UX and Content Strategy Library: Resources on User Experience Design and Content Strategy
This is a list of resources on user experience design (UX) and content strategy, broadly defined. It included blogs, organizations, and books related to these fields. It is also, of course, a list of resources that I personally find to be useful, and is therefore by no means exhaustive, nor does it seek to represent only resources directly related to UX (e.g. there’s some content strategy stuff, some instructional design stuff, some coding stuff, etc.). It is also inflected by my membership in the field of technical communication.
Web magazines and blogs of organizations and that have useful and up-to-date content on UX-related issues curated by thought leaders.
Boxes and Arrows
Content Marketing Institute
The Content Standard
The Content Wrangler
Design Principles FTW
The eLearning Coach
Journal of Information Architecture
My SEO, Social Media, and Content Strategy Twitter List (contains feeds of many more organizations not listed here)
My Web Design and Tech News Twitter List (ditto)
My UX Twitter List (ditto, in triplicate)
Nielsen Norman Group
Search Engine Journal
Smashing Magazine’s UX column
User Experience Magazine
Organizations that support training, conferences, and other forms of professionalization related to UX.
A List Apart
ACM‘s Special Interest Group on Design of Communication
HTML 5 Doctor
IBM Developer Works
The Information Architecture Institute
Interaction Design Association
User Experience Professionals Association
Books from Technical Communication
Valuable introductions to key terms, design and research methodologies, and philosophies–though also peppered with case studies of actual design projects and situations–these are books written by scholars and researchers working in the academy.
Albers, Michael. Communication of Complex Information: User Goals and Information Needs for Dynamic Web Information, 2004 – ISBN: 0805849939 – An important resource for information design, or the study and creation of dynamic and user-friendly web content within complex websites, Dr. Albers’ book is readable and provides key heuristics for managing information in innovative and scalable ways.
Albers, Michael. Human-Information Interaction and Technical Communication: Concepts and Frameworks, 2012 – ISBN: 1466601523 – Another book for thinking purely about information and how people interact with it, this equally readable book provides tips and resources for thinking about all kinds of information, from graphical displays to how people evaluate the relevance of information at first glance.
Albers, Michael and Mary Beth Mazur, eds. Content and Complexity: Information Design in Technical Communication, 2003 – ISBN: 0805841415 – This collection brings together some of the most important thinkers in technical communication on information design, including how it intersects with usability, content strategy, and visual design.
Geisler, Cheryl. Designing for User Engagement on the Web: 10 Basic Principles, 2013 – ISBN: 0415823471 - One of the few books in existence on user engagement and how to design for it. Hence: incredibly valuable.
Getto, Guiseppe, Jack T. Labriola, and Sheryl Ruskiewicz, eds. Content Strategy in Technical Communication, 2019 – ISBN: 0367192160 – A book providing a balanced, comprehensive overview of the current state of content strategy within the field of technical communication while showcasing groundbreaking work in the field.
Grabill, Jeff. Writing Community Change: Designing Technologies for Citizen Action, 2007 – ISBN: 1572737638 – One of the only books out there on participatory design and information design as a method of community activism.
Hailey, David. Readercentric Writing for Digital Media: Theory and Practice, 2014 – ISBN: 0895038145 – A great book on how readers see the Internet. Breaks down different types of writing into distinct genres and the different purposes they serve.
Meloncon, Lisa. Rhetorical Accessability: At the Intersection of Technical Communication and Disability Studies, 2013 – ISBN: 978-0-89503-789-3 - A valuable contribution to the growing body of literature on disability, technology studies, and accessibility.
Miller-Cochran, Susan K.; Rochelle L. Rodrigo (Eds.). Rhetorically Rethinking Usability: Theories, Practices, and Methodologies, 2009 – ISBN: 1572738413 – The only recent collection from the field of Technical Communication to link rhetoric and usability research, this is an oft-cited volume that no TC-based UX library would be complete without.
Potts, Liza. Social Media in Disaster Response: How Experience Architects Can Design for Participation. New York, NY: Routledge, 2013 – ISBN: 0415817412 – Dr. Potts’ book provides valuable insights into how UX pertains to risk communication, not to mention new methodologies for studying and practicing UX in social environments.
