The Importance of The User Experience (UX)

Effective UI: The Art of Building Great User Experience in Software

By Sara Peyton
February 9, 2010

effectiveut.gifThe importance of the user experience (UX) is now at the forefront of technology trends and applications. Users not only expect it; they now demand it, and businesses often grapple to achieve better UX for their software. The "UX factor" can certainly make (or break) any software's viability and appeal--whether it's for a Web, mobile, or desktop experience.

Effective UI: The Art of Building Great User Experience in Software
is written as a complete roadmap of how to successfully develop groundbreaking software where the quality of the user experience is of paramount importance. Authors Jonathan Anderson, John McRee, and Robb Wilson provide an in-depth look at all aspects of how to create superior UX, from the initial concept to deployment. The book also explores the business, project management, design and engineering considerations that must work in tandem along the way.

"Building exceptional software and a user experience that drives both business value and increases brand strength is truly an art, and an extreme balancing act at times," said Jonathan Anderson, who was one of the founding members of EffectiveUI and is now Managing Editor of UX Magazine. "Over the years EffectiveUI has learned what works and what doesn't, through overcoming new challenges and responding to new opportunities. EffectiveUI has fine-tuned a unique perspective on how to approach UX strategy and design in a way that delivers the highest value to the user and the business, and minimizes the pain and risk associated with development."

Delivering on UX potential involves more than just innovative ideas and technologies. Building software centered on UX quality requires a symbiotic relationship among the design, engineering, and business teams, and, of course, the end-user. Overall software project management and development must be centered on the user's needs while adaptable to the practical realities that underlie traditional software frameworks and approach.

By presenting real UX projects that EffectiveUI undertook with National Geographic and Herff Jones, the book demonstrates how the principles discussed can be applied to overcome UX challenges and to meet UX opportunities. With The Complete National Geographic--an EffectiveUI project that brings to life all 120 years of the iconic magazine in an immersive, browsable experience on DVD and hard drive -- the authors demonstrate how strong UX design meets business goals by maintaining the look and feel of a recognizable brand while instilling trust in those who use its products.

"Unlike building a bridge, where engineers can clearly and precisely plan for the challenges ahead of them, the process of software development is more comparable to that of war, where the battlefield is complex, dynamic, and unpredictable," says John McRee, author and lead experience architect at EffectiveUI. "In this book, we discuss the difficulties associated with traditional planning and project requirements, how to embrace uncertainty and the unknown when developing software, and the importance of adaptable as opposed to rigid project requirements.

Written for anyone interested in or involved with UX projects, "Effective UI: The Art of Building Great User Experience in Software" is also beneficial for business and product managers trying to build and fund innovative products successfully; software professionals who want to more easily advance the cause of better UX in their companies and with their clients; and anyone striving to advocate and deliver on the promise of higher quality software.

"Our goal for 'Effective UI: The Art of Building Great User Experience in Software' was to provide a start-to-finish view of how to sell and deliver on the promise of better UX," said Anderson. "This book includes a lot of condensed knowledge that will help companies build better products, and help businesspeople and UX professionals succeed much more easily."

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