- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: Prentice Hall; 1 edition (December 5, 1994)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0133033899
- ISBN-13: 978-0133033892
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.6 x 9.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 31 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #450,776 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Designing Visual Interfaces: Communication Oriented Techniques 1st Edition
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An excellent introduction to the design theories involved in the creation of user interfaces. Instead of the usual examples and pictures of computer screens and application menus, Mullet approaches the concept of UI from its "outside world" roots. With examples ranging from street signs to corporate logos to the map of the London Underground, each section attacks the issues of interface design from the ground up, appealing first to the eye and then to the mind. Task menus are compared with concert programs and street signs are equated with icons.
This is not a technical book, so advanced developers might want to supplement it with a platform-specific how-to. For aesthetic advice and sheer enjoyment, anyone involved with or interested in interface design should pick it up.
From the Publisher
Ironically, many designers of graphical user interfaces are not always aware of the fundamental techniques that are applied to communication-oriented visual design -- techniques that can be used to enhance the visual quality of GUIs, data displays, and multimedia documents. This book describes some of the most important design rules and techniques that are drawn from the rational, functionalist design aesthetic seen in modern graphic design, industrial design, interior design, and architecture -- and applies them to various graphical user interface problems experienced in commercial software development.
Top customer reviews
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Classic examples like the London subway maps and the National Park Service brochures are illustrated, along with excellent explanations of the design principles that make these particular design so successful.
The aurthors then go on to show how these examples can be applied to GUI design. And they are very gutsy as they show actual examples from actual software products that are "design failures". In fairness, they also show examples of well designed software, with explanations of why the design works so well.
This book is for a person who's willing to invest some time to learn about things like information hierarchies and information design. Like playing a piano, this isn't something one can master over night, but also like playing a piano, it has its own vast rewards.
The bibliography also pointed me to sources to fill in the gaps of my education. Now that university programs exist for this then emerging discipline, is there a need for this book?
Digging through my bookshelves now, the book is mostly a nostalgic taker-up of space. I suppose the basic lessons and messages of the book are timeless in a way, but I suspect today's reader would be hard-pressed to look past the ancient examples. A pity perhaps, but there you have it.
It turned out to be one of the most well written and interesting books on user interfaces I have read ever. The examples were great, very well chosen. I believe the physical elegancy of the book really got you into the right mood to start thinking about sleek interfaces and design issues in general.
Unfortunately, this is not that book. This is a terrible edition of what should be considered a must-have. I would recommend the older edition to absolutely everyone who needed to learn the basics of elegant UI design. But this edition? I would have never purchased it if I had known it was so poor.
Note: I have seen an edition bearin this same cover (green and yellow) but of the exact quality as the "black" version, but it isn't this one.
Try to get the older editions from a library or buy used. The graphics are so poor it basically isn't worth it.
A good rewrite of this book, with up to date examples, is overdue. In the mean time, if you can wade through the prose, the information is definitely there.
The book really reads like two: examples of bad interface design, and a smorgasbord of interesting examples and tidbits from the graphic design lexicon. The former struck me as mostly common sense, while the latter just whet my appetite to read the sources in the bibliography.
Overall: worthwhile looking at, but not something I would actually refer to while designing.
This is NOT an introductory book on interface design. If you haven't had coursework or other design experience yet, you should pick up a more comprehensive and introductory book first.
Most recent customer reviews
It is simple, clear and goes right to the point.
It helps understanding the essence of good design, reaching simplicity and...Read more