Designing Usable Apps (book cover)

Designing Usable Apps

An agile approach to User Experience design

Author: Kevin Matz
Publisher: Winchelsea Press
264 pages (softcover edition)
Print edition ISBN: 978-0-9869109-0-6
E-book edition ISBN: 978-0-9869109-1-3
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Discover how to create usable software products that your customers will love!

In today’s competitive software market, to attract and retain users and customers, software products and websites need attractive, eye-catching interfaces, and they must provide frustration-free user experiences.

Whether you’re designing a mobile, tablet, desktop, or web-based software application, Designing Usable Apps will teach you the principles you need to know and the tried-and-tested techniques you’ll want to use to make your product easy to learn and fun to use.

Designing Usable Apps is a compact, practical guide to the key ideas, principles, and practices of User Experience design and usability evaluation. Read this book, and you will:

  • Discover the fundamental psychological principles behind how people use computing devices and software
  • Learn techniques for discovering the needs and characteristics of your users
  • Become familiar with the recommended techniques and project processes, both for agile and traditional teams, that will help ensure usability is built in to your product throughout the software development lifecycle
  • Understand techniques for creating effective prototypes and lightweight software design specifications
  • Grasp the key processes and techniques for evaluating and testing the usability of software designs, prototypes, and products
  • Recognize what problems cause user frustration and dissatisfaction, so you can identify and correct usability issues

Who this book is for

If you're involved in the planning, analysis, design, construction, or testing of software applications or websites, whether as a UI/UX designer, usability specialist, business analyst, product manager, developer/architect, or QA analyst, Designing Usable Apps will be of value to you in helping ensure that the products you create will be fun and easy to use.

If you're an entrepreneur or an early startup employee, Designing Usable Apps will be of even more value to you in guiding you through researching and designing a product that will meet customer and market needs.

Table of contents

Download the full table of contents (PDF)

Chapter 1 Introduction Read sample chapter (PDF)
Chapter 2 Understanding usability and User Experience
Chapter 3 What is involved in designing a software product and its user interface?
Chapter 4 Structuring software projects for usability
Chapter 5 Recording and communicating software designs
Chapter 6 Understanding product and user requirements Read sample chapter (PDF)
Chapter 7 Understanding and modelling the domain and data
Chapter 8 User skill levels and skill acquisition
Chapter 9 The fundamentals of human-computer interaction Read sample chapter (PDF)
Chapter 10 Design principles for usability
Chapter 11 Creating a positive user experience
Chapter 12 Designing your application's interaction concept
Chapter 13 Designing the visual appearance Read sample chapter (PDF)
Chapter 14 Understanding and designing system-supported work
Chapter 15 Designing and specifying user interfaces and interactions
Chapter 16 Designing auxiliary and cross-cutting aspects
Chapter 17 Usability testing and evaluation

About the author

[Photo of Kevin Matz] Kevin Matz is the founder of Winchelsea Systems Ltd., a user experience design consultancy, and is the designer and creator of ChapterLab, a niche-market word processing and project management application for book authors. During his corporate career at firms in Canada and Germany, Kevin designed user interfaces for pension administration applications, multilingual content management systems, and software quality assurance tools. He has also designed and created web-based software development environments, audio applications, and games, and writes about usability and user experience design at his blog, Architecting Usability. Kevin holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Victoria and an MSc in Software Development from The Open University.

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