About Face: The Essentials of User Interface Design
Wiley, 1995 M08 25 - 580 pages
The goal: Goal directed design; Software design; The three models; Visual interface design. The form: Idioms and Affordances; An irreverent History of rectangles on the screen; Windows-with-a-small-w; Lord of the files; Storage and retrieval systems; Choosing platforms. The behavior: Orchestration and flow; Posture and state; Overhead and idiocy; The secret weapon of interface design. The interaction: Elephants, mice and minnies; Selection; Direct manipulation; Drag-and-drop. The cast: The meaning of menus; Menus; Dialog boxes; Dialog box etiquette; Toolbars; Roll the credits, please. The gizmos: Imperative and selection gizmos; Entry and display gizmos; New gizmos. The guardian: The end of errors; Managing exceptions; Undo. The teacher: Good at what you do; Installation, configuration and personalization; Shouldering the burden; Where do we go from here?.
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A classic computer UI design book. There is a newer edition (2.0) that appears not to be indexd by Google Book Search; get that one. It's slightly dated, and covers more desktop oriented UI than is useful for me at this point, but the principles are well worth thinking about regardless of the context. I don't always agree with everything Alan says but I find myself thinking more deeply about usability regardless.
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