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Designing Interfaces: Patterns for Effective Interaction Design
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Designing Interfaces: Patterns for Effective Interaction Design

3.80  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,081 Ratings  ·  51 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 hav
Paperback, 352 pages
Published November 28th 2005 by O'Reilly Media (first published November 1st 2005)
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Community Reviews

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Sep 08, 2013 Mikal rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Designing Interfaces is one of the few books every designer should have and read, note: get the print version, this book will not translate well to ebook.

It does a great job laying out the common patterns of software design and establishing a common nomenclature for referring to each one. Given its scope, Tidwell only superficially tackles each topic-- however she provides the foundational elements of each one (going over Gestalt principles for example) to ensure even those unfamiliar to interac
Feb 10, 2009 Patrick rated it liked it
Another gorgeous design book. But not quite what I was expected.

The book is basically an encyclopedia of UI design patterns, or maybe "mini patterns". Broken into categories like form design, editor design, etc. Covering areas like individual, concrete patterns like tabbed containers, referred to as "card stack" to general, abstract notions like "diagonal balance". Each pattern is cross-linked with related patterns. I assume an online version of this book would work quite well, particularly if t
Alper Çugun
Apr 12, 2012 Alper Çugun rated it really liked it
Nice book with explanations and examples of most of the common user interface elements and idioms. An excellent reference with thoughtful and in most cases very recent examples illustrating the patterns.

As with any design book this is not complete but covers most of the bases extensively and a lot in it has been motivated thoroughly but remains discutable. Let neither of those put you off.

Graham Herrli
I can only assume that one of the reasons some people don't believe in the value of UX design is the existence of books like this.

In over 500 pages it says absolutely nothing.
Feb 21, 2014 Alison rated it it was ok
A good beginners examples book but it lacks the in-depth sociology reference and/or current professional methods and workflows that books like Keeping the Mind in Mind and SmashingMag UX do.
Dec 13, 2010 Abhinav rated it really liked it
The domain of the book is very well defined by its title. Its primary focus is to educating the readers about Interaction Patterns, its use and context of usage. The book encompasses certain aspects of Interfaces but leaves the readers craving for more patterns. So after reading this book you might want to look into Yahoo! pattern library.
All in all, a nice read for someone who has a decent knowledge of Interface designing and interface usability. Will not recommend this book to someone looking
Sep 30, 2011 Jon added it
Has helpful tips. A few technical quibbles. Sometimes examples were given of an interactive process with only one screenshot, making it a bit of work to try to figure out what the rest of the interaction looked like. I occassionly had a hard time flipping through looking for a particular pattern. [return][return]Really though a good book as far as interface design goes. Certainly one of the better O'Reilly books I've read in a while. [return][return](Lots of good examples for folks to build off ...more
Monica Peters
Jan 05, 2015 Monica Peters rated it it was amazing
Focused on UI and made it fast / easy for me to get my mobile app projects completed so that everyone is happy.
Philippe Heckly
May 03, 2015 Philippe Heckly rated it it was amazing
A great book to review patterns and give you ideas if you get in a rut. Very thorough.
Sep 15, 2010 Alexandr rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: schoolers
Shelves: computers
Не дочитал. Немного скучноватая книжка. Но! Она выполнена в стиле энциклопедии. Т.е. она не обучает как создавать творческое и что то новое. Она просто описывает существующие шаблоны, как они были использованы, и если вы хотите использовать этот элемент, то делайте так же, или в том же ключе. Вообщем, если бы я это в 9 классе прочитал, было бы классно. А если вы уже являетесь разработчиком, это пока пустая книжка.

