Thursday, June 5, 2008

10 Usability and Interaction Design Books

1. About Face 3. The Essentials of Interaction Design by Alan Cooper, Robert Reimann and David Cronin
ISBN: 978-0470084113

About Face 3. The Essentials of Interaction Design

Alan Cooper is a professional designer, specialized on software design, and all his knowledge is represented in this book. He makes emphasis on Goal-Directed Design, meaning that goals, not features, are the key to the product success. This technique is based on the use of personas and scenarios to conduct user research. Goals are explained in three categories, experience goals, end goals and life goals. This master piece has mostly theory but it also includes very good examples.

2. Prioritizing Web Usability by Jakob Nielsen, Hoa Loranger
ISBN: 978-0321350312

Prioritizing Web Usability

Jakob Nielsen, the maestro of Web usability, has been writing about usability since 1995. Nielsen and Loranger work at the Nielsen Norman Group. The book presents a good combination of theory and practical examples. It has clear, useful tips and well-documented “Dos & Don’ts”. As the title indicates, this book has been written considering the Usability from the practical point of view.

3. Designing the Obvious. A Common Sense Approach to Web Application Design by Robert Hoekman, Jr.
ISBN: 978-0321453457

Designing the Obvious. A Common Sense Approach to Web Application Design

This is a small guide focused on web-site usability and web-based application usability. The entire book consists of precise concepts and examples. This heavily graphical and illustrated book could be a first introduction for web developers who are interested in this topic. Among covered subjects are building only whats necessary, preventing and handling errors, and designing for the activity. Supporting the user mental model is one of the most interesting concepts where the author proposes to consider designs from the user-centric point of view.

4. Don’t Make Me Think. A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability by Steve Krug
ISBN: 978-0321344755

Don't Make Me Think. A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability

Don’t Make Me Think is already the must-read book when it comes to Web usability. It has a number of colorful and humorous examples, including nice cartoons that deliver the message and bring the important observation from real life in the foreground. This relatively small book has the necessary basics, being a recommended first usability read for web designers. Steve Krug does a great work explaining his Laws of Usability, for example to “get rid of half the words on each page, then get rid of half of what’s left”.

5. The Design of Sites. Patterns for Creating Winning Web Sites by Douglas Van Duyne, James Landay, Jason Hong.
ISBN: 978-0131345553

The Design of Sites. Patterns for Creating Winning Web Sites

The Design of Sites is a toolbox for every web-designer that wants to inspect and study usability and interaction design patterns. It is basically an excellent reference book with very good concise examples. The authors have divided the book in a collection of design patterns, giving clear hints and examples on how and when to use each of them.

6. The Design of Everyday Things by Donald A. Norman
ISBN: 978-0465067107

The Design of Everyday Things

Published many years ago, this book is already a usability legend. Norman writes about the importance of the user-centered design and how this concept can be applied to design of everything. Memorable chapters include “Design for Error”, “Simplify the Structure of Tasks” and “When All Else Fails, Standardize”. Donald Norman is one of the founders of the well known Nielsen Norman Group, pioneers in usability and user-centered design.

7. Designing Interfaces: Patterns for Effective Interaction Design by Jenifer Tidwell
ISBN: 978-0596008031

Designing Interfaces: Patterns for Effective Interaction Design

Designing Interfaces delivers what a book from O’Reilly usually offers, good content and quality printing. This book has well-illustrated examples on web applications, desktop software and mobile devices organized according to user interface patterns, each containing practical advices. A kind of “read it from beginning to end”, this book provides solutions for each problem a user interface could have.

8. Designing for Interaction: Creating Smart Applications and Clever Devices by Dan Saffer
ISBN: 978-0321432063

Designing for Interaction: Creating Smart Applications and Clever Devices

Designing for Interaction provides examples, patterns and guidelines for interaction design on the Web as well as suggestions for software applications and different electronic devices. Dan Saffer himself was working as a creative leader and interaction designer which is clearly illustrated in the way this book is written. Particular and unique are the short and clear real design case studies and the interviews with professional designers.

9. Designing Interactions by Bill Moggridge
ISBN: 978-0262134743

Designing Interactions

This book describes the origins of interaction design. Every chapter introduces the creation and development of successfully designed products, for example the mouse, the Mac, The Sims and the iPod. Interviews include the founders of Google, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, and Doug Engelbart and Bill Atkinson, involved in the creation of the mouse and desktop. Designing Interactions comes with a DVD containing interviews worth watching.

10. Envisioning Information by Edward R. Tufte
ISBN: 978-0961392116

Envisioning Information

Tufte’s books, and specially Envisioning Information, are the essential reads for every person trying to get a better understanding of usability and interaction design. In this book, the author explores different ways of visualizing data. The book has many colorful examples of good and bad data visualization with graphs, maps and charts. The book itself is beautifully printed and comfortable to read. Although it does not provide any examples on website design this book represents the basis of this science.

Alexis Brion is an interaction designer specialized in usability for the Web. He is the director of Design vs Art Design Agency and writes on usability, interaction and web design at the Design vs Art Blog.

Via :smashingmagazine


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home