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GUI Bloopers 2.0, Second Edition: Common User Interface Design Don'ts and Dos (Interactive Technologies) [Paperback]

by Jeff Johnson
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Book Description

September 10, 2007 0123706432 978-0123706430 2
Is your application or Web site ready for prime time?

A major revision of a classic reference, GUI Bloopers 2.0 looks at user interface design bloopers from commercial software, Web sites, Web applications, and information appliances, explaining how intelligent, well-intentioned professionals make these mistakes--and how you can avoid them. While equipping you with the minimum of theory, GUI expert Jeff Johnson presents the reality of interface design in an entertaining, anecdotal, and instructive way.

* Updated to reflect the bloopers that are common today, incorporating many comments and suggestions from first edition readers.

* Takes a learn-by-example approach that teaches how to avoid common errors.

* Covers bloopers in a wide range of categories: GUI controls, graphic design and layout, text messages, interaction strategies, Web site design -- including search, link, and navigation, responsiveness issues, and management decision-making.

* Organized and formatted so information needed is quickly found, the new edition features call-outs for the examples and informative captions to enhance quick knowledge building.

* Hundreds of illustrations: both the DOs and the DON'Ts for each topic covered, with checklists and additional bloopers on

Frequently Bought Together

GUI Bloopers 2.0, Second Edition: Common User Interface Design Don'ts and Dos (Interactive Technologies) + Designing with the Mind in Mind: Simple Guide to Understanding User Interface Design Rules + Designing Interfaces
Price for all three: $101.95

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Editorial Reviews


"GUI Bloopers 2.0 is an extremely useful book for any software developer or interaction designer. If you have never made any of these mistakes, it's because you have never designed a UI. If anything, these bloopers are even more common now than when version 1.0 was published, so the need for the book has only increased." --Jakob Nielsen, Principal Nielsen Norman Group (

"This is the most entertaining design book I've read. Jeff Johnson has once again done a fabulous job of reminding us about all the silly design mistakes we can make and giving us great advice on how to avoid them in our own designs." --Jared M. Spool, Founding Principal, User Interface Engineering

"The second edition of GUI Bloopers is that true rarity: a sequel to something great that's even better than the original. (Think Godfather II.) While Jeff could have settled for just updating the examples, as near as I can tell he's rewritten nearly the entire book, and it shows. The organization is terrific, the insights are easier to grasp, and above all, the writing is leaner. If you ever picked it up in the past and ended up not plunking down your money, definitely take another look. It's gone from a great book to an excellent one." --Steve Krug, Advanced Common Sense

About the Author

Jeff Johnson is president and principal consultant at UI Wizards, Inc., a product usability consulting firm (www.uiwizards.). He has worked in the field of Human-Computer Interaction since 1978, as a software designer and implementer, usability tester, manager, researcher at several computer and telecommunications companies, and as a consultant. In the course of his career, he has written many articles, cowritten several books, and given numerous presentations on a variety of topics in Human-Computer Interaction.

Product Details

  • Series: Interactive Technologies
  • Paperback: 424 pages
  • Publisher: Morgan Kaufmann; 2 edition (September 10, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0123706432
  • ISBN-13: 978-0123706430
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #346,406 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jeff Johnson is President and Principal Consultant at UI Wizards, Inc., a product usability consulting firm that offers UI design, usability reviews, usability testing, and training ( He has worked in the field of Human-Computer Interaction since 1978. After earning B.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Yale and Stanford Universities, he worked as a user-interface designer and implementer, engineer manager, usability tester, and researcher at Cromemco, Xerox, US West, Hewlett-Packard Labs, and Sun Microsystems. At Xerox he worked on successors to Xerox's famed Star workstation. At Sun he worked for the "skunkworks" that produced Java. Jeff has taught at Stanford University and Mills College. In 2006, he was an Erskine Teaching Fellow at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch New Zealand. He has published numerous articles and book chapters on a variety of topics in Human-Computer Interaction and the impact of technology on society (see He frequently gives talks and tutorials at conferences and companies on usability and user-interface design. He is the author of GUI Bloopers: Don'ts and Dos for Software Developers and Web Designers (2000), Web Bloopers: 60 Common Design Mistakes and How to Avoid Them (2003), GUI Bloopers 2.0: Common User Interface Design Don'ts and Dos (2007), Designing with the Mind in Mind (2010), and Conceptual Models: Core to Good Design (2011, co-authored with D. Austin Henderson).

He is married to Karen Ande, a documentary photographer who works for relief organizations in Africa that support children orphaned by HIV/AIDS, and who is also the author of a book (see

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars GUI Bloopers 2.0 earns my "two thumbs up". It September 10, 2007
Once upon a time, graphical user interfaces (GUI) were found only in operating systems for PCs. Today, we are confronted with a GUI when we use self-service checkout counters, when we pay bills online, and when we use our mobile phones, to name a few examples. Whether we can complete our transactions or accomplish our tasks depends on having a GUI that is easy to use and easy to understand. No doubt you have seen people confused with the touch-screen menu at the self-service checkout counter, or abandon their online shopping cart because the form is confusing. You may well have chosen a competitor's brand of income tax preparation software because it is easier to use. Frustrated users mean lost income and products that fail in the market place. When GUI's fail, that's when companies call a user interface designer like Jeff Johnson to change poor design into great design.

The first edition of GUI Bloopers heralded Johnson's first work as a book author. GUI Bloopers was intended for software developers who often work double as user interface designers, development managers, and new user interface designers. But GUI Bloopers also gained popularity among teachers and technical writers who wanted to understand the rules of good user interface design. Readers' feedback, new software products and Web applications on the market inspired Johnson to write an updated version--GUI Bloopers 2.0.

GUI Bloopers 2.0 describes common user-interface mistakes found in today's software products and services, and provides design rules and guidelines to avoid them. Johnson describes the design decisions that lead to misuse of controls, poor navigation, prose-riddled labels, bad design and layout, faulty interaction, and poor responsiveness. GUI Bloopers 2.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars so you thought you knew about User Iterface design? November 28, 2007
I thought I understood ease of use on the web, until I read this book! Jeff Johnson REALLY understands UI design--there are pages and pages of pearls in this book, useful tidbits that continually had me saying "why didn't I think of that?!", and demonstrating the value of his significant experience in this area.

Also, as a manager, I learned a lot about the different collaborative roles that must come together (graphics vs. developer vs UI, etc.), and how managers can sabotage their important web project by ignoring or postponing UI design until it's too late. For managers, this section of the book alone is worth the price.

Highly recommended.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Guilty of some bloopers itself June 17, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm surprised this book gets such good reviews. A lot of it is taken up with not particularly exciting bloopers such as using checkboxes instead of radio buttons etc. It's also written in a boring style, listing off blooper after blooper. A much better read in the same genre is something like "Why Software Sucks" by David Platt where at least some of the authors passion comes through.

However the most frustrating thing for me is that the Kindle edition of this book is full of bloopers itself. It seems that some OCR program has been used to convert the captions on the screenshots and figures to text. They are full of sometimes hilarious but mostly just annoying misspellings and errors. The figures also don't line up well with the text, meaning that you end up navigating forwards and backwards through the pages to see them.

It's not really acceptable when the Kindle edition costs so much. It's quite ironic that a book about GUI bloopers would make such an error.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Informational January 27, 2008
I'm only about half way through the book, but so far i'm pretty happy with this book. I'm a UI designer, and I began to get worried that this book was aimed more at developers and programers, thus not being much use for me. As I read on i realised that it is very well rounded for all involved in the process from begining to end, and provides a very good base of information on the priciples of designing for the user. the introduction actually recommends different chapters for differnet people (UI designer, developer, etc), making it a great tool without having to read the entire book if you don't want to. It also seems to up to date as of the end of 2007.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is aimed at programmers and software developers who might not have much if any formal training in UI design and interaction design.

Each chapter is named after a class of common errors (e.g. 'Navigation Bloopers', 'Taking control away from users', etc.) and gives many examples of the error, and shows how to fix the errors.

The book seems to focus about equally on desktop application UI and web UI, so both types of developers will find it handy.

Note that there's probably not much new here if you're already an experienced UI/interaction designer or usability expert.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written compilation of common GUI errors March 30, 2009
This is a very well written and very readable book, but readers should not expect to learn as much as from a typical good book of 407 pages because most of bloopers described in the book can be avoided just by common sense. I suspect any experienced software developer with some experience of interaction with customers would be able avoid the vast majority of the bloopers especially those illogical ones. However this book still has great value because it enhances common sense and systematically organizes bloopers into categories: GUI control, navigation, textual, layout, interaction and responsiveness. It also talks about how to manage bloopers.

GUI is a very difficult topic to write about because it involves both art and science. The science part is psychology or cognitive science. GUI evolves constantly. One can list all the principles in a few sentences (e.g. logical, intuitive, simple, visually appealing, etc.), but one can compile much more bloopers than this book contains. I think this book has about the right balance. All application developers can benefit from reading this book or some literature like this. However such book does not have much reference value for sitting on a bookshelf, so get the book, read it and pass it to a friend.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice new look the the older version
I love GUI Bloopers 1 and find the second edition a great revision of everything from the old book with a flavour of new things that are coming our way
Published 6 months ago by Ivan Karačić
5.0 out of 5 stars YOUR product has these bloopers, a must-read !
This book is as concise as it can be, given the great list of bloopers. This dimension was needed, I made some changes in my hot new product, by seeing the pattern-match between... Read more
Published on April 27, 2011 by Hibernating Hummingbird
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding
GUI Bloopers is lucid and compelling, and fun to read. It's one of the best books on UI design that I have encountered.
Published on August 31, 2009 by Benjamin Glick
4.0 out of 5 stars Always good to Keep good principles in mind.
I've been developing software for about 12 years and I think is good to have GUI principles reviewed every couple of years. Read more
Published on December 16, 2008 by Fernando J. Guzman
5.0 out of 5 stars Revalues the importance and complexity of GUI design
The introduction of programming tools such as VisualBasic probably contributed to the misperception that designing a form was something easy to achieve. Read more
Published on November 7, 2008 by Edelmiro Fuentes
5.0 out of 5 stars Best GUI book, evah.
Having studied Human Computer Interaction and Psychology in school and developing websites for almost 10 years I still feel like I learn something new every time I peruse this... Read more
Published on September 16, 2008 by S. Quinn
5.0 out of 5 stars A worthwhile and useful read
This book is aimed at both desktop application GUI developers and website developers. It shows real world examples of bad practice and for each one shows how to do things better. Read more
Published on February 10, 2008 by M. N. Summerfield
5.0 out of 5 stars Uncompromising and unforgiving
This guy does not care very much about hard it is to accomplish any particular GUI design. A GUI blooper in his mind is a GUI blooper and you better do something about it if you... Read more
Published on November 24, 2007 by Frank Paris
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