- Hardcover: 639 pages
- Publisher: Addison Wesley; 3 edition (July 15, 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0201694972
- ISBN-13: 978-0201694970
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 9.5 x 1.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 7 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,639,372 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Designing the User Interface 3rd Edition
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There is a newer edition of this item:
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From the Back Cover
In 1996, recognizing this book, ACM's Special Interest Group on Documentation (SIGDOC) presented Ben Shneiderman with the Joseph Rigo Award. SIGDOC praised the book as one "that took the jargon and mystery out of the field of human-computer interaction" and attributed the book's success to "its readability and emphasis on practice as well as research."
In revising this best-seller, Ben Shneiderman again provides a complete, current, and authoritative introduction to user-interface design. The user interface is the part of every computer system that determines how people control and operate that system. When the interface is well designed, it is comprehensible, predictable, and controllable; users feel competent, satisfied, and responsible for their actions. In this book, the author discusses the principles and practices needed to design such effective interaction.
Based on 20 years experience, Shneiderman offers readers practical techniques and guidelines for interface design. As a scientist, he also takes great care to discuss underlying issues and to support conclusions with empirical results. Interface designers, software engineers, and product managers will all find here an invaluable resource for creating systems that facilitate rapid learning and performance, yield low error rates, and generate high user satisfaction.
Coverage includes the human factors of interactive software (with added discussion of diverse user communities), tested methods to develop and assess interfaces, interaction styles (like direct manipulation for graphical user interfaces), and design considerations (effective messages, consistent screen design, appropriate color).
Highlights of the Third Edition:
- New chapters on the World Wide Web, Information Visualization, and Computer-Supported Cooperative Work
- Expanded and earlier coverage of Development Methodologies, Evaluation Techniques, and User-Interface-Building Tools
- Thought-provoking discussion of Speech Input/Output, Natural-Language Interaction, Anthropomorphic Design, Virtual Environments, and Agents
A booksite that accompanies the book with additional information and instructional suport is now available.
About the Author
About Ben Shneiderman
Ben Shneiderman is one of the world's leading authorities on User Interface Design. He is a professor of computer science at the University of Maryland, where he heads the Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory at the University's Center for Automation Research. He received his doctorate in computer science from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Dr. Shneiderman's other works include Hypertext Hands-On!, coauthored with Greg Kearsley, an innovative book-software package that introduces readers to hypertext by having them use it, and Software Psychology, a book that helped lay the foundation for work on human factors in computing. He has also published numerous articles on human-computer interaction and is on the editorial board of six scientific journals. Dr. Shneiderman regularly organizes and presents live satellite TV broadcasts on User Interface Strategies.
Top customer reviews
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At 600+ pages, it's both terse and verbose. Verbose, because of the "let me tell you what I'm going to tell you, tell you, tell you what I've told you" format favored in this kind of overview. Terse because the "tell you" part is a kind of white-washed summary; as soon as a topic is brought up, several references are trotted out, summarized in one or two lines, and then dismissed. I wanted more depth, more case studies, and a higher-level vantage point.
Despite a short tour of command lines, including natural language text commands, and a 10 page summary of speech recognition and synthesis-based interfaces, "Designing the User Interface" is almost exclusively about contemporary computer graphical user interface design. Better books on GUI design include Johnson's "GUI Bloopers" and Raskin's "The Humane Interface".
Instead of being a book about MFC, or a book about programming a specific platform, this book concentrates on the important philosophies and principals behind programming an efficient and well formed user interface.
A book about programming MFC, X-windows is like a book about chess pieces legal moves. This book is just like a book of how to play chess, not the chess tools themselves.
This book ranks among the worst books I've ever come across for any purpose.
While the book itself is a beautiful production, no doubt the publisher/editor put significant work into preparing the book, the main purpose, transmitting information on designing user interfaces to the reader, falls flat. It gets two stars for the work the publisher put into it.
The author apparently didn't pick up that a book is a user interface too.
Is it a reference book? Well, when I try to use it this way, I must search for up to 15 or twenty minutes, either to find many references to the topic, or in order to realize the topic isn't covered. So I grade it poor for reference. Also, most topics are so scattered, you would have to read the book through several times to gain the information required, but the book is so unreadable, that you'll never get to this point.
Is it a literature review? One could easily confuse the book for this as there are hundreds of references to various papers and publications all through the book. Several chapters are written in such a style that it goes from a paragraph from one paper, into a paragraph from another and so on (check out p. 128 for example, or p. 389, or randomly open to nearly any page). By reading any chapter completely you are left with a melange of disparate and unconnected thoughts about many different aspects of user interfaces, most that have nothing much to do with design or with one another. Here the author must be trying to soothe his own insecurity that he has enough knowledge to write a book about UI. Unfortunately, while I believe the author has ample knowledge, he lacks ability in conveying information to a reader.
Is it a text book? Only if the goal is to steer the reader away with the belief that designing user interfaces is too difficult for anyone except the author, who you should hire for consulting, or for others who have read through hundreds of papers. It's not even good to go to sleep by, because you just get upset reading it due to the poor and illogical layout.
Is it a book to introduce you to design tools? No! There is a chapter titled, "Software Tools" but it tries to cover everything briefly, but ends up covering nothing in enough detail to allow you to make a decision on which tool would fill your needs.
The book just disgusts me. It is hard to read even two or three pages in a row because the author's writing style is so cryptic. Yet in other places it just plain wastes your time, for instance in describing what a menu is for ... from p. 237, "The primary goal for menu, form-fillin, and dialog-box designers is to create sensible, comprehensible, memorable, and convenient organization relevant to the user's tasks." WELL DUH!
That bit of the text is indicative of the whole book, only it's probably a little easier to read than most sentences. Here is another snippet from p. 389, Ch. 11 Presentation Styles: "In a study of 12 telephone operators, Springer (1987) found that supressing the presentation of redundant family names in a directory-assistance listing reduced target-location time by 0.8 seconds."
Hey, I'd like to believe the author isn't stupid, but the whole chapter is filled with jibberish like that, and it doesn't have much to do with presenation style. The whole book is just like that. It's worthless.
I realize every time I pick up this book, I'm about to waste my time, but I hope I haven't wasted your time with this review.
And then there is the verbosity. Apparently, Mr Shneiderman likes to list items and give examples. And he likes it a lot. If you make the terrible mistake of reading this book you will navigate through never-ending paragraphs that make circles and circles around the same idea, giving pointless examples of an anyways pretty obvious concept.
This book is really bad. It looks like the author just copy-pasted the contents of his course slides and inserted some pretty pictures in the middle. Don't waste your money and/or your time with this one.