User Interface Design Books and Media:

User Interface Fundamentals:

The Design of Everyday Things , Turn Signals Are the Facial Expressions of Automobiles , Things that Make Us Smart: Defending Human Attributes in the Age of the Machine  - Combines the above and adds 'Things That Make Us Smart') - by Don A. Norman, Apple Fellow, Professor Emeritus of Cognitive Science at UC, San Diego

I first read 'First Person: Defending Human Attributes in the Age of the Machine; in 1994 on a CD for the Mac, which used Hypercard to great effect. The user interface to these books on CD was amazing. A simple, but elegant graphic design, reinforced the simple, almost invisible, way the program lead one through the material, and clearly shows you some the principles he's talking about in the books and video. Reading Norman will fundamentally change the way one sees the interactions between Man, machines and built enviornment.


Information Design and Presentation:

Information Architecture - Louis Rosenfeld & Peter Morville - Before you start a web site, or content project, the first step is to design the Information Architecture ! The authors, coming from a background in library science, present a solid case and guidelines for this fundamental design step.

Envisioning Information , Visual Explanations , The Visual Display of Quantitative Information * - Edward Tufte - If you have any role in presenting information, at least one of Tufte's books is required reading. They are beautiful, enlighting, and inspiring.

Interactivity by Design - Kristof & Satran - From research to final output, information design, interaction design, and presentation design for a CD-ROM, kiosk, or Web site.

Designing Business - Clement Mok - A hybrid of industrial design, advertising, and psychology from the head of one of the most sought after interactive design agencies in the world, with CD-ROM.


User Interface Design, Highly Recommended:

Designing Web Usability - Jacob Neilsen - Great coverage from a single page, to a large site, to an Intranet. He's a pro and it shows. This one is required reading for anyone who is the least serious about web design.

About Face: The Essentials of User Interface Design , The Inmates are Running the Asylum , About Face 2.0: The Essentials of Interaction Design * - Alan Cooper - The last one is a combination and update of the first two. Notice the change in title from 'Interface' to 'Interaction.

Tog on Interface , Tog on Software Design - Bruce Tognazzini - Reading Tog is kindda like listening to the NPR Car Guys, informative and fun.

The Art of Human-Computer Interface Design , Computers as Theater - Brenda Laurel - The 'Art' is a large collection of ideas and opinions from more then 50 of the leading thinkers in the computer industry. But 'Theatre' stands out with it's audacious, but well argued, idea of approaching interface design as a theatre production !


User Interface Design, Interesting:

The Elements of User Interface Design * - Theo Mandel - I haven't read this yet, but it turns up in a lot of good neighborhoods. Sounds like an up-to-date How To Do User Interface book.

Elements of Friendly Software Design - Paul Heckel - He relates the software development process to the process of creating other communication medias, like writing, movies, and art. The process is prototype, revise and rewrite, in a user centered, communication rich, environment. Has an interest story of his struggles with computer companies like Apple over intellectual property rights.

The Humane Interface: New Directions for Designing Interactive Systems - Jef Raskin - Raskin is a cognitive psychologist and the 'Father of the Macintosh' . book covers the fundamentals of human-computer interaction: ergonomics, quantification, evaluation, navigation, and more. He suggests some revolutionary interface methods that may not be that practical, but help one think out of the box.

Programming As If People Mattered: Friendly Programs, Software Engineering, and Other Noble Delusions - Nathaniel Borenstein - Traces the divergence between software engineering and user-centered software design, in the background of a large software project. A bit dated, but still worthwhile.

In the Beginning was the Command Line - Neal Stephenson - Musings on the 4 main PC operating systems, and the command line vs. GUI interfaces.  I don't agree with his uber-geek defense of the Command Line, but it never hurts to look at things from a different perspective to broader ones horizons and imagination.

(I don't like 'Snowcrash' that much either, William Gibson does Cyber Sci Fi so much better IMHO).

Design of Man-Computer Dialogues - James Martin - Mainframe oriented, but they are still around, and some of the material is still revelant. (see Response Time)

Corporate Computing Intl. - ‘Effective GUI Design’ (commercial course)

Univ. of Maryland - ‘User Interface Strategies 93’ (presentation)


User Interface Standards:

Apple - Human Interface Guidelines: The Apple Desktop Interface - A reference to Apples consistent design methodology based around clear, universal metaphors. (pre OSX)

Microsoft - The Windows Interface: An Application Design Guide - An official set of guidelines for creating Windows-compliant user interfaces.

IBM - Object-Oriented Interface Design: IBM Common User Access Guidelines - (CUA) A 1992 style guide for OS2, contains comprehensive guidance for proper use of all known GUI controls. Still relevant and can be applied to any kind of GUI.

Ford - ‘Corporate Interface Style Guide’, ‘MS&CO Interface Style Guide’


Graphic Design for Interfaces:

Graphic Design for Electronic Documents and User Interfaces - Aaron Marcus - A good technical reference, but dated.

The Non-Designers Design Book - Robin Williams - In this and other books, she introduces graphic design fundamentals, tools and techniques to the computer user in an easy to digest fashon. One may quibble about details, but I've always enjoyed her books and gotten something useful from them.


Guide to Dave's Book Recommendations...