- Paperback: 378 pages
- Publisher: Morgan Kaufmann; 1 edition (June 25, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0123969808
- ISBN-13: 978-0123969804
- Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 18 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #598,672 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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UI is Communication: How to Design Intuitive, User Centered Interfaces by Focusing on Effective Communication 1st Edition
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"Here [McKay] offers a guide to designing user interfaces by drawing on principles and common-sense insight about communication. There are no prerequisites, he says, no assumptions about the reader's field or level of experience."--Reference & Research Book News, October 2013 "The best teammate a designer can have is a communication specialist to look over your shoulder. Having Everett's book is the next best thing to having him on your team."--Bert Keely, Architect of Windows Pen and Touch "McKay practices what he preaches – UI is Communication is relevant, readable, entertaining, and chock full of useful examples."--Carolyn Snyder, Snyder Consulting
About the Author
Everett McKay is Principal of UX Design Edge, a userexperience design training and consulting company for mobile, web, and desktopapplications. Everett's specialty is UX design training for softwareprofessionals who aren't experienced designers through onsite and virtualcourses and workshops. He has delivered UX design workshops to an internationalaudience that includes Europe (UK, Ireland, Poland, Greece, Turkey), Asia(India, China), South America (Argentina), and Africa (South Africa, Cameroon).
Everett is author of "UI is Communication: How todesign intuitive, user-centered user interfaces by focusing on effectivecommunication", published by Morgan Kaufmann. While at Microsoft, he wasresponsible for writing and evangelizing the Windows User ExperienceGuidelines. Before joining Microsoft, he was a programmer, specializing indesigning and developing Windows and Macintosh user interfaces.
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The author's premise is that "user interface design isn't a subjective visual art about pixels and aesthetics but rather a principled objective communication skill to explain tasks to users". So while he does touch on mental models, interaction patterns, and visual design, it always ties back to communication. If this were a conversation, what would we say to the user? How would we say it? When would we say it? It seems obvious but is a surprisingly useful metaphor and he provides many examples of how to put it into action. Each chapter concludes with a page of exercises to expand your thinking and put the material into action – I wish my university had used this as a textbook.
The final chapter presents a couple design challenges with thorough solutions, working through the entire design process and showing each of the activities and deliverables. I've been hauling the book around in my backpack for the past few weeks so that I can apply that thinking to my own projects. That's about the highest compliment I could pay a book – there aren't any others that I've kept with me at all times and referenced so regularly.
I gave a presentation to my development team, using some of the content from the book, and it was well received. I then recommended it to all the software engineers and the book has been one of the most sought out books in the department. I now tell the team to buy their own copy because I find myself needed to refer back to it often.
Everett offers a great set of 10 principles that on their own made the book worthwhile. His examples and explanations break the complexities of UI design into simple to understand concepts that are easy to apply immediately.
As a long time advocate of incorporating emotional outcomes in UX design, I was pleased to see an entire chapter dedicated bringing emotions to UI design.
The book is easy to scan if you're the type that doesn't read cover to cover. He does a nice job calling out key concepts so you browse for specific topics of interest that you can then deep dive into for more details. There's a lot of content but it's quick and easy to consume.
I would recommend this to anyone that would like to end the debates about UI decisions, and wants to design UI's that people can not only use but also make them feel good using it.
Everett is training us to differentiate ourselves by making communicative UI. Why not be the ones to make the good stuff?