Reading List/Preparation

Reading List

Waterstones Booksellers: Bentalls Shopping Centre, Wood St., Kingston Upon Thames KT1 1TR. tel: 020 8974 6811


General Textbooks. 

These cover both theory and practice, and various kinds of users, technologies, work and contexts of use

  • Human-Computer Interaction (3rd Edition) (Hardcover) 2004 by Alan Dix, Janet E. Finlay, Gregory D. Abowd, Russell Beale Prentice Hall, Harlow UK.  ISBN 046109-4
  • Interaction Design: Beyond Human-Computer Interaction (Paperback) by Helen Sharp, Yvonne Rogers and Jenny Preece 2007

Theory and Research Methods

  • Jon M. Carroll 2003 HCI Models, Theories, and Frameworks
    Toward a Multidisciplinary Science Morgan Kaufmann ISBN 978-1558608085 (difficult to get hold of nowadays, but the best coverage.)
  • Cairns P and Cox AL, 2008, Research Methods for Human-Computer Interaction, CUP.  ISBN 978-0-521-69031-7

Usability Testing and Data Gathering

  • Thomas Tullis, William Albert 2008, Measuring the User Experience: Collecting, Analyzing, and Presenting Usability Metrics Morgan Kaufmann  ISBN-13 978-0-12-373558-4
  • Jonathan Lazar, Jinjuam Heidi Feng and Harry Hochheiser, 2010, Research Methods in Human-Computer Interaction, Wiley ISBN 978-0-470-72337-1

Experience Design Process

  • A Project Guide to UX Design: For User Experience Designers in the Field or in the Making (Voices That Matter) by Russ Unger and Carolyn Chandler, 2009, New Riders, Berkeley CA. ISBN 0-321-60737-6
  • Communicating Design: Developing Web Site Documentation for Design and Planning
    by Dan Brown 2007 new Riders, Berkeley, CA. ISBN 0-321-39235-3
  • Designing for the Digital Age: How to Create Human Centered Products and Services by Kim Goodwin 2009, Wiley, Indianapolis, IN. ISBN 0-470-22910-1
  • Seductive Interaction Design (Creating Playful, fun and Effective user experiences) Stephen P Andersen, New Riders 2011
  • Communicating the user experience a practical guide for useful ux documentation richard caddick steve cable wiley

Specialist Fields /Applications within Experience Design

  • Don’t Make Me Think!: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability by Steve Krug 2006 New Riders Berkeley, ISBN 321-34475-8  (a gentler introduction, if the above are ‘too academic’)
  • Information Visualization: Design for Interaction by Robert Spence 2007, Pearson Ed ISBN 206550-4 (conveying various kinds of data visually)
  • Online Communities: Designing Usability and Supporting Sociability by Jenny Preece, 2000, John Wiley, NY.  ISBN 80599-0
  • The Mobile Connection: the cell phone’s impact on society by Rich Ling 2004 Morgan Kaufman ISBN 1-55860-936-9
  • Mobile Design Pattern Gallery.  UI Patterns for Mobile Applications by T. Neil, 2012, O’Reilly.
  • Neuro Web Design: What Makes Them Click? by Susan M. Weinschenk 2009, New Riders, Berkeley CA. ISBN 0-321-60360-5 (motivation and persuasion on the web)
  • Rethinking University Teaching; a conversational framework for the effective use of learning technologies Diana Laurillard 2002  Routledge ISBN 0-415-25679-8
  • Information Architecture for the World Wide Web: Designing Large-Scale Web Sites by Peter Morville, Louis Rosenfeld 2007 O’Reilly ISBN 596-52734-9 (structuring and seeking information)
  • Forms that Work, 2009, Caroline Jarrett and Jerry Gaffney, Morgan Kaufmann.  55860-710-1
  • Brave Nui World, 2011, Daniel Wigdor and Dennis Wixon (touch screens mostly) Morgan Kaufmann
  • 100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About people (2011), Susan Weinschenk, New Riders
    •    Halverson, K. And Rach, M.Content Strategy , 2013, 2nd edition, New Riders, ISBN-13: 978-0321808301.

Academic English

A certain amount of report writing is required.  Whatever your first language, The Economist Style Guide, will improve your grades, and is available online at ,  and as a book, now in its 10th edition ISBN-13: 978-1846686061.  If English is your second language, the better your reading, listening and speaking of English when you start the course, the more you will be able to concentrate and technical work when you are here.


You might also consider joining the User Experience Professionals Association – see the events they organise in the London area.


MA/MSc User Experience Design – Background for UxD

The background practical skills for learning about UxD often involve knowing how to use relevant software packages.  There are often free versions, or short-term licenses, and the Help and free tutorials usually get you a long way.

It is good to have an up-to-date, basic working knowledge of graphics and web design tools (see list below, or their equivalents).  If you reach ‘informed enthusiast’ level, the learning curve should not be too great.  See also the entry requirements to Media Practice programme in Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences – the Experience Design modules are also taken by students on these courses.

A natural output of this practical design work is an online (or at least electronic) ‘portfolio’ – your own microsite, blog, or interactive document, that exhibits your track record in authorship, design and development, and other relevant activities.  Demonstration of practical, creative abilities is an important part of your CV.

Analysing writing personas hierarchical task analysis



Graphics & Animation

  • GIMP and Inkscape (free), Adobe Photoshop.  Target level is to use the tools palette, histograms, masking, layers, and filters.  KU FADA run intermediate short courses.
  • Adobe Flash 8 (actionscript).  No free alternative 😦

Web Development (xHTML, CSS, javascript, JQuery) Experience with some ‘structured syntax’ (‘if …’ and ‘for …’ statements, function calls etc) is relevant for ‘front-end’ modules, such as E-Technology.

  • Kompozer (free), Adobe Dreamweaver; The target level is to ‘mark-up’ by hand pages that display multimedia content (graphics, stills and video), include interactive, scripted elements (buttons, menus), and which are laid out using style sheets (CSS);
  • Joomla (CMS and web site framework). The target level is to install, create and deploy a microsite with an on-line form using templates, GUI controls and databases.
  • Visual Studio 8.  A free version may be downloaded from .  Try the tutorials on basic forms and navigation – see how far you can get with ‘point and click’! or try a beginner’s guide to C#.
  • Mobile


  • HTML and CSS Web Standards Solutions: A Web Standardistas’ Approach Christopher Murphy & Nicklas Persson  978-1-4302-1606-3;
  • Digital Multimedia 3rd Edition, Chapman N. and Chapman, J. 2009, ISBN-13: 978-0470512166

Usability Testing

laptops with inbuilt mics and cameras are best.  Save to DVD, USB or cloud as you like.  Most software is developed for Windows XP and Vista

A mini-project of your own interest, such as some electronic learning material for a good cause, or an on-line portfolio of interactive content, will focus your preparation.  Here are some example online CVs of past students – parts of these sites were worked on as part of their course.!

There is also an informal KU UxD alumni group – if you ask to join you can see what some graduates are up to now

Relevant part-time work in the web world and marketing can provide access to resources as well as useful experience, and the more real-world support and contacts you have, the better.  The Course Director might also have some projects that need doing – please contact

Have fun!


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