Johnson, Robert R. User-Centered Technology, 1998. – ISBN: 0791439321 – One of the first books on user-centered design, this book is still cited by scholars throughout the TC field and if nothing else is a valuable historical take by a founder of a way of thinking about technology.
Spinuzzi, Clay. Network: Theorizing Knowledge Work in Telecommunications, 2008 – ISBN: 0521895049 - A touchstone between studies of professionals in organizations performing knowledge work and the networks within those organizations that enable different forms of such work.
Spinuzzi, Clay. Tracing Genres Through Organizations: A Sociocultural Approach to Information Design, 2003 – ISBN: 0262194910 – An important work on the ways genres operate within complex professional organizations, the book also provides methods and perspectives on an approach founded in the principle of doing deeply situated field investigations within an organization.
Sun, Huatong. Cross-Cultural Technology Design: Creating Culture-Sensitive Technology for Local Users, 2012 – ISBN: 0199744769 - This definitive guide to cross-cultural design also includes valuable case studies of text-messaging interfaces introduced to Chinese users, and most importantly: an exciting new methodology for conducting UX research in intercultural settings.
Books from Industry Libraries
More focused on best practices, accessible introductions to methods, and how to’s, these are books written by UX practitioners in industry.
A Book Apart’s Complete Library - http://abookapart.com/. This collection by A Book Apart, a subsidiary of the online design magazine and organization A List Apart (http://alistapart.com/), is a concise and well-written guide to many of the things one needs to know about contemporary web design.
Abel, Scott and Rahel Anne Bailie. The Language of Content Strategy, 2014 – ISBN: 1937434346 – A great book on what content strategy is, what its key components are, and how common methods are employed.
Box, James and Cennydd Bowles. Undercover User Experience Design, 2010 – ISBN: 0321719905 – A great book on how to make UX methods work in real-world situations.
Brown, Daniel M. Communicating Design: Developing Web Site Documentation for Design and Planning, 2007 – ISBN: 0321712463 – A great guide to creating usable documentation for software and application development.
Capala, Matthew. SEO Like I’m Five, 2014 – ISBN: 1500865206 – A great, engaging guide to the basics of SEO and how to leverage simple, but effective principles for growth.
Courage, Catherine and Kathy Baxter. Understanding Your Users: A Practical Guide to User Requirements Methods, Tools, and Techniques, 2005 – ISBN: 1558609350 – A great guide to user research and participatory design, or the design of digital products with users as stakeholders.
Goodwin, Kim. Designing for the Digital Age: How To Create Human-centered Products and Services, 2009 – ISBN: 0470229101 – A valuable volume on user-centered design, or the design of digital products around the needs of users, by a trusted in name in the design field.
Gothelf, Jeff. Lean UX: Applying Lean Principles to Improve User Experience, 2013 – ISBN: 1449311652 – â€śLeanâ€ť strategies are huge amongst design professionals right now. The term refers to moving as efficiently as possible through the design process.
Halvorson, Kristina and Melissa Rach. Content Strategy for the Web, 2012 – ISBN: 0321808304 – One of the best books I’ve found on how to build strategies and systems for managing website content.
Hartson, Rex and Pardha Pyla. The UX Book: Process and Guidelines for Ensuring a Quality User Experience, 2012 – ISBN: 0123852412 - A great resource book for all things UX that also focuses on contextual inquiry and how to operate within the UX life cycle.
Hay, Stephen. Responsive Design Workflow, 2013 – ISBN: 0321887867 – One of the only contemporary books that teaches you how to make responsive design part of every design project.
Iny, Danny. Engagement from Scratch! How Super-community Builders Create a Loyal Audience and How You Can Do the Same!, 2001 – ISBN: 1466382007 – Free download available here: http://www.engagementfromscratch.com/download.html. User engagement is an oft-neglected aspect of design among digital professionals. Sure, you can build something usable, and even exciting, but can you attract users to it?
