A summary of why UX book sucks and why I hated it



1. Keyword definition on the side margin of the page

Most books put keyword definition in a colored box  before the appearance of the keyword, so the reader won’t feel clueless or puzzled when they first see the keyword. However, the UX book puts them on the side margin parallel to the keyword. Side margins are usually reserved for the reader to take notes. It’s unexpected to find important information here.

2. Preface is way too long

The preface for this book is way too long. And it looks too much like a regular chapter with subsections and bullet points. This actually makes finding the table of contents harder than usual, because it’s expected to have the table of contents in the first few pages.

3. Inserting articles looking like research papers in the middle of the chapter

Sometimes I found myself in those light blue pages, which I assume are research articles written by other people. Sometimes I don’t even know what these pages are. I’m not gonna argue whether they fit in the chapter (sometimes they are not). I just think that these articles should be made available in references or resources at the end of each chapter. Readers can have the choose to either dig in deeper to the materials by searching for and reading these articles or not. It should not be forced on to every reader. Moreover, having those articles in between subsections breaks the continuity of the contents. If you read the book in a linear fashion, it’s hard to recall what’s in the last section after finishing the article.

4. Division and naming of sub-section and sections of each chapter doesn’t not always makes sense.

For example, in chapter 16 and 17. Analysis of quantitative data and reporting them, which is closely after the first one , are divided to fit in two chapters. So the reader has to recall the information of chapter 16 in order to understand what’s going on in chapter 17.

Also for the titles of sections in chapter 16 and 17, we see the word “formative” and “qualitative” used interchangeably. But this doesn’t not justify names such as “Formative (qualitative) data analysis”, “Reporting qualitative formative results”, “formative reporting content” appearing at the same time. The inconsistency in using that term is causing confusion.

Moreover for the example of chapter 16 and 17, shouldn’t “formative reporting content”, “formative repairing audience, needs, goals, and context of use” be a sub-section of “reporting qualitative formative results”. This happens very often throughout the book. The naming of sub-section is actually worse. Most subsections should definitely not be under the same section title. This has happened in every chapter I read throughout the semester. And this is the most unbearable issue I have with this book.

To sum up this problem, the reader should be able to look at the table of content and know what to expect in each subsection of a chapter without actually reading them. There should be a clear logical thread going on in titles. If not, then some of the contents are probably not belong there.

5. The book goes into so much detail into things that we couldn’t care less.

Some of the suggestions are just an insult to the reader’s ability to make sensible decisions and come up with valid ideas. We have not signed the right for the author to point finger in everything that we do in UX by purchasing the book. And I certainly don’t agree that the way the author promotes is the best way of doing it or what it seems the only way to do it in the reading.

6. Hard to distinguish between section titles, sub-section titles, and bullet points.

Section titles, sub-section titles, and bullet points all look the same to me. I noticed that some of them are bold and upper case, and some of them are italic, but the differences are too subtle. I expect large differences in font size or even color.



One thought on “A summary of why UX book sucks and why I hated it

  1. OK, but you realized that they can see this post if they are interested, so anonymity is not really guaranteed. I personally think it’s good to stand behind your critique, but if you wish to remain anonymous, then send this to me in an email and delete this post.

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