A quick post from me this week as time seems to be getting away from me!

I thought I’d just share some of the reading I’ve been doing recently and see if anyone else wanted to share what they’ve found useful (or, I suppose what they’ve found hasn’t been worth the time and effort).

So, in terms of non-fiction reading I’ve recently been getting my eyes around:

Both these books are from the New Riders Voices That Matter series and are not only interesting and in many ways inter-linked but are in a format that’s easily digestable and quick to go back to.

I’m part way through both books at the moment but I think Clout is raising some interesting questions for me in terms of content and engagement strategy as well as strengthing some of the ideas I’ve been pursuing with Carl Haggerty about making content multi-platform and purpose.

Undercover UX had me right from the start as it sets out that ‘forgiveness is easier than permission’ and recognises the culture change needed within organisations before this stuff can be embedded. I think it’s important to keep that in mind with frustration at (lack of) progress rears its head.

Is anyone else reading either of these and using any of the suggestions in a localgov setting? Or are you reading something else (to do with UX, content strategy or performance, or social media as a channel) that you would recommend?

3 thoughts on “A little light reading

  1. Hi Sarah

    ‘Undercover user experience design’ is a great book, nice and compact too!

    Have you the all time classic web usability book ‘Don’t Make Me Think!: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability’ by Steve Krug? It gave me lots of lightbulb moments!

    I was lucky enough to go to one of Steve’s seminars in London in 2005, his common sense approach influenced a lot of the work I was doing at Walsall Council around 2004-6 with designing a new website and intranet. It worked as we were recognised by SOCITM’s Better Connected report as having one of the top 30 local government websites in 2007 and top 20 in 2009 with high ratings for usability, accessibiliy and content.

    Since returning to Australia, I’ve found the books below useful for my work on Queensland Government websites and intranets… (all published by New Riders)

    ‘Information Architecture: Blueprints for the Web’ by Christina Wodtke and Austin Govella – fantastic book about IA.

    ‘A project guide to UX design’ by Russ Unger and Carolyn Chandler – looks at the UX design, principles and deliverables in terms of a project lifecycle.

    ‘Communicating design – developing web site documentation for design and planning’ by Dan M. Brown – I found this one a bit hard to read cover to cover, but the illustrations of diagrams and deliverables are worth the price of the book alone.



  2. Hi Matt,

    Thanks for the comment – I have read ‘Don’t Make Me Think’ and you’re right about the lightbulb moments. It’s a handy volume to have around to flick through when there’s a danger of slipping into a business-centred (rather than user-centred) rut!

    I’ll check out the books you mention as they all sound interesting and relevant from the titles. I’m really digging the New Riders catalogue at the moment and while I’m sure you’ve read it I wouldn’t hesitate to recomment Kristina Halvorson’s Content Strategy for the Web – I think there is a new edition out in the next few months.

    The real challenge now is finding time to read and digest all this stuff (as well as blogs, and conversations and the rest)!


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