- Paperback: 200 pages
- Publisher: Morgan Kaufmann; 1 edition (June 3, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 012375030X
- ISBN-13: 978-0123750303
- Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 0.5 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 93 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #683,056 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Designing with the Mind in Mind: Simple Guide to Understanding User Interface Design Rules 1st Edition
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"Take fundamental principles of psychology. Illustrate. Combine with Fundamental Principles of Design. Stir gently until fully blended. Read daily until finished. Caution: The mixture is addictive"--Don Norman, Nielsen Norman group, Author of Design of Future Things.
"This book is a primer to understand the why of the larger human action principles at work―a sort of cognitive science for designers in a hurry. Above all, this is a book of profound insight into the human mind for practical people who want to get something done."-- Stuart Card, Senior Research Fellow and the manager of the User Interface Research group at the Palo Alto Research Centerfrom the foreword
"If you want to know why design rules work, Jeff Johnson provides fresh insight into the psychological rationale for user-interface design rules that pervade discussions in the world of software product and service development."--Aaron Marcus, President, Aaron Marcus and Associates, Inc.
"As anyone who has taken a course in human-computer interaction (HCI) will attest, cognitive science textbooks tend towards the drier end of the literary spectrum. The achievement of this book in making the material easily accessible is therefore nothing short of magnificent. It discusses the relevant scientific findings without any lack of scholarship, but always with an eye to how those findings can be put to practical use."--BCS, British Computer Society Online, November 2010
"Rather than simply presenting another list of rules, it discusses the cognitive psychology research findings which underpin the principles identified previously by the author and others. In other words, this is a book about people, and what we know about them as users of interactive systems."--BCS, The British Computer Society Online
"Anyone who designs or implements software user interfaces will benefit greatly from this book. Whether you create desktop software, websites, or mobile apps, this book will improve the quality of your work. Johnson makes the psychology and physiology understandable and seamlessly combines it with software engineering… Designing with the Mind in Mind is informative, fascinating, easy to read, and, most importantly, highly practical."-- ACM SIGSOFT Software Engineering
From the Back Cover
Early user interface (UI) practitioners were trained in cognitive psychology, from which UI design rules were based. But as the field evolves, designers enter the field from many disciplines. Practitioners today have enough experience in UI design that they have been exposed to design rules, but it is essential that they understand the psychology behind the rules in order to effectively apply them. In Designing with the Mind in Mind, Jeff Johnson, author of the best selling GUI Bloopers, provides designers with just enough background in perceptual and cognitive psychology that UI design guidelines make intuitive sense rather than being just a list of rules to follow.
Top customer reviews
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There is continual reference to evolution as being the explanation as to why the brain is the way it is. A theory that can be made to explain everything does not explain anything, and I found its inclusion to be distracting.
Later in the book the author has a chapter on automatic (well-learned) and controlled tasks. The first we can do without thinking, like riding a bike. There are also mixtures of the two. He lumps problem solving and calculation in the same category. They both require the same limited mental resources. The author makes the point that a user interface should not make us "solve problems". Examples include figuring out where we are in some process, or what we need to do next. I found this all to be very well done.
A later chapter addresses the problem of designing a system so that the user can efficiently go from problem solving to automatic use mode. It is based on the idea of a task: we learn best when the experience is task based. To do this we begin with task analysis. Part of this analysis seems quite similar to the application of use-cases and domain analysis in object-oriented design, and a reference could be useful.
At the end of the book the author discusses the importance of responsiveness, and relates it to certain constants associated with mental activity, which I found quite interesting.
As a stylistic note, the author switches back and forth between four different schemes for personal pronoun gender issues. This would seem to violate his own call for interface consistency.
In general, I found it to be a very nice book and would recommend it to someone wanting a nice overview of computer systems user interface issues.
Designing Web Interfaces: Principles and Patterns for Rich Interactions by Bill Scott and Theresa Neil, although that book has a few things that are helpful.
You should also check out his new book. You can buy a PDF from the publisher's website (Morgan & Claypool), or the physical book here: http://www.amazon.com/Conceptual-Models-Synthesis-Human-Centered-Informatics/dp/1608457494/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1364056528&sr=1-1-catcorr&keywords=conceptual+model+jeff+johnson
Designing with the Mind in Mind is a tidy little tome that is quite easy to read. Illustrations abound - hardly a page goes by without one. Most are in color.
Jeff simplifies the cognitive and perceptual science behind what we see and how our brain interprets the incoming flow of information. Topics include:
- Use of visual structure
- Color vision
- Attention span
- Recognition and recall
- Problem solving and calculation
His introduction and appendix cite UI research and guidelines from 1976 through 2007 and stresses the similarities of the major points in each.
The book is explicitly targeted at us: s/w professionals who apply UI and IxD guidelines. A secondary audience is s/w development managers who need to understand the psychological basis of UI design so they can better understand and evaluate the work of those they manage.
I learned some interesting tidbits about how our eyes see and our minds work. His chart of time constants ranging from a millisecond to 100 seconds is worth pasting next to your workstation.
As the science of cognition continues to expand its understanding, Jeff's book represents a compact, up-to-date overview of how the cognitive sciences play a role in the designs we create.
Many experienced UX practitioners will know from experience that users won't see that big promo on your home page, that users often do silly things such as reentering identical search terms, that users don't read and that users often don't notice small changes in state on a page when not expecting them. But I suspect many UX practitioners don't really understand WHY users do what they do. This book presents the complex topic of cognitive psychology and provides insights into the human mind without boring or confusing the reader.
Jeff also clearly communicates the design implications and provides several positive and negative web examples. I believe this is a must read for anyone who is involved in the design of computer interfaces.
Most recent customer reviews
Very professional book.