Designing Interfaces (Second Edition) by Jenifer Tidwell


Summaryt: Find the best solution for particular UI related issues

Patterns are present within IT industry for quite some time. Typically, books related to patterns application refer to particular language and present patterns either using either the language they refer to or using UML. Jenifer takes a different approach. Instead of providing reader with technology specific solution she shows how different UI related aspects can be organized and turned into reusable patterns. In first chapter, you will find description of various motives that drive users. This is the entry point for the rest of the book. How to react correctly to user’s requirements (expectations) is a leading motive of the book. Following chapters focus on various aspects of UI design (e.g. navigating, retrieving user’s input, presenting data, listing data). What is worth mentioning here is that Jenifer doesn’t bind solutions to a particular technology or operating system. She tries to diversify and cover most common user environments. Of course, she shows examples that are based on real applications but these are used rather as an example instead of being one and only one proper solution.

What I like in the book is the way Jenifer presents the patterns. She goes with them, one by one, using structured schema: what will be covered by particular pattern, when is it used, why is it used, how should you use it, how does it look like (by example), and the reference to other sources mentioning given pattern. In general, this is good book, however I think that some conclusions are not solidly proven (especially related to user’s behavior). On the other hand, UI efficiency is not something that you can easily prove.

Product page:
O’Reilly (print): Designing Interfaces
O’Reilly (e-book): Designing Interfaces
Amazon (in Books): Designing Interfaces
Amazon (Kindle): Designing Interfaces
Safari Books Online: Designing Interfaces

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