"Take fundamental principles of psychology. Illustrate. Combine with Fundamental Principles of Design. Stir gently until fully blended. Read daily until finished. Caution: The mixture is addictive"--Don Norman, Nielsen Norman group, Author of Design of Future Things. "This book is a primer to understand the why of the larger human action principles at work-a sort of cognitive science for designers in a hurry. Above all, this is a book of profound insight into the human mind for practical people who want to get something done."-- Stuart Card, Senior Research Fellow and the manager of the User Interface Research group at the Palo Alto Research Centerfrom the foreword "If you want to know why design rules work, Jeff Johnson provides fresh insight into the psychological rationale for user-interface design rules that pervade discussions in the world of software product and service development."--Aaron Marcus, President, Aaron Marcus and Associates, Inc. "As anyone who has taken a course in human-computer interaction (HCI) will attest, cognitive science textbooks tend towards the drier end of the literary spectrum. The achievement of this book in making the material easily accessible is therefore nothing short of magnificent. It discusses the relevant scientific findings without any lack of scholarship, but always with an eye to how those findings can be put to practical use."--BCS, British Computer Society Online, November 2010 "Rather than simply presenting another list of rules, it discusses the cognitive psychology research findings which underpin the principles identified previously by the author and others. In other words, this is a book about people, and what we know about them as users of interactive systems."--BCS, The British Computer Society Online "Anyone who designs or implements software user interfaces will benefit greatly from this book. Whether you create desktop software, websites, or mobile apps, this book will improve the quality of your work. Johnson makes the psychology and physiology understandable and seamlessly combines it with software engineering. Designing with the Mind in Mind is informative, fascinating, easy to read, and, most importantly, highly practical."-- ACM SIGSOFT Software Engineering
User interface (UI) design rules and guidelines, developed by early HCI gurus and recognized throughout the field, were based on cognitive psychology (study of mental processes such as problem solving, memory, and language), and early practitioners were well informed of its tenants. But today, practitioners with backgrounds in cognitive psychology are a minority, as user interface designers and developers enter the field from a wide array of disciplines. HCI practitioners today have enough experience in UI design that they have been exposed to UI design rules, but it is essential that they understand the psychological basis behind the rules in order to effectively apply them.
Jeff Johnson, the author of Morgan Kaufmann's successful GUI Bloopers
presents the first practical guide to help designers and developers understand the psychology behind these tried and tested user interface design rules.
Johnson applies his engaging, often humorous style--already well known to designers and developers--to describe, in practical terms, the psychological basis for each rule, the value of understanding the reasons for each rule, how they interact in actual systems, and the tradeoffs designers have to make when confronted with conflicting rules or with tight budgets and deadlines.
Johnson is not attempting to redefine rules--he is simply taking the existing rules and presenting them in a practical way for current practitioners who either do not have a background in psychology or took the classes so long ago, the fundamentals have faded--tantamount to if you learn a language but don't practice it, the nuances fade.
The book will explain what interactive system designers and usability testers need to know
about human perception and cognition. It will give designers just enough of a background in psychology that user-interface design guidelines make intuitive sense rather than being just a list of rules to learn and follow.
* The first practical, all-in-one source for practitioners on user interface design rules and why, when and how to apply them.
* Provides just enough background into the reasoning behind interface design rules that practitioners can make informed decisions in every project.
* Gives practitioners the insight they need to make educated design decisions when confronted with tradeoffs, including competing design rules, time constrictions, or limited resources.