Synopses & Reviews
About Face The Essentials of User Interface Design Cooper Interaction Design Dear Reader, This book has a simple premise: if achieving the user's goals is the basis of our user interface design, then the user will be satisfied and happy. If the user is happy, he will gladly pay us money, and then we will be successful. To those who are intrigued by the technology which includes most of us programmer types we share a strong tendency to think in terms of functions and features. This is only natural, since this is how we build software: function by function. The problem is that this isn't how users want to use software. Developers are frequently frustrated by this, because it requires us to think in an unfamiliar way. But after the initial strangeness wears off, goal-directed design is a boon it is a powerful tool for answering the most important questions that crop up during the design phase:
- What should be the form of the program?
- How will the user interact with the program?
- How can the program's functions be most effectively organized?
- How will the program introduce itself to first-time users?
- How can the program put an understandable and controllable face on technology?
- How can the program deal with problems?
- How will the program help infrequent users become more expert?
- How can the program provide sufficient depth for expert users?
In About Face, you'll explore new ways to look at what you work with every day, learning how to create workable designs in the real world, on a real deadline, inside a real budget. Sincerely, Alan Cooper President Cooper Interaction Design "Alan Cooper is the Miss Manners' of software design
My advice is to buy two copies autograph the second and send it to an engineer at Microsoft." Paul Saffo, Director, Institute for the Future "About Face defines a new interface design vocabulary that speaks to programmers in their own terms. We have come a long way from the time when there were just modal (bad) and modeless (good) interfaces, and this book reflects that progress." Charles Simonyi, Chief Architect, Microsoft Corp.
The cleverest code in the world is worth nothing if a program's interface proves an unwieldy barrier to users. That's why programmers and designers alike will benefit from About Face: The Essentials of User Interface Design. Here, respected software designer Alan Cooper shares his own real-world experience and design principles so that you, too, can fashion intuitive, effective user interfaces. Applicable to multimedia and Web sites as well as application software, About Face is an invaluable resource for design professionals.
About the Author
About the Author Alan Cooper is one of the most respected software designers of our time. He is the winner of the Microsoft Windows Pioneer Award for his work in designing Visual Basic. He is also one of the most outspoken critics of how the software industry goes about building the interface between products and people. His thirteen-year-old software design consulting company, Cooper Interaction Design, is based in Palo Alto, CA.
Table of Contents
PART I: The Goal.
Chapter 1: Goal-Directed Design.
Chapter 2: Software Design.
Chapter 3: The Three Models.
Chapter 4: Visual Interface Design.
PART II: The Form.
Chapter 5: Idioms and Affordances.
Chapter 6: An Irreverent History of Rectangles on the Screen.
Chapter 7: Windows-with-a-Small-w.
Chapter 8: Lord of the Files.
Chapter 9: Storage and Retrieval Systems.
Chapter 10: Choosing Platforms.
PART III: The Behavior.
Chapter 11: Orchestration and Flow.
Chapter 12: Posture and State.
Chapter 13: Overhead and Idiocy.
Chapter 14: The Secret Weapon of Interface Design.
PART IV: The Interaction.
Chapter 15: Elephants, Mice and Minnies.
Chapter 16: Selection.
Chapter 17: Direct Manipulation.
Chapter 18: Drag-and-Drop.
PART V: The Cast.
Chapter 19: The Meaning of Menus.
Chapter 20: Menus.
Chapter 21: Dialog Boxes.
Chapter 22: Dialog Box Etiquette.
Chapter 23: Toolbars.
Chapter 24: Roll the Credits, Please.
PART VI: The Gizmos.
Chapter 25: Imperative and Selection Gizmos.
Chapter 26: Entry and Display Gizmos.
Chapter 27: New Gizmos.
PART VII: The Guardian.
Chapter 28: The End of Errors.
Chapter 29: Managing Exceptions.
Chapter 30: Undo.
PART VIII: The Teacher.
Chapter 31: Good at What You Do.
Chapter 32: Installation, Configuration and Personalization.
Chapter 33: Shouldering the Burden.
Chapter 34: Where Do We Go from Here?