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59 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nearly a complete course in the "Cooper Method"
I read (and still have) the previous two editions of this book. Unlike the usual "complete revised and updated" hype for new editions, this one has had some serious re-work and expansion.

The whole structure of the book is new and very close to being a complete course/textbook in the Cooper approach to Goal-based Design. All the sections have been expanded...
Published on October 8, 2007 by ...Bill

versus
107 of 136 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book, bad publisher
This book, as with Alan's earlier editions, is quite good, certainly 5 stars. Not only a good read, but thought provoking. There is very little repetition of ealier material or examples.

However the quality of the paper is just a step above newsprint, the illustrations are all in B&W and the cover lamination peeling off after only 3 chapters read. Published by...
Published on May 8, 2007 by Darwin's Bulldog


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59 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nearly a complete course in the "Cooper Method", October 8, 2007
By 
...Bill (St. Paul, MN United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: About Face 3: The Essentials of Interaction Design (Paperback)
I read (and still have) the previous two editions of this book. Unlike the usual "complete revised and updated" hype for new editions, this one has had some serious re-work and expansion.

The whole structure of the book is new and very close to being a complete course/textbook in the Cooper approach to Goal-based Design. All the sections have been expanded based upon reactions to the previous version(s) as well as their collective experience. The most obvious changes are towards describing in greater detail the process and how to integrate it into the large design/development cycle.

For those who have not read (about) Cooper (and his firm's) work, this book is the complete approach in detail. It is written for professional UI designer and developers and makes some assumptions about the background of the reader.

Executives, stakeholders or those needing a more general overview should pick up his other book "The Inmates are Running the Asylum" which was written for that audience. That book includes more business cases and rationale without the heavy details.

As a UI professional for over 20 years find his approach to be the most useful in creating truly useful and usable applications. This book continues to point out how get beyond mere incremental design enhancements to truly revolutionary and winning designs.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Reading, September 11, 2007
By 
butterbean (San Francisco) - See all my reviews
This review is from: About Face 3: The Essentials of Interaction Design (Paperback)
If you only get one book on interaction design, this is the one.

I picked up the second edition when I was just starting out as an interaction designer; it was a great primer and filled in a lot of the missing pieces for me. Now that I've been at it a while, it's still the book I go to whenever I have a question. I found the book reads well cover to cover, and also serves well as a handbook. The info you need on a topic is usually well contained in a section.

Not only does this book cover the general principles and theory behind interaction design, but also provides lots of real-world practical information. The writers call on designers not simply to follow rigid interaction design rules, but to create elegant, informative and respectful interfaces. That's a loftier goal, and this book give you the tools to attain it. The updated edition also spans new technologies and paradigms that have emerged, and covers them thoroughly.

Cooper has an unrivaled depth of experience to draw on, creating a truly comprehensive book.
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107 of 136 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book, bad publisher, May 8, 2007
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This review is from: About Face 3: The Essentials of Interaction Design (Paperback)
This book, as with Alan's earlier editions, is quite good, certainly 5 stars. Not only a good read, but thought provoking. There is very little repetition of ealier material or examples.

However the quality of the paper is just a step above newsprint, the illustrations are all in B&W and the cover lamination peeling off after only 3 chapters read. Published by Wiley.

Compare this with Martin Evening's "Photoshop CS2 for Photographers" at the same price. Martin's book is in full color, coated papers and fine binding. Published by Focal Press.

Really makes you feel like you are getting ripped off by the publisher.

Alan... get a better publisher!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have for any Interaction Designer, November 24, 2009
By 
This review is from: About Face 3: The Essentials of Interaction Design (Paperback)
This book is the bible for Interaction Design, I had About Face 2.0,when this one came out I didn't think twice about buying this one.

Some key points;
- These guys do a great job of pointing out and giving suggestion for designers that are challenged with the "Why do we need an Interaction Designer" question that we are all faced with.
- Second the content is extremely through, teaching you principles of how to approach the design phase all the while keeping in mind that the end users doesn't think of software like developers do.
- This book does a great job of explaining persona's, tasks and goals, as well as where to concentrate your efforts.
- This book does an excellent job of explaining the importance of interface design.
- This book explores and critiques many common standard practices (many that should not continue to be apart of modern designs).
- This book explains modeless feedback versus modal dialogs, and when and how to use each.

This is by far the most complete book for Interaction Design that I have encountered, and I highly recommend it to anyone even contemplating becoming a designer.

What the book lacks;
- Though the book contains some images and examples, in my opinion more images and more examples would have made the book much better (also bigger, yikes!).
- The book also lacks a end to end process that is practical for most fast pace software development firms.
- The book lacks information in regards to dealing with data heavy applications (common to today's RIA's), rather it speaks to application design in real general but applicable methods.

