Web Content Style Guide (Gerry McGovern, Rob Norton and Catherine O'Dowd)
Definitive guide to best practice in web content writing, editing, and design. Gives non-technical guidance on what works and what doesn't on the web, with plenty of examples.

Accessibility

Web Accessibility for People With Disabilities (Michael G. Paciello)
An introduction to the legal requirements for accessibility, with practical techniques for designing accessible websites.

Constructing Accessible Websites (Jim Thatcher)
Provides practical techniques for developing completely accessible web sites with a quick reference guide to accessible web site design. For web professionals creating accessible web sites or updating existing sites to make them accessible.

Accessibility for Everybody: Understanding the Section 508 Accessibility Requirements (John Mueller)
Provides an overview of the Section 508 Accessibility Requirements. Includes chapters such as "What is Section 508 Accessibility?"; "Understanding Section 508 Requirements"; "Hardware, Resources, and Training"; "Developer Guidelines that Make Sense"; "Desktop Application Essentials"; and "Using Microsoft Active Accessibility".

Maximum Accessibility: Making Your Web Site More Usable for Everyone (John M. Slatin & Sharron Rush)
Addresses the need to make websites usable for people with disabilities, and outlines design techniques and testing methods for complying with U.S. federal accessibility standards.

User-Centered Design

Designing Visual Interfaces (Kevin Mullet, Darrell Sano)
An excellent introduction to the design theories involved in the creation of user interfaces.

The Design of Everyday Things (Donald Norman)
A classic that deals with the pervasiveness of poorly designed interfaces of all kinds (doors, faucets, stovetops, etc.) and the tendency for users to blame themselves rather than the designer.

Designing for Web Standards (Jeffrey Zeldman)
Standards, argues Jeffrey Zeldman in Designing With Web Standards, are our only hope for breaking out of the endless cycle of testing that plagues designers hoping to support all possible clients.

Eric Meyer on CSS (Eric Meyer)
Meyer (a standards evangelist with Netscape Communications) uses 13 hands-on projects to teach Web developers how to use cascading style sheets (CSS). Each project is cross-browser compatible.

Human Interface Guidelines: The Apple Desktop Interface (Apple)
Hands-on guide for designers who want to create an interface that is compatible with the Apple system and standard applications for the Mac. Starting from Apple's philosophy of human computer interface design, this book explains the elements of the computer interface.