The Author

Jesse James Garrett is one of the founders of Adaptive Path, now working at Capital One. Since 1995, Jesse has worked on Web projects for companies such as AT&T, Intel, Boeing, Motorola, Hewlett-Packard, and National Public Radio.

His personal site at is one of the Web’s most popular destinations for information architecture resources.

He coined the term Ajax in 2005 and received Wired Magazine’s Rave Award for Technology in 2006.

Key Takeaways

The Five Planes: Strategy, Scope, Structure, Skeleton, and Surface provide a conceptual framework for talking about user experience problems and the tools we use to solve them.

Basic Duality: People originally seized on the Web as a new publishing medium, but as technology advanced and new features were added to Web browsers and Web servers alike, the Web took on new functional capabilities.

The Elements: Now we can map that whole confusing array of terms into the model. By breaking each plane down into its component elements, we’ll be able to take a closer look at how all the pieces fit together in the course of designing the whole user experience.

The Elements of User Experience

This model, divided up into neat boxes and planes, is a convenient way to think about user experience problems. In reality, of course, the lines between these areas are not so clearly drawn.