т.е. 2% реально полезной информации размазано по всей книге, остальные 98% уже изве
Emily H.
Jan 12, 2014 Emily H. rated it it was amazing
Shelves: prof-dev, dr-min-liu
Although it was odd that there was a duck on the cover, everything inside this book was worth reading. I really liked Tidwell's writing and think she's organized, succinct, reflective, and anyone who reads her book will become a better interface designer. This would be a great textbook for any media-design course.
Ardavan Mir
Feb 09, 2016 Ardavan Mir rated it really liked it
Great book to have it as a reference, although it could have been visually more interesting and appealing. I could never understand why there is 'How' sections for each pattern, I skipped the most.
Every chapter begins with a very good theoretical ideas on general design principles which help you defend your design decisions and in general increases your knowledge.
Apr 24, 2010 Robert rated it really liked it
Shelves: computers
One of the best books on designing interfaces...I find myself returning to it periodically for refresher sessions. It leads one down a path on not only 'what' the user is wanting to accomplish but also 'why' and 'how'. Every software developer would be better off reading and thinking about this book.
Blake Winton
Apr 07, 2012 Blake Winton rated it liked it
As many other people have mentioned, this book is a great list of Design Patterns. Unfortunately that makes it harder to read than something with a narrative. Now that I'm done reading it, I can easily see myself referring back to this book when I have a problem, or want some inspiration or new ideas.
Aug 22, 2007 Mo rated it it was amazing
One of the best books for any User Interface Design student/pro/enthusiast.

Really well-organized, with easy-to-understand explanations and tons of examples.

I had to read this book for my Interface Design class -- normally I sell off my textbooks after the course is done. This one isn't leaving me.
Nov 15, 2011 Ethan rated it really liked it
Decent book. More of a reference book of about 100 UI patterns, not something to read cover to cover.

If you are a designer who already voraciously consumes mobile apps and websites, you may already know a lot of this, although it does present the info very well.
Jun 22, 2015 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, design
Jul 30, 2014 Fernando rated it liked it
Great resource for UI design patterns, a little bit outdated (2006) but a lot of principles are still valid.
May 26, 2008 Chris rated it it was amazing
Tidwell has crafted an excellent pattern library for user interface designers and compiled into this source. She is thorough and offers a balanced view of when and where to use various patterns to bring out their strengths.
Sep 12, 2009 Rachel rated it liked it
Shelves: 2009_reads, design, ux
This book is a little dated but still relevant. It's a great resource for your bookshelf if you work in product design. Read my full review at
Mike Hall
Jul 18, 2008 Mike Hall rated it liked it
Overall not too bad, but not great. It tried to be a UI patterns book, but the patterns were all a little too basic and I found the naming of the patterns to be strange and inconsistent with standard industry names.
Nov 08, 2010 MJ rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lis
Used this as a text book in a Usability & Interface Design class. Liked the pattern structure of the book, and the author did a great job in explaining some common design difficulties and possible solutions.
Jan 19, 2013 Jamie rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, school
As another reviewer mentioned, it's mostly a reference book for design patterns. As such, I mostly just skimmed it, but it has definitely been useful in making the process of UI development more rigorous.
Sep 17, 2013 Marcel rated it it was amazing
Loved it. Did a great job of explaining interface design concepts to this software engineer. Enormously valuable as a reference resource, while easy enough to read straight through.
Sep 08, 2012 Will rated it really liked it
Solid, and well put together.

There are a couple of annoying typos in the book though. It's not hard to see "Buttons 9don't", so I'm going to chalk this up to bad proofreading.
May 04, 2010 Murray rated it it was ok
I didn't get much new insight or instruction from this book, but it's a good reference that collects common interface patterns for different types of interface issues.
Justin McDonald
Jun 05, 2011 Justin McDonald rated it it was amazing
A book of angelic taxonomy for the devil's design. Enlightening, purposeful, a joy. With this book and "Tropic of Cancer" in my backpack, I could conquer the world!
Rajesh Satyarthi
Apr 06, 2013 Rajesh Satyarthi rated it it was amazing
It may seem redundant but this is one of the earliest books about how User Interface should be. One of the very most essential books if you're starting career on IxD.
Douglas Dollars
Jul 16, 2011 Douglas Dollars rated it it was amazing
Solid, almost timeless (in the world of modern technology) book on interface design. The content and suggestions hold up very well after all these years.
Katy Watkins
Fantastic resource that's definitely got me looking more closely at the interfaces I use every day, just not an easy book to read straight through.
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