Designing Interfaces: Patterns for Effective Interaction Design

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"O'Reilly Media, Inc.", Nov 21, 2005 - Computers - 352 pages
57 Reviews

Designing a good interface isn't easy. Users demand software that is well-behaved, good-looking, and easy to use. Your clients or managers demand originality and a short time to market. Your UI technology -- web applications, desktop software, even mobile devices -- may give you the tools you need, but little guidance on how to use them well.

UI designers over the years have refined the art of interface design, evolving many best practices and reusable ideas. If you learn these, and understand why the best user interfaces work so well, you too can design engaging and usable interfaces with less guesswork and more confidence.

Designing Interfaces captures those best practices as design patterns -- solutions to common design problems, tailored to the situation at hand. Each pattern contains practical advice that you can put to use immediately, plus a variety of examples illustrated in full color. You'll get recommendations, design alternatives, and warningson when not to use them.

Each chapter's introduction describes key design concepts that are often misunderstood, such as affordances, visual hierarchy, navigational distance, and the use of color. These give you a deeper understanding of why the patterns work, and how to apply them with more insight.

A book can't design an interface for you -- no foolproof design process is given here -- but Designing Interfaces does give you concrete ideas that you can mix and recombine as you see fit. Experienced designers can use it as a sourcebook of ideas. Novice designers will find a roadmap to the world of interface and interaction design, with enough guidance to start using these patterns immediately.


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Review: Designing Interfaces: Patterns for Effective Interaction Design

User Review  - Chris Smith-hill - Goodreads

Great coverage of interface patterns. Read full review

Review: Designing Interfaces: Patterns for Effective Interaction Design

User Review  - Philippe Heckly - Goodreads

A great book to review patterns and give you ideas if you get in a rut. Very thorough. Read full review


A Means to an
The Patterns
Physical structure
canvas plus palette
staying Found
global navigation
springloaded mode
contrasting font weights

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 315 - Tufte, Edward. The Visual Display of Quantitative Data. Cheshire, CT: Graphics Press, 1983. Tufte, Edward. Envisioning Information. Cheshire, CT: Graphics Press, 1991. Tufte, Edward. Visual Explanations: Images and Quantities, Evidence and Narrative. Cheshire, CT: Graphics Press, 1997. Fowler, Susan, and Victor Stanwick. Web Application Design Handbook: Best Practices for Web-Based Software. San Francisco: Morgan Kaufmann, 2004. Cleveland, William S. Visualizing Data. Summit, NJ: Hobart Press, 1993.
Page 315 - Norman, Donald A. Emotional Design: Why We Love (or Hate) Everyday Things. New York: Basic Books, 2004. Shea, David, and Molly Holzschlag. The Zen of CSS Design: Visual Enlightenment for the Web. Berkeley, CA: New Riders, 2005. Williams, Robin. The Non-Designer's Design Book: Design and Typographic Principles for the Visual Novice.
Page 314 - ... to Interiors and Products. Cincinnati: HOW Design Books, 2004. Hashimoto, Alan. Visual Design Fundamentals: A Digital Approach. Hingham, MA: Charles River Media, 2004. Mullet, Kevin, Darrell Sano. Designing Visual Interfaces: Communication Oriented Techniques. Mountain View, CA: Sun Microsystems, Inc., 1995.

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About the author (2005)

For more than a decade, Jenifer Tidwell has been designing and building user interfaces for a variety of industry verticals, often in the Java programming language. She has experience in designing both desktop and Web applications. As a user interface designer at The MathWorks, Jenifer was instrumental in a redesign of the charting and visualization UI of MATLAB, which is used by researchers, students, and engineers worldwide to develop cars, planes, proteins, and theories about the universe.

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