Kadlec, Tim. Implementing Responsive Design: Building Sites for an Anywhere, Everywhere Web, 2012 – ISBN: 0321821688 – One of the most thorough and understandable explications of what responsive design means for todayâ€™s web.
Krug, Steve. Don’t Make Me Think! A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, 2006 - ISBN: 0321344758 – A valuable introductory volume on usability, especially for people who arenâ€™t already UX practitioners or researchers. He also just released a new, revised edition: Don’t make me think, revisited: A common sense approach to web and mobile usability, 2014 – ISBN: 0321965515.
Moule, Jodie. Killer UX Design, 2012 – ISBN: 0987153099 – This book is a great all-in-one introduction to the entire UX design process, from coming up with an idea to doing preliminary user testing to prototyping a design and turning that prototype into a usable product.
Morville, Peter and Louis Rosenfeld. Information Architecture for the World Wide Web: Designing Large-Scale Web Sites. Third Edition, 2006 – ISBN: 0596527349 – Still one of the standard volumes on IA by which all other books on this topic are judged. A great introduction to creating robust architectures for the web.
Rau, Pei-Luen Patrick et al. Cross-cultural Design for IT Products and Services, 2013 – A valuable handbook on cross-cultural design.
Ratcliffe, Lindsay and Marc McNeill. Agile Experience Design: A Digital Designer’s Guide to Agile, Lean, and Continuous, 2011 – ISBN: 0321804813 – Agile methodologies are all the rage now in many industries. Defined as methods of design and workflow which create sustainable outcomes for all stakeholders involved, an understanding of these methods is a must for anyone interested in UX.
Rockley, Ann and Charles Cooper, Managing Enterprise Content: A Unified Content Strategy, 2012 – ISBN: 032181536X – A great introduction to content strategy and the power it holds for breaking down content silos in workplaces.
Rosenfeld Media’s Library - http://rosenfeldmedia.com/books/. Rosenfeld Media is one of the most trusted names within the UX community, and their library of books include titles that cover every aspect of the UX design process, from conceptualizing initial design ideas to prototyping and user testing to managing content and analytics.
Ruvalcaba, Zak and Anne Boehm, Murach’s HTML5 and CSS3, 2011 – ISBN: 9781890774660 – A great introduction to these languages, plus a valuable resource for anyone looking for a good coding reference.
Saffer, Dan. Designing for Interaction, 2009 – ISBN: 0321643399 – One of the most trusted books on interaction design for both novices and experienced designers.
Saffer, Dan. Microinteractions: Designing with details, 2013 – ISBN: 1491945923 – An elegant and innovative exploration of interaction design from the point-of-view of the simplest, most fundamental interactions users have with a system.
Scott, Bill. Designing Web Interfaces, 2009 – ISBN: 9780596516253 – A very valuable volume on interaction design and user interface design that includes over 75 common design patterns.
Sharon, Tomer. It’s Our Research: Getting Stakeholder Buy-in for User Experience Research Projects, 2012 – ISBN: 0123851300 – The definitive guide to introducing UX research to a new community or workplace, this book also provides invaluable qualitative case studies and methods for conducting UX research.
Unger, Ross. A Project Guide to UX Design: For User Experience Designers in the Field or in the Making, 2012 – ISBN: 0321815386 – A great guide to UX project management best practices.
Tidwell, Jenifer. Designing Interfaces. 2nd Edition, 2011 – ISBN: 1449379702 – UI or User Interface Design, sometimes also called visual design, is a key aspect of UX, and involves understanding how users navigate the â€śfront endâ€ť or primary interface of a web or software application.
Tullis, Thomas and William Albert. Measuring the User Experience: Collecting, Analyzing, and Presenting Usability Metrics, 2008 – ISBN: 0123735580 – A great resource on quantitative user research, as well as how to plan for, collect, analyze, and make use of quantitative data from user tests.
Quesenbery, Whitney, and Daniel Szuc. Global UX: Design and Research in a Connected World. Morgan Kaufmann, 2011 – ISBN: 012378591X – A valuable handbook on design and research methods that take into account globally-dispersed users and cultural differences.