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Designing Interfaces Paperback – January 9, 2011

ISBN-13: 978-1449379704 ISBN-10: 1449379702 Edition: Second Edition
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Editorial Reviews

Book Description

Patterns for Effective Interaction Design

About the Author

Jenifer Tidwell has been designing and building user interfaces for industry for more than a decade. She has been researching user interface patterns since 1997, and designing and building complex applications and web interfaces since 1991.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 578 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; Second Edition edition (January 9, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1449379702
  • ISBN-13: 978-1449379704
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,825 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Clint Pachl on March 20, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
WHAT THIS BOOK *IS*:

This book is a complete overview of about 100 UI patterns. Each pattern is given 2-5 pages where the "What", "Use When", "Why", "How", and "Examples" are discussed and illustrated. The presentation is very elementary. For example, if you know when and why to use pagination, alphabet scrollers, toolbars, date pickers, progress indicators, local zooming, multi-selection trees, or sharing widgets (a new pattern in 2ndEd), you probably won't find much value in this book.

The physical quality of the book is excellent. You will most likely be disappointed if viewing this title on a B&W Kindle. Literally, half the book is loaded with full-color, real-life examples of every pattern. The paper pages are thick and heavy.

WHAT THIS BOOK *IS NOT*:

This book will not provide implementation details or overall design concepts (i.e. effectively combining patterns to achieve some targeted overall user experience).

I primarily purchased this book for Chapter 8, "Getting Input from Users: Forms and Controls." I'm currently in the process of redesigning our shopping cart and checkout forms and thought this book may provide some value in my research. As a web developer (front-end & back-end), I was disappointed. I found much more useful information on modern, standards compliance, UI design blogs.

WHY 4 STARS?

I believe the author accomplishes her goal of documenting, with several examples, every conceivable UI pattern in use today, thus the 4 stars. The book is great for the right audience. However, and I quote the author from her own References section, "If you're looking for more depth than this book can provide, the following list can offer some good starting points." She then lists 24 titles, several of which I own.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Adore Yourself on January 6, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was a required text in one of my classes in an M.S. Program in Instructional Design and Technology at CA State University. It ended up being so good that I intend to keep it as a reference book for website design. I learned how to build websites on the lamb, so to speak, learning what I needed when it was needed, so to see how it is supposed to be done was eye-opening! And after reading this book, I notice all sorts of design components on the Web now that I never noticed before. And I am much clearer on what a good and bad design is now too. This book is VERY clear, which is necessary for this topic. It has screen shots which really help with the learning. It is really more of an interface design reference manual. If you are a web designer who taught yourself but feel like you are missing some crucial things, this book fills in the gaps. I loved this book's clarity and organization and I feel it is a good guide for sane design practices and is worthy of keeping on hand as a reference book. I highly recommend this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Doron Katz on January 23, 2011
Format: Paperback
Jennifer Tidwell presents an essential guide to how to plan the User Interface of your project, whether it be for a website or mobile. Presented in a consistent sequence, the book adds a great wealth of knowledge to the why and what sort of layouts to design, and for someone like me who is a keen mobile developer, being able to supplement Apple's Human Interface Guide with the reasoning is gold. The author identifies the patterns and best practices, an evolution of common problems into a complete useable framework.

The transference of patterns of interaction that are most common in the usability engineer's toolkit is composed into the entire UI canvas, decomposed into visual components, along with the actions that support it, to allow a developer to break down the interface problem into a cookbook for various customisations.
For example, the author first identifies the patterns based on human behaviour, followed by organisation of the content and information based on whether the requirement is a single task/thing, list of things and whether it is a time-sensitive problem (such as news streams). She then further breaks down the patterns according to What, Use When, Why, How along with Examples.

The book even presents Use Cases throughout some of its patterns, and the book is very thorough, detailed and lengthy but it allows you to refer to certain elements you are working on, from the general layout to specific positioning of buttons and input fields, progress indications and so forth.
I normally do not go for UI books, I find them quite inessential but after looking at the benefits of having a UI that is easy to use and matches the intuition of the users (rather than myself), this book is what will be the difference between a good app and a great application. In a competitive app selling environment, reducing negative feedback is based on how well you respond to your customers and this book will get you there.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rob Wehrli on September 27, 2011
Format: Paperback
When I first saw this title, I was thinking programmatic interfaces and not user interfaces. As I browsed through the pages of this book, I was pleasantly surprised that it presented me with a lot of ideas for presenting data besides the various bar, line, pie and scatter charts/plots that accompany a popular spreadsheet application.

One of the most useful features is a summary of controls and their pros and cons for using them in your own UIs. Having this for a new UI designer or as a constant reminder for veterans easily simplifies the task of selecting the right data presentation and selection model for your specific needs based on the merits of the control versus simply the available space or aesthetics.

I like the book, the logical organization of content and the writer's depth of experience in designing UIs, both in conventional applications and web-based presentations. Something that you don't get from this kind of review is the depth of content in such well-written and concise sentence structures that strip away the fluff (often over-used in the UI design world) and delivers the meaningful package of data that a practiced, mentally-organized and prepared author delivers where others often fail. This is an artful blending of the medium and the information without simply promoting the salacious simply because it is so compelling.
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