Throughout the chapters of A Project Guide to UX Design, we reference many other resources and materials from other professionals.  The following is a more detailed view of the various resources that provided insights throughout specific chapters of the book.

Chapter 2 – The Project Ecosystem
For more information on the distinctions between a customer’s experience of a company’s brand and a company’s efforts to build their brand, read Dirk Knemeyer’s explanation in “Brand Experience and the Web”:

For an excellent discussion of how a site’s UX design can influence an individual’s brand experience, read Steve Baty’s article “Brand Experience in User Experience Design”:

For more on designing pages to support marketing campaigns goals, see Landing Page Optimization: The Definitive Guide for Testing and Tuning for Conversion, by Tim Ash (Sybex, 2008)

For information on the four modes of information seeking, read “Four Modes of Seeking Information and How to Design for Them,” by Donna Spencer:

If you’re working on a social networking application or trying to integrate social features into another type of site, this book will help you on your way: Designing for the Social Web, by Joshua Porter (New Riders, 2008).

Need to make the case for UX design? These articles offer approaches that can help:
“User Experience as Corporate Imperative,” by Mir Haynes:

“Evangelizing User Experience Design on Ten Dollars a Day,” by Louis Rosenfeld:

Chapter 4 – Project Objectives and Approach

If your project is using an agile approach, you’ll have unique needs during requirements gathering, such as the writing of “user stories” as a way to capture requirements. For more information on following an agile process, we recommend User Stories Applied: For Agile Software Development by Mike Cohn
(Addison-Wesley Professional, 2004).

Chapter 5 – Business Requirements

View Jakob Nielsen’s list of ten usability heuristics at

For more detail on conducting a heuristic analysis, read Jakob Nielsen’s description of the technique at

Chapter 6 – User Research

Steve Baty wrote an article describing different methods and how to choose among them based on the phase of development, your information needs, and the flexibility you have to incorporate user research. It’s titled “Bite-Sized UX Research,”by Steve Baty, UXmatters:

Mike Kuniavsky, author of the excellent book Observing the User Experience (Morgan Kaufmann, 2003), provides more tips on asking good interview questions in his article “Nondirected Interviews: How to Get More Out of Your Research Questions”:

The quintessential resource on contextual inquiry is Contextual Design, by Hugh Beyer and Karen Holtzblatt (Morgan Kaufmann, 1997). The book also includes detailed information on interpreting results through techniques such as affinity diagramming.

For more information on mental models and how to understand them, take a look at Mental Models: Aligning Design Strategy with User Behavior, by Indi Young (Rosenfeld Media, 2008).

If you want a high degree of confidence in your results and have the budget for it, there are formal tools available for measuring user satisfaction with regard to ease of use. These tools include questions that have been tested to ensure they are not leading or confusing to a broad audience. Three of the most commonly used are:

For more on designing, distributing, and analyzing surveys see Improving Survey Questions: Design and Evaluation, by Floyd J. Fowler (Sage Publications, 1995).

For more about validating user models with quantitative methods like surveys, see The User Is Always Right: A Practical Guide to Creating and Using Personas for the Web, by Steve Mulder and Ziv Yaar (New Riders, 2006).

Google Spreadsheets has an option for converting a spreadsheet into a survey, which then feeds back into the spreadsheet. And it’s free!

Survey Monkey is another popular tool for surveys and includes information on collecting and analyzing results:

A good understanding of body language can be an amazing tool when moderating focus groups or any user research conducted in person. It can help you understand when someone is feeling frustrated, excited, angry, or threatened, so you can identify when you should to make someone more comfortable or probe on a particular comment. The following book on the subject may take more than a weekend to read completely, but it’s designed to be easy to flip through: The Definitive Book of Body Language, by Allan Pease and Barbara Pease (Bantam, 2006).

OptimalSort ( and WebSort ( provide both remote card sorting capabilities and helpful analysis tools. Or, if you want to do your own sorting in a more manual fashion, take a look at Donna Spencer’s excellent spreadsheet, complete
with instructions, available at

Chapter 9 – Transition: From Defining to Designing

Chris Noessel, of the consulting firm Cooper, has an excellent article discussing the importance of “whiteboardability” in diagrams created or used by project teams. “Whiteboardability: How to Make Process Diagrams Memorable,” by Chris Noessel, Cooper:

For more on a variation of a technique to be used in prioritization, see this article “The KJ-Technique: A Group Process for Establishing Priorities,” by Jared M. Spool:

Chapter 13 – Design Testing

For an excellent overview of the potential pitfalls of testing design concepts and for recommendations on how to use the technique well, take a look at this article on the AIGA Web site: “Design Meets Research,” by Debbie Millman and Mike Bainbridge:

For a quantitative test, plan for a higher number of participants: 20 participants per round of research (see

For a qualitative test, five to eight users per group for each round of research is usually sufficient. Ideally, more than one round of research is conducted to uncover issues that may have been “hiding” under other issues or unintentionally introduced in the new design (see

For more on iterative designing and testing with sketches, as well as truly inspirational insights into creativity in the design process, read Sketching User Experiences: Getting the Design Right and the Right Design, by Bill Buxton (Morgan Kaufmann, 2007).

For more about techniques in paper prototyping, check out Paper Prototyping: The Fast and Easy Way to Design and Refine User Interfaces, by Carolyn Snyder (Morgan Kaufmann, 2003) is a site developed through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as part of an initiative to encourage the development of sites accessible to a broad audience. It has an excellent set of reference materials to help with user-centered design, including an example of a video consent form
(in Microsoft Word format), which you should have participants sign before you record them: