Tog on Interface 1st Edition

8 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0201608427
ISBN-10: 0201608421
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"Tog on Interface is a report from the front lines of interface design, full of anecdotes and useful tips. I recommend it for anybody who cares about personal computing."
- Stewart Alsop, Editor-in-Chief, InfoWorld

"If you work with graphical user interfaces, no matter what form or religion, you had better read this book."
- Don Norman, author of The Design of Everyday Things and Turn Signals Are the Facial Expressions of Automobiles

"Tog's book is a must-read. It's chock-full of intuitive insights and practical technical examples. My favorite story is why people walk into their furniture after going on camping trips. You'll have to read the book to find out the reason!"
- Roger von Oech, Author of A Whack on the Side of the Head and developer of "The Creative Whack Pack"

From one of the foremost authorities on the design of user interfaces, this unique collection of ideas and opinions, while focusing on the Macintosh, neatly captures the underlying principles of all graphical user interfaces. Using ideas from such diverse sources as Information Theory, Carl Jung, and even professional beekeeping, the book provides a framework for achieving a deep understanding of user interface design.

With humor and thought-provoking insights, Bruce Tognazzini explores the central issues of human-computer interaction, including the challenges presented by multimedia applications, agents, virtual reality, and future technologies. Drawn from his long experience of working with developers, the book provides practical guidelines for developing successful applications that users will find simple, clear, and consistent.

Tog on Interface is fascinating reading for all those concerned with the relationship between people and computers.


About the Author

Bruce Tognazzini has been an articulate visionary, outspoken user advocate,and popular keynote speaker from the beginning of the personal computerrevolution. He worked at Apple from 1978 to 1992, during which time he played amajor role in Macintosh interface design. Now he is a Distinguished Engineer inthe Office of Strategic Technology at Sun Microsystems. He is the author ofTog on Interface, also published by Addison-Wesley.

Bruce Tognazzini, Apple employee #66, has been designing human-machine interfaces for better than 30 years. He developed the first version of the Apple Human Interface Guidelines in 1978.



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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 1 edition (February 3, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0201608421
  • ISBN-13: 978-0201608427
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,184,677 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 23, 1997
Format: Paperback
This is mostly a collection of Tognazzini's engagingly-written Macintosh software developer newsletter columns. Tog draws from greatly varying sources -- among them information theory, Jungian psychology, and Apple's extensive user testing -- and presents a deep, broad view of interface design as an unending process. The book is as Mac-centric as Alan Cooper's "About Face" is Windows-centric, but like Cooper, Tog isn't beyond criticizing his native OS.

Tog focuses on ways of thinking about human-computer interaction, using particular examples only to illustrate principles -- not outright dictating what an interface should look like. A few of his examples from the Mac OS are a little outdated (some of his columns were written before System 7), but those details are instructive in themselves when you examine their contrast to the current Mac OS in light of his principles, which are rock solid.

Tog and Cooper should be on every interface designer's shelf -- not one or the other, but BOTH.
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29 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Bob Carpenter on February 28, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Diving into "Tog on Interface", a collection of Apple Macintosh developer newsletter column reprints, provides the same guilty pleasure as finding a stack of fifty year old technical magazines. Clearly, there was an audience somewhere, and a dialogue going on, and interesting topics being discussed. But, oh it seems so long ago and what are all those strange mechanical devices they're referring to? On closer study, the second analogy that comes to mind is the Europe-in-7-days package; Tognazzini touches on almost every conceivable topic, if only to drop a reference here or tie in a point there. The comments are usually on target, but left me seeking answers that were deeper and less flippant. This book is riddled with the author's humor and point of view; if you find attempted cuteness or a stream of in-jokes annoying, steer clear.
I bought this book after devouring Tognazzini's well regarded web interface design site, which left me wanting more. I didn't get it in this book, but did find what I was looking for in other books on the topic of interface design: Jeff Johnson's "GUI Bloopers", which is organized like Tog's web site, Alan Cooper's Windows-centric rant "About Face" and Jef Raskin's Mac and Canon Cat dominated "The Humane Interface".
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Coakley on May 5, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a big fan of AskTog, so I bought this book. Some of the information is a bit dated (and relates specifically to the old Macintosh), but much of it is sound design principles expressed informally (and in a readable way).
The presentation of the material is great. Even flipping quickly through the pages should turn up useful nuggets. If you have an interest in design evolution, this is a good read. If you want some good design principles easily explained, this is a good read. Many of his stories are condensed down into bolded, bulleted "rules" of design.
The one thing I didn't like about the book: Tog lives in a sheltered reality. If research shows something he disagrees with, he calls it bad research. If research supports his ideas, it is quickly pointed out as solid evidence. It is very important to read anything by Tog with a critical (but open) mind. Not all of his ideas have stood the test of time.
All things considered, this book is worth reading for developers and designers of any Visual Interface (Tog explains his distaste for the term "Graphical User Interface").
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By R. Bush on September 6, 2006
Format: Paperback
Want to write a brilliant applicatioin? Then think and process information the way your user will think and process, and design your application for them, not you! Easy concept to say and comprehend, but rather hard to actually do. Tog, through examples and descriptions, tells us how people think and process information. The not-so-surprising thing is that most code slingers think in conceptual ways that are not so common. Go figure. Tog really does help you understand how most others will process, and that understanding makes you a better developer.

My company makes these chapters on processing information a required reading for all new developers that join the company. It is that good. The Intuition quiz, the one that tries to help you see how your own brain stores and retrieves information, is an addiction for every new reader. Of course, one of the coded sayings "9 P in the SS" is dated. Today it should be written "8 P in the SS". Tomorrow it may change again.
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