Maybe About Face 4.0! :)
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Software Designers - Please Read this Book!, June 24, 2007
By 
This review is from: About Face 3: The Essentials of Interaction Design (Paperback)
With more and more applications moving toward the web and websites becoming exceedingly more complex than ever intended for their original design, Alan's new version of this book is well-timed. Now how do we get both web and software designers to read it?

Alan, Robert, and David walk you through the complete process of orienting your product to your customers' goals. They provides you with the tools to build a product that will delight, rather than baffle, your customers.

In this day and age of great application frameworks, it is fast and easy to get a web-based application up and running. But please don't do it, at least not until you have read this book!

I'm buying copies as early Christmas presents for all my software designer friends in hopes that I will see the end result as when I try to use some of these products.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Essential Reading for interface designers!, March 12, 2009
By 
Mark A. Talbot (Crestone, CO United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: About Face 3: The Essentials of Interaction Design (Paperback)
Wide ranging in scope, yet finely focused enough for a variety of disciplines to be able to apply this knowledge directly. Primarily directed at anyone involved in software interface design, its principles could also easily apply to other disciplines as well, such as architecture and industrial design - anyone concerned with how people use products. The only complaint - and it is minor - is that it has a slightly pedantic feel, and its concepts are so refined (e.g.: user personas) that some of the theory may not be practical but for the largest of development budgets. That said, the author(s) still offer ways to scale back on this detail. All in all, a must have on the reference shelf of every interface designer.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Get to the point already, December 27, 2012
This review is from: About Face 3: The Essentials of Interaction Design (Paperback)
This book is terrible at best. It's another example of a scholar trying to impress another scholar with verbose language, rather than concise factual explanations.

The author repeats the same information over and over without ever making a solid point. It's basically a lot of wordy definitions of industry terms, with no practical use applied, few case studies or lessons learned. This book lacks REAL WORLD FIELD EXAMPLES. Don't try to impress me with your vocabulary, use more concise language and GET TO THE POINT.

It's amazing that a book centered around "User Friendly" design can be so "Non-user Friendly".
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If you're an interface dummy like me, this is a good read., September 11, 2012
By 
Chris R. (Summerville, SC) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: About Face 3: The Essentials of Interaction Design (Paperback)
I'm a full-time software engineer/consultant who couldn't interface design his way out of the proverbial wet paper bag.

This book didn't really change that.

What it did do, however, is get me to start recognizing the things that make a bad UI/UX to the point where I could, and this is important, properly quantify what was wrong. I could explain the details I was looking at in relevant terms instead of having to rely on things like "feels wrong" or "just isn't right."

If you're a bit of an interface dummy like me... yea, pick it up and you won't be sorry.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great For A Few, OK For Some, Poor For Most, June 16, 2014
By 
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This book is like the Christian Bible - a few people will love hunkering down to read it, some people will think it's OK and most will think it's poor.

Great For A Few
The content in this book is exhaustive: ranging from the high level philosophy and motivations for creating the Goal Directed Design method, all the way down to specific examples of implementations. This makes the book perfect for two people:

1. If you want to learn everything about the Cooper design methodology and don't mind investing a lot of time reading about it.
2. Fans of the methodology who want a reference source.

OK For Some
As many others have commented, this book does come across as 'preachy' and 'a scholar trying to impress... with verbose language, rather than concise factual explanation'. Because of this, it's hard to keep focused on any solid content that is in there. The book and it's it's processes are old and mostly outdated; however, if you're a design novice or have trouble 'getting it', this book can lay down some good foundations.

Poor For Most
This book is cumbersome, hard to read and will lose all but the most dedicated readers. This is ironic since the book focuses so much on creating 'user friendly' and 'human' products. Also, the content is specific to the Cooper Design Process & philosophy and it's not a general design book. Goal Directed Design is a tool, and just like any tool, it should be used only when appropriate. Likewise, if you don't agree with the method, which many people don't, then the book will not be very helpful.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitive interaction design bible, August 3, 2013
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This review is from: About Face 3: The Essentials of Interaction Design (Paperback)
This book serves two purposes:

1. It's a great intro to interaction design and UX in general

2. It's a handy reference for when specific design questions come up and you need to remember what the best practice is for a certain type of interface element.

I'm a UX Designer with several years experience, and I still can't get enough of this book. Cooper knows his stuff (of course; he goes way back with software and he's the head of one of the big UX consultancies) and lays it out simply and logically. If you do any kind of software design, read this and remember it. If you're a designer, keep it on hand.
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About Face 3: The Essentials of Interaction Design
About Face 3: The Essentials of Interaction Design by Robert Reimann (Paperback - May 7, 2007)
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