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Interface Design

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The Inmates are Running the Asylum
by Alan Cooper

One of the most annoying books I've read however it makes some good points with great anecdotes. Remember he's writing for managers so that's why he blames programmers and technical staff, not management or marketing people who push features at the expense of usability.

Note: most whinges seem to be about the Windows95 era. Windows XP in particular fixes many of them and is very goal-oriented.


Hardback (263 pages). Published by SAMS, 1999
ISBN: 0-672-31649-8


Designing Visual Interfaces : Communication Oriented Techniques
by Kevin Mullet, Darrell Sano

This is a BEAUTIFUL little book which "approaches interface design from the perspective of communication-oriented graphic design, industrial design, and architecture."

It is full of examples of good and bad interface, discussion of layout (including grids). eg: the 10 pages on grids has 9 illustrations including 4 screen shots.

The book includes screens and discussions of standards from Mac, MS Windows, Open Look and Motif. Nobody is spared bouquets or brickbats.

This is now my number-one "must buy" for anyone in interface design. It is so clearly written you can use it to explain almost any point of discussion that comes up in trying to explain why a design is good/bad.


Paperback (273 pages). Published by Prentice Hall, January 1, 1995
ISBN: 0133033899


Art of Human-Computer Interface Design
by Brenda Laurel (Editor)

Classic collection of papers, dated but the ideas are good background.


Paperback (523 pages). Published by Addison-Wesley Pub Co, July 1990
ISBN: 0201517973


The Visual Display of Quantitative Information
by Edward R. Tufte

Description forthcoming


Hardcover (Reprint). Published by Graphics Pr, February 1992
ISBN: 096139210X


The Design of Everyday Things
by Donald A. Norman

Description forthcoming


Paperback (257 pages, Reissue). Published by Currency/Doubleday, March 1, 1990
ISBN: 0385267746


Things That Make Us Smart : Defending Human Attributes in the Age of the Machine
by Donald A. Norman

Description forthcoming


Paperback (Reprint). Published by Addison-Wesley Pub Co, May 1, 1994
ISBN: 0201626950


Turn Signals Are the Facial Expressions of Automobiles
by Donald A. Norman

Description forthcoming


Paperback. Published by Addison-Wesley Pub Co, May 1, 1993
ISBN: 020162236X


Computers As Theatre
by Brenda Laurel

Description forthcoming


Paperback (227 pages, Reprint). Published by Addison-Wesley Pub Co, August 1, 1993
ISBN: 0201550601


Bringing Design to Software
by Terry Winograd (Editor), John Bennett (Editor), Laura De Young (Editor)

Description forthcoming


Paperback. Published by Addison-Wesley Pub Co, February 1, 1996
ISBN: 0201854910