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User Interface Design for Programmers

3.83  ·  Rating Details ·  197 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
Most programmers' fear of user interface (UI) programming comes from their fear of doing UI design. They think that UI design is like graphic design--the mysterious process by which creative, latte-drinking, all-black-wearing people produce cool-looking, artistic pieces. Most programmers see themselves as analytic, logical thinkers instead--strong at reasoning, weak on art ...more
Paperback, 144 pages
Published January 23rd 2006 by Apress (first published June 25th 2001)
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Jan 26, 2014 Erica rated it it was amazing
This funny, slim, slightly outdated volume is a must-read for software developers. It addresses the basis of user-centered design: users aren't programmers; users will spend a few seconds interacting with something you've been living and breathing for months; users don't want to think or be surprised. It offers some ideas for turning those insights into UI, most of them very basic. It uses 90's-era software you're probably familiar with for examples, which both makes it easy to understand the co ...more
Sep 11, 2012 Daniel rated it it was ok
This was an entertaining read, but if you are already somewhat familiar with the basics of usability engineering, you will hardly learn anything new from this book. Also, of course, things have changed a lot in the last 10 years, so not only the examples, but also a few of the principles they illustrate are rather dated. Still, a pretty okay introduction to the topic for developers who haven't heard a thing about usability at all.
Sep 22, 2014 Wael rated it liked it
Very dated now, but still useful. A lot of it is intuitive and probably could have been condensed to at least half its length, though maybe it's the consequence of the ubiquity of UX these days.
Jul 27, 2011 Ram rated it it was amazing
A great book on interface design. Simple and usable as Joel professes throughout the book
Alex Salo
Dec 22, 2016 Alex Salo rated it it was amazing
Excellent informative humorous book which keeps you engaged and entertained; strongly recommend to every software engineer AND UI/UXgraphic designer - all kinds of people will find useful information that is applicable right away. The read is so easy and short (140 pages with a lot of pictures) that it is inexcusable to not read this one.
Yevgeniy Brikman
Oct 16, 2016 Yevgeniy Brikman rated it liked it
A decent intro to UI design for non-designers.

The good:

* Targeted at programmers.
* Tries to dispel the notion that UI design is magic.
* A nice, quick intro to a variety of important design issues, such as the user models, personas, user laziness (e.g. users don't read), and focusing on activities rather than features.

The bad:

* The book is a bit dated (it first came out in 2001). That means it has a funny obsession with a) desktop apps and b) Microsoft design from the days when some people stil
Apr 29, 2008 Rachel rated it really liked it
Recommended to Rachel by: Carl
Shelves: technology
This is a fun UI books that presents the basic concepts of User Interface design in an easy, entertaining way. Joel Spolsky (Joel on Software) has a great writing style, and some keen insights into how user interfaces work or don't work. This is not a particularly high-level book, and is a very quick read (30 minutes or so) but manages to pack in a lot of useful ideas, suggestions, and warnings, with copious illustrations (the pictures alone are worth the price of the book!) His advice is defini ...more
Sep 17, 2010 Julie rated it really liked it
I'm interested into learning more about interface design at the moment (always collecting book recommendations!). This book was close-by so I started with it and it works very well as an introduction to the basic concepts (metaphors, affordances, etc) as well as giving real advice on how to design the workflow of an application, what to keep in mind while doing so and some more detailed tips along the way on topics such as colours or the best font to use in forms. As usual Joel's style is pleasa ...more
Erika RS
The book does exactly what it claims to: it explains user interface design to programmers who have little familiarity with the subject. The book is probably old hat to someone who has done a reasonable amount of reading on UI design, but it is still interesting. If I were to recommend a book for quick tips for UI design, there is a good chance I would recommend this one. It has the same basic advice as other books I have read without the theory or flights of fancy (::cough:: Raskin ::cough::). I ...more
Apr 05, 2015 Civisurbi rated it really liked it
Very nice book with that contains several very smart ideas.
My recommendation for the software engineers & developers of all sorts.
Anton Mirilenko
Jan 17, 2011 Anton Mirilenko rated it really liked it
Nice book. Easy read.
But.. comparing to Coopers books that seems like a common knowledge information.
Fun, but not much new to know.
Mayukh Datta Roy
Jan 24, 2016 Mayukh Datta Roy rated it really liked it
Great insights in general interface design. The sections on the web design are slightly dated and show their age, however still has a lot of good material. Should be on every programmers desk.
Dec 06, 2013 Rob rated it liked it
A good primer on UI design with interesting anecdotes. It's a bit repetitive for people who have read other stuff by Joel as he uses similar examples from "Joel on Software." But still a decent read.
May 02, 2012 Andre rated it it was amazing
This isn't a book on interface elements.

It's basically an essay on not being a stupid individual.

Move along, there's nothing else to see here. //
May 11, 2010 Topilno added it
Shelves: manuals-01
Creating Web Pages for Dummies
Jon Fuller
Jon Fuller rated it liked it
Oct 04, 2009
Andy rated it really liked it
Oct 06, 2016
Mar 09, 2009 Damien rated it liked it
Great basic ideas about what makes a good UI design, illustrated by a lot of very dated examples.
Kyle Wilson
Kyle Wilson rated it really liked it
Nov 12, 2013
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Mar 11, 2012
Scott Brunell
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“Usability, fundamentally, is a matter of bringing a bit of human rights into the world of computer-human interaction. It's a way to let our ideals shine through in our software, no matter how mundane the software is. You may think that you're stuck in a boring, drab IT department making mind-numbing inventory software that only five lonely people will ever use. But you have daily opportunities to show respect for humanity even with the most mundane software.” 2 likes
“When you're designing for extremes with software, the three most important "extremes" to remember are:
1. Design for people who can't read.
2. Design for people who can't use a mouse.
3. Design for people who have such bad memories they would forget their own name if it weren't embossed on their American Express”
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