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User Experience Foundations

By (author) Nick de Voil

Publication date: 13 Jul 2020

User experience (UX) is about how interaction with a product, service or system is perceived by its users. Are their needs met or exceeded? Do they enjoy the experience? Will they return? Making UX central to development of a product, service or system enhances customer satisfaction, resulting in higher conversion rates and a stronger brand presence. Applying the same techniques to internal business systems brings improved efficiency and job satisfaction. This book provides a reasoned and authoritative description of what UX is, why it works and what tools and techniques are involved, in line with the BCS Foundation Certificate in User Experience, based on ISO 9241-210.
Nick de Voil has been helping organisations to design and evaluate digital products, services and systems for over 30 years. He developed the world's first training course in User Experience for business analysts and now specialises in helping organisations to optimise customer experience by designing business processes ‘from the outside in’.

Dimensions: 244x170mm

Print ISBN-13: 9781780173498

Ebook ISBN-13: 9781780173511

176 pages

Imprint: BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT

1. Introduction

2. The Context for UX (1): Rationale and Concepts

3. Guiding Principles

4. User Research

5. Illustrating the Context of Use

6. Measuring Usability

7. Information Architecture

8. Interaction Design

9. Visual Design

10. User Interface Prototyping

11. Usability Evaluation

12. The Context for UX (2): Project Processes

Appendix: The BCS Foundation Certificate in User Experience


This book gives all the steps needed to ensure products and services are useful, usable and actually used. Nick de Voil brings his considerable experience to identify what’s both similar and different between user experience and other traditional practices. All this results in a must-read and approachable book.

Kate Tarling
Director of Digital, Design & Research, Services Work

User Experience Foundations offers a comprehensive and standard-setting syllabus to UX. Its clear and concise explanations of key concepts, step-by-step method guides and practical hands-on tips will help anyone wanting to master the craft of real-world user experience.

John Knight
Global Service Design Strategy Lead, Avanade

This excellent primer blends theory and practice from a number of sources to provide a practical and accessible overview. Crucial reading!

Adrian Reed
Principal Consultant, Blackmetric

Nick de Voil is spot on with the details needed to understand the field of human centred design. He clearly explains how user research is integral to good design. This is a great starting point for anyone getting to grips with user experience work.

Franny Gant
Senior User Researcher, Care Quality Commission

It seems everyone talks about UX, yet it is often misunderstood. Fortunately, there is a recognised standard at the core of UX and Human Centred Design which Nick de Voil uses as a framework in this clear overview of the HCD process and UX activities. I highly recommended this book as a pragmatic, easy to read introduction to this important and fascinating field.

Chris Rourke
Founder and CEO, User Vision

Nick de Voil has unlocked the foundations of the user experience (UX) discipline to simply describe what UX professionals ought to do, why they do it and why it works. It challenges what UX is in the construct of user-centred design principles that act as guideposts to optimise user experience.

Milvio DiBartolomeo
ICT Portfolio, Programme and Project Professional

As UX has matured over the last ten years, there is a higher expectation to describe the rationale behind every pixel on the screen. This book helps to tell that vital story of WHY with context and tactics to handle any design situation. Nick de Voil has done a great job condensing the vast subject of UX into this book for those new to the field of UX, current practitioners, experts and those with a vested interest.

Paul Wilshaw
Head of UX and UI, Blue Prism Ltd

I was so excited to read this book as we often struggle with stakeholders who don't always understand the importance of UX when designing new products and services. This book really hits the nail on the head and is brilliant for anyone wanting to get their head around user experience design and research and its importance.

Katie Derham
Innovation Manager, Allen & Overy LLP

User experience encompasses many still-emerging practices, making teaching and learning interesting and challenging all at once. This book does well to provide a comprehensive overview of its fundamentals.

Boon Yew Chew
Principal Designer, Elsevier and Local Leader, IxDA London

A concise and very well-crafted piece of knowledge about UX, Usability and UCD/HCD in general. I wish I had it for my students when I was teaching UX myself. During my career both as a leader of the company and as a consultant in HCD field I found it particularly important to have a common language with all the stakeholders. Among other good things this book does that one particularly well!

Yuri Vedenin
Founder and President, UXPressia

This book is a good reference for new UX practitioners or anyone who wants to deepen their understanding of user experience. UX is a continuously growing field. This book provides a breadth of information on the subject with practical tips. You’ll get an excellent foundation of knowledge from it.

Chui Chui Tan
Director & Founder, Beyō Global

Nick de Voil has written an invaluable guide on how UX supports digital product development and how to design experiences which meet people’s needs. This book is a good reference for those starting their career in UX as well as product owners, business analysts and digital marketeers.

Nichola Musgrove
Senior User Experience Designer, Ordnance Survey

User Experience Foundations is nicely written, easy to digest and covers the fundamentals of UX. Nick has covered all bases, from user testing techniques to where UX fits in with other disciplines. A must read for anybody considering a role in UX or simply looking to gain knowledge in this area.

Adrian Robinson
Lead Agile Business Analyst, CDL (Cheshire Datasystems Limited)

A business analyst often needs to be a jack of all trades with a foundation-level understanding of many subject areas and a comprehensive toolbox of techniques to draw from. This book succeeds in adding a solid understanding of the professional discipline of UX backed up by a comprehensive set of techniques and recommended practices.

Mark Ainsworth
Business Analyst, Promising ICT Limited

If you're considering a User Experience's role, there is a lot to learn - guiding principles, context of use, usability evaluation. This book gives a 360-degree view of this fascinating role and how it fits the big picture of a whole software development lifecycle!

Ahmed Tealeb
Senior Software Development Engineer in Test, Ministry of Interior - State of Qatar

This book provides a good introduction to UX and user-centred design to accompany and prepare for BCS foundation level UX certification. In addition, Nick de Voil shares valuable advice to aid practical application. I particularly enjoyed the easily accessible chapter on ‘illustrating the context of use’ and the advice on designing simplified useful systems.

Michael Greenhalgh
Director, Business Engagement and Analysis, British Council

This book distils the knowledge of several books and international standards into an easy-to-read form that is accessible for beginners and experts alike. Its comprehensive list of references and engaging exercises make it an invaluable learning resource. I recommend it to everyone who wishes to gain an understanding of user experience.

Tamer El-Tonsy
HCM Solutions Architect and Business Analyst, Tatonsy Consulting

Nick de Voil has written a superb introduction to the key principles across the user experience landscape. An essential read for anyone who is looking to create user-centred products or services that solve real problems for humans, regardless of their job title.

Chris Burns
Product Manager, MoteHQ

An informative introduction to UX which will enable the reader to navigate confidently. The book dispels commonly misunderstood terms and provides a practical framework to deliver UX. A must read for the modern digital business analysts.

Rizwana Qureshi
Business Analysis Capability Lead, Hitachi Vantara

I recommend all business analysts read the book to add a new dimension to their work, maximize their results and improve communication with the user experiences experts.

Mohamed Zahran
Lead Business Analyst, e-finance and IIBA Egypt Chapter President