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Subject: Care to recommend a great book on User Interface Design? rss

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Eric "Shippy McShipperson" Mowrer
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I'm a programmer who works on a large web application. We use HTML and Mason over a Perl back-end over an Oracle database. As a side affect, I also have to wear the web-developer hat from time to time. I have very little schooling or training on the zen of GUI design, and would like to learn more. Could somebody please recommend one of the most highly regarded books on the subject? I'll only be able to purchase a single book, so I have to make it count.

I need something that will speak to the concepts and principles behind the trends and conventions. In other words I don't want somebody to tell me 'what' to do, I want them to tell me 'why', so that I can apply it to other situations that are similar, yet different. I'm college educated and I'm a programmer by trade, so I won't be scared off by something a little more technical or pithy. I'm just looking to avoid common pitfalls, as well as institute some conventions of our own that will improve the usability and likability of our product.

Furthermore I want all of the other programmers on my project, who have NO user interface training whatsoever to read it. Hopefully, this would cause them to start having more of a clue about what is good and what is a big no no when it comes to interface design. Therefore, the book must cover the basics as well as some of the more obscure principles.

So.... any ideas? Thanks in advance.
 
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pronoblem baalberith
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For quite some time Jakob Nielsen has been considered the expert and some of his texts gospel. Specifically Designing Web Usability : The Practice of Simplicity http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/156205810X/?tag=article-boa...

Funny how his site is offensive to the eye: http://www.useit.com/

That amazon link is a good start, you'd probably get more results looking at "so you'd like to..." and "listmania" lists at Amazon that in this forum.
 
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pronoblem baalberith
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another place to ask: http://www.forum4designers.com/

linked to at O'Reilly Press
 
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A book that I got for a similar reason was

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0735710791/ref=nosim/002-74...

I don't know if it is the BEST... but it is very good. It gives a lot of basic design theory along with web specific needs.

It is a very colorful book with lots of illustrations that make it fun and easy to use.

I too am more of a programer than designer but when I was dabeling in creating a web site for an organization I was involved in, I needed help in the desing area. So this is the book I found when going through Books-A-Million.
 
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Tim K.
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Three that I've liked:

Don't Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0789723107?tag=article-boar...

About Face 2.0: The Essentials of Interaction Design
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0764526413?tag=article-boar...

The Design of Everyday Things
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0465067107?tag=article-boar...

The last is non-technical but still useful.

Read the amazon reviews and make up your own mind about them.
 
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Scott M
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I have yet to read this book but plan on doing so based on the authors. They are the guys from 37signals whose articles I have read before and have also heard interviewed. From these things I have to say I agree with a lot of what they have to say on design and usability. It got some pretty good reviews at amazon too.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/073571410X/ref=ase_37signal...
 
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