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Designing Interfaces [Paperback]

by Jenifer Tidwell
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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Book Description

January 9, 2011 1449379702 978-1449379704 Second Edition

Despite all of the UI toolkits available today, it's still not easy to design good application interfaces. This bestselling book is one of the few reliable sources to help you navigate through the maze of design options. By capturing UI best practices and reusable ideas as design patterns, Designing Interfaces provides solutions to common design problems that you can tailor to the situation at hand.

This updated edition includes patterns for mobile apps and social media, as well as web applications and desktop software. Each pattern contains full-color examples and practical design advice that you can use immediately. Experienced designers can use this guide as a sourcebook of ideas; novices will find a roadmap to the world of interface and interaction design.

  • Design engaging and usable interfaces with more confidence and less guesswork
  • Learn design concepts that are often misunderstood, such as affordances, visual hierarchy, navigational distance, and the use of color
  • Get recommendations for specific UI patterns, including alternatives and warnings on when not to use them
  • Mix and recombine UI ideas as you see fit
  • Polish the look and feel of your interfaces with graphic design principles and patterns

"Anyone who's serious about designing interfaces should have this book on their shelf for reference. It's the most comprehensive cross-platform examination of common interface patterns anywhere." --Dan Saffer, author of Designing Gestural Interfaces (O'Reilly) and Designing for Interaction (New Riders)


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Designing Interfaces + Designing with the Mind in Mind: Simple Guide to Understanding User Interface Design Rules + Don't Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, 2nd 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.


Product Details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; Second Edition edition (January 9, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1449379702
  • ISBN-13: 978-1449379704
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 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: #54,475 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not for Implementors & Developers (2nd Ed.) 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The quint-essential UI Guide 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
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book on (user) interface design... 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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3.0 out of 5 stars A good beginners introduction March 27, 2014
By Ali
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If you are just getting started with UX or HCI this is a good book to start with. It can be especially useful if you are coming from a CS background and would like to see a lot of explicit examples of every basic pattern.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Book for Patterns in Design
Good, but it's hard to keep up to date with changing trends. The patterns are good for general design techniques. Focus is on web based technologies. Recommended from a professor.
Published 5 months ago by Richard
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Designer Resource
Detailed, articulate and full of stellar examples. This book should be on every designer's bookshelf. Very good value. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Mr. Word Sponge
5.0 out of 5 stars A great walthrough of design patterns
The author does a very good job to describe various design patterns, both for websites and desktop application. There is even a chapter dedicated to mobile app design. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Johan Nilsson
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Text On Interface Basics
Very good, if web design is what you're after... doesn't provide a great treatment of interfaces for non-web-based applications, though. Still, not bad.
Published 7 months ago by Frank Costanzo
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is just what I need for Class
This is my first week in class however I expect this book will meet my expectations based on the syllabus.
I would recommend this book to other classmates,
Published 7 months ago by Kaci
5.0 out of 5 stars Not "Just" Patterns
This book is an invaluable resource. Before the pattern examples, there are not only descriptions, but best practices. It isn't limited to one application. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Paula Abilheira
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Structure
A great aspect of this book that I really enjoyed was that Jenifer taked the time to organize the structure of each chapter perfectly. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Jason Frade
5.0 out of 5 stars Second Read
Just finished my second trip through this book, though this is my first read of the second edition.
Designing Interfaces is a thorough and practical study of the most common... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Jurgen Mantzke
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative
Not the end-all, but a good reference for those who work with UI's. Great examples and explanation, plus pictures. Still applies in my opinion.
Published 13 months ago by electricstarfish
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful UX Book
If you're interested in UX at all, this is a great book to have. It's wonderful in two senses: You can read all of it briefly in a couple of hours to get the lay of the land, and... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Alex
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