This completely updated volume presents the effective and practical tools you need to design great desktop applications, Web 2.0 sites, and mobile devices. You'll learn the principles of good product behavior and gain an understanding of Cooper’s Goal-Directed Design method, which involves everything from conducting user research to defining your product using personas and scenarios. Ultimately, you’ll acquire the knowledge to design the best possible digital products and services.
Review By: John VanNorman 06/17/2010This book should remain a classic for quite some time, as the subject of this book—interactive design—will continue to be of relevance as long as people interact with computers. The book addresses the basic problem of "useability," which is something I have been trying to come to grips with for many years. Trying to implement that concept is tougher still. The concepts addressed are pervasive in the industry. The book defines and addresses these concepts by providing methods of getting good user interface requirements and then turning those into good interface design.
The authors have a casual writing style that is easy to follow and understand. They describe completely interactive design concepts and methods. Basic human interaction concepts are addressed first, then the requirements process, and finally the design process is defined. Examples are liberally used to illustrate concepts. The authors discuss the concepts used from other sources to help the reader understand how they apply to the problem of interaction design. The book does parallel other disciplines such as UML Design. Their approach to these concepts is a little different from the norm. For instance, the book places a high value on developing characterizations about the target users. At first I found this approach daunting, but I warmed up to the concept because, as developers, we rarely try to characterize the users of our systems. The authors showed the importance of doing that.
The book is intended for just about everybody interested in interaction design. There are no technical references and the concepts are easy to understand. When the application of the concepts gets a bit complex, I think the authors do a good job of explaining how to execute the concept. The authors even write about design concepts for screen components such as controls and menus. This may be too much for the casual reader, yet designers, developers, and QA people in general should find this enlightening.
Using the knowledge gained from reading this book, I have already asked questions of my development staff that we've never asked before. So I intend to use this book as a "keep at work" reference guide and use it when wishing to delight our users with easy-to-use applications that can assist their business process.