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Designing Interfaces: Patterns for Effective Interaction Design Second Edition
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From the Publisher
|Designing Mobile Interfaces||Designing Web Interfaces||Designing Gestural Interfaces||Designing Social Interfaces||Designing Voice User Interfaces||Designing Interfaces|
|Further Related Titles||Patterns for Interaction Design||Principles and Patterns for Rich Interactions||Touchscreens and Interactive Devices||Principles, Patterns, and Practices for Improving the User Experience||The Principles of Conversational Experiences||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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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. My favorite title in her list is Don't Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, 2nd Edition.
Criticisms: The examples are old now, which will be tough for a web UI book, which it ultimately frames itself to be.
Target audience: New UI / UX designers, students, or professionals who would benefit from having a structured system to explain concepts to management.
It would get a 4 if you're in the above target audience, and that's who really should be picking it up. It would get a 2 for an experienced professional. I was hoping for something more research-based that would expand on my existing toolbox, and unfortunately this isn't the book.
So, overall it comes out with a 3 from me.
If you're going to have to work with clients on interface design, or have done so, you know that it can often turn into a holy war over where to put buttons and what colors to use. Everyone knows best in that situation, and no one knows why they do. This book presents a pattern language for describing why a button should be where it is or a color should be what it is, which allows you to use theory and logic against managers and customers who have no real idea why they like things they way that they do.
Another great thing that Jenifer does is inline references to other topics in the book and she gives the reader the chapter that those topics are on.
I highly recommend this book for anyone who is starting out in User Interface Design.
Designing Interfaces is a thorough and practical study of the most common design patterns for user interfaces. I found it informative and applicable to my vocation.