Designing for User Engagement on the Web has arrived at a pivotal moment in the field of communication design and technical communication in particular, when the proliferation and popularization of user-generated content threatens to marginalize the role of the professional designer/writer. The authors convincingly argue and effectively demonstrate that this professional obsolescence is far from inevitable. The book envisions new roles for writers/designers that build on traditional strengths in user and task analysis, design, and usability testing, but that must now adapt to the uncertainty of tasks, users, contexts, and motivations that attends massively-collaborative user input. The ten principles outlined suggest how we build on our strengths, both analytically and formatively, by accommodating user engagement. Instead of framing the work of writers and designers in a traditional way, as packagers of usable content, the authors use their principles to recast that work as the facilitation of usable content. The principles are sensible, well argued, and compellingly grounded in projects whose usefulness will be immediately apparent. This book will be essential reading for programs that train writers and designers with relevance in the 21st century.
-- Jason Swarts, North Carolina State University