Designing for User Engagement on the Web: 10 Basic Principles is concerned with making user experience engaging. The cascade of social web applications we are now familiar with — blogs, consumer reviews, wikis, and social networking — are all engaging experiences. But engagement is an increasingly common goal in business and productivity environments as well. This book provides a foundation for all those seeking to design engaging user experiences rich in communication and interaction.
Combining a handbook on basic principles with case studies, it provides readers with a rich understanding of engagement: extending a welcome, setting the context, making a connection, sharing control, supporting interaction, creating a sense of place, and planning to continue the engagement. Based on research funded by the Society for Technical Communication, the case studies illustrate how designers build community in order to support education, connect kids to community resources, introduce users to other cultures, foster collaboration, encourage activism, and much more.
Whatever your motive, if you aim to create engaging user experiences, you will want to explore Designing for User Engagement on the Web.
Table of Contents
Principle 1: Design for Diverse Users
Principle 2: Design for Usability
Principle 3: Test the Backbone
Principle 4: Extend a Welcome
Principle 5: Set the Context
Principle 6: Make a Connection
Principle 7: Share Control
Principle 8: Support Interactions among Users
Principle 9: Create a Sense of Place
Principle 10: Plan to Continue the Engagement
The Case Studies
Case Study 1: Information Gallery for Young People
Case Study 2: Wikis for Collaboration
Case Study 3: Cultural Websites
Case Study 4: Usability in Distance Education
Case Study 5: An Interactive Image
Appendix 1: Heuristic Evaluation
Appendix 2: Comparative User Testing
Appendix 3: Formal Testing
Cheryl Geisler is Professor of Interactive Arts and Technology at Simon Fraser University where she is the inaugural Dean of the Faculty of Communication, Art and Technology.
Designing for User Engagement on the Web has arrived at a pivotal moment in the field of communication design and technical communication in particular, when the proliferation and popularization of user-generated content threatens to marginalize the role of the professional designer/writer. The authors convincingly argue and effectively demonstrate that this professional obsolescence is far from inevitable. The book envisions new roles for writers/designers that build on traditional strengths in user and task analysis, design, and usability testing, but that must now adapt to the uncertainty of tasks, users, contexts, and motivations that attends massively-collaborative user input. The ten principles outlined suggest how we build on our strengths, both analytically and formatively, by accommodating user engagement. Instead of framing the work of writers and designers in a traditional way, as packagers of usable content, the authors use their principles to recast that work as the facilitation of usable content. The principles are sensible, well argued, and compellingly grounded in projects whose usefulness will be immediately apparent. This book will be essential reading for programs that train writers and designers with relevance in the 21st century.
-- Jason Swarts, North Carolina State University