Chapter 3: The Strategy Plane
Site Objectives and User Needs
» The Inmates Are Running the Asylum by Alan Cooper: This is really two books in one. The first half provides a compelling (and entertaining) argument for the value of user-centered design. The second half details how personas can be used in design work to get inside the heads of users.
» Don't Make Me Think! by Steve Krug: Krug not only packs this slim volume with enormous wisdom about what makes sites work effectively, he also provides a crash course in methods for testing your own work.
» Web Site Usability by Jared Spool, et al.: Spool and his associates at UIE have a knack for uncovering insights about user behavior that defy conventional wisdom but are nevertheless true.
» Keith Instone's Usable Web is a terrific collection of resources on techniques for understanding user needs.
Chapter 4: The Scope Plane
Functional Specifications and Content Requirements
» Software Requirements by Karl Wiegers: Thorough and accessible, Wiegers's book provides an excellent overview of the benefits and potential pitfalls of gathering requirements.
» Mastering the Requirements Process by Suzanne and James Robertson: The authors walk through their Volere requirements gathering technique, with special emphasis on methods for refining and evaluating possible requirements.
» The aforementioned Karl Wiegers offers some excellent resources at the site for his consulting firm, Process Impact, including articles on gathering requirements and document templates to use during the process.
» Not to be outdone, the Robertsons offer their own sets of articles and templates for requirements gathering.
Chapter 5: The Structure Plane
Interaction Design and Information Architecture
» The Inmates Are Running the Asylum by Alan Cooper: Remember up above when I said this was two books in one? Well, the one theme running through both books is interaction design. Throughout, Cooper offers examples of what makes for effective (and ineffective) interaction design work.
» The Design of Everyday Things by Donald Norman: This classic work takes interaction design beyond the screen, looking at the technology all around us.
» Information Architecture for the World Wide Web by Louis Rosenfeld and Peter Morville: Richard Saul Wurman may have coined the term, but it was Morville and Rosenfeld who established information architecture as a legitimate discipline with this groundbreaking book.
Chapter 6: The Skeleton Plane
Interface Design, Navigation Design, and Information Design
» Web Navigation by Jennifer Fleming: It seems to have gone out of print right around the time my book went to press, but I still think this book is worth seeking out. The examples are definitely representative of an earlier era in Web design (four whole years ago!) but Fleming's coverage of the underlying principles is both thorough and highly readable.
» User Interface Design for Programmers by Joel Spolsky: This concise introduction to effective interface design is ideal for anyone with a more technical background (or anyone who has to work with them).
» Envisioning Information by Edward Tufte: Tufte's whole trilogy of self-produced books on information design is classic, but this book, the second in the series, is the one I've found most directly applicable to information design problems on the Web. (The other two books, for the record, are The Visual Display of Quantitative Information and Visual Explanations.)
» The Art and Science of Web Design by Jeffrey Veen: As broad and deep as the title suggests, this book goes deeper into the technical aspects of Web interfaces than the other books listed here.
Chapter 7: The Surface Plane
» Designing Visual Interfaces by Kevin Mullet and Darrell Sano: This book provides a very thorough look at how applying visual design principles can make interfaces work more effectively.
» The Non-Designer's Design Book by Robin Williams: This remarkable little book is admired by novices and expert designers alike for its clear, entertaining demonstrations of the basics of visual design. If you don't know where to start, start here.
» Joe Gillespie's Web Page Design for Designers has been many designers' first encounter with the visual design issues peculiar to the Web.
» This page on Visual Design Basics from the University of Arizona is a great introduction to these concerns.
» The classic Yale Web Style Guide is showing its age, but it still offers valuable advice on visual design fundamentals, page layout, and grid-based layout systems.