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The Essential Guide to User Interface Design: An Introduction to GUI Design Principles and Techniques 3rd Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0470053423
ISBN-10: 0470053429
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

An effective software interface can improve user productivity and satisfaction and reduce errors. But designing effective UIs demands unflinching attention to detail--plus the willingness to apply techniques that may at times contradict your common sense and intuition. The Essential Guide to User Interface Design offers page after page of detailed prescriptions for designing interfaces that work. Goldsmith's scope is comprehensive: He lays out a 12-step approach to UI design that covers everything from how to organize dialog boxes in ways that exploit users' natural patterns of eye movement, to choosing colors effectively, to picking precisely the right words for error messages. The guide is an invaluable resource for anyone who wants to build software that really works. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher

Written for system designers and programmers who need to create user-friendly GUIs, this book gives a thorough introduction to graphic interface design. With concise language and detailed illustrations, the book takes readers step by step through the process of GUI design, showing the do's and don'ts with examples of good and bad interface design. Not only does it cover technical information, it also explains important principles of human interaction with screens, to insure the most user-friendly design possible. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 888 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 3 edition (April 16, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470053429
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470053423
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1.9 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #935,206 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For a book that claims to be the definitive guide, its content is very old. The dialogs look like they are from the early 90s. And, so are the standards cited. The Microsoft guidelines from 1995 are cited as a current reference. I supposed someone could try to claim that the lessons presented are 'timeless', but to me, that is ridiculous. User interfaces are not timeless.

The larger problem I have is the redundancy. The same information is presented over, and over, and over. Eliminate the redundancy, and the book would be 1/2 of its size.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"The Essential Guide to User Interface Design" is a huge, massive book that delves very quickly into the dirty details of UI and GUI design. The author, Galitz, has been in the trenches since the earliest computers that actually did interface to humans (predating the PC). He is indisputably an expert and authoritative source for what works, and doesn't, when it comes to UI/GUI design.

The first of two substantial criticisms I have of this book is ironically one of its (and the author's) strengths - it is authoritative because Galitz has been at the forefront of UI research since the beginning, but he puts too much of that historical information into this book. As historical context it has some value, but too much of it leaves one with the feeling that the book is somewhat dated. Editing out the excess detail about text-based CRT displays might leave it feeling more current (the current GUI information is there, but is diluted too much by the historic information).

My second criticism is that the book could also use substantial editing to reduce its bulk, without eliminating any valuable information (of which there is a great deal); there is a lot of redundancy. Some is fine for reinforcing the author's points, but this book has too much - I have frequently read through a bulleted list of design points (presented first), only to then read exactly the same information in a slightly expanded form over many more pages. This is specifically true in what might be considered the heart of this book - the fourth chapter of Part 2; Step 3: Principles of Good Interface and Screen Design. It covers in detail part three of the author's fourteen-step procedure for UI design. This chapter alone is about 180 pages long!
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Format: Paperback
Mr. Galitz's reasons for using design standards and the detailed consequences of poor design are backed up by reasearch. He gives specific recommendations for standards such as typefaces, point size, label and caption styles, etc. He explains and uses a good shorthand throughout the book for items as "signal" versus "noise." This is handy to quickly distinguish between things that are good/favorable/communicative/useful compared to things that are interfering/obstructive/not useful. This is an excellent book for anyone wanting to understand the "why" of good screen design and then learn the "what."
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Format: Paperback
The fantastic value of this man is that he has a psychology background and worked with top military organizations at the forefront of UI Design now. I was so fortunate to be taught by this man back in 1995 at the University of Melbourne. I still use this book for general reference and guidelines and rules for UI design. Yes it looks dated but the information is invaluable. Who cares how long or how much information there is... I highlight and tag the pages I find useful and use it!
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Format: Paperback
As a practising information designer I found this to be an excellent source of information, especially for students. This book takes people back to basics, something that a lot of modern IT "professionals" overlook.
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By SF on February 10, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a course requirement. It deals mostly with the theoretical aspects of user interface design. The shipping of this book was fast and the book quality was just as described.
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