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Designing Visual Interfaces: Communication Oriented Techniques Paperback – 5 Dec 1994


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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall; 1 edition (5 Dec 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0133033899
  • ISBN-13: 978-0133033892
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 1.6 x 23.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 804,888 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 28 Oct 1998
Format: Paperback
This is a great book if you know how to use it. Its not for people looking for cookbook approaches. Rather, it provides well argued information about the underlying principles of visual design. The authors ilustrate their points about grids, layout, typography, and color by showing examples of top notch efforts by some of the best information designers in the world.
Classic examples like the London subway maps and the National Park Service brochures are illustrated, along with excellent explanations of the design principles that make these particular design so successful.
The aurthors then go on to show how these examples can be applied to GUI design. And they are very gutsy as they show actual examples from actual software products that are "design failures". In fairness, they also show examples of well designed software, with explanations of why the design works so well.
This book is for a person who's willing to invest some time to learn about things like information hierarchies and information design. Like playing a piano, this isn't something one can master over night, but also like playing a piano, it has its own vast rewards.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 14 May 1997
Format: Paperback
*Designing Visual Interfaces* deserves a wider audience. Its promotion of visual literacy for GUI designers is a worthwhile cause. Every GUI designer, which includes most programmers these days, should read this book!

*Designing Visual Interfaces* is a "nuts and bolts" design book with lots
of examples of bad and good interface design in present-day Graphical
User Interfaces. The authors attempt grand analogies with media that
offer richer opportunities for design--posters, timetables, appliances.
Sometimes it seems that returning to the same old dialogue boxes
is a bit of a come-down in the design world, the need to shove a lot
of info into a few pixels. Nonetheless, the book has lots of good
advice. Perhaps the reason it hasn't found wider readership is
that its own printing format, using small black and white images,
doesn't do justice to the careful thought they've put into their
selection.

The authors both worked on the Open Look standard, which is not my
favorite GUI. But fortunately their book is not a brief for that
standard. And they do have some good criticism of Microsoft Windows--well merited!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 5 Jun 1998
Format: Paperback
There's something irritating about a book on graphical design of interfaces that refuses to use chapter numbers in the Table of Contents (or for that matter anywhere except the first page of each chapter) even though the text references them. Unfortunately the authors also fail in the contents to fully integrate these two aspects of design.
The book really reads like two: examples of bad interface design, and a smorgasbord of interesting examples and tidbits from the graphic design lexicon. The former struck me as mostly common sense, while the latter just whet my appetite to read the sources in the bibliography.
Overall: worthwhile looking at, but not something I would actually refer to while designing.
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By A Customer on 7 Oct 1997
Format: Paperback
So far the best text-book about GUI I found. It is rich and comprehensive, connects GUI design with modern design in general. Teches simple guidelines easily understandable by non-professionals. I had this book be a required textbook in the company I work for, for anybody that wants to take part to the UI design and review. The only problem: the book presents many many examples of "bad" UI design. We would like a sequel presenting more "good" design examples.
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Format: Paperback
This is the best book I've ever seen on how to design the graphical part of graphical user interfaces. I knew there was a whole world of knowledge out there in the graphic design community that could be applied to interface design, but that was inacessible to me until I read this book.
This is NOT an introductory book on interface design. If you haven't had coursework or other design experience yet, you should pick up a more comprehensive and introductory book first.
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Format: Paperback
I didn't expect too much from this book when I saw it's cover... for a book on visual design, it's pretty badly designed! But it turned out to be the best book on the subject I've seen-- it draws heavily from graphic and industrial design (and could just about be a textbook on either one of those courses). But it also shows the direct applicability of those fields to the design of dialogs, icons etc. Very readable, and beautifully presented.
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By A Customer on 17 Aug 1998
Format: Paperback
This book clearly shows good and bad ways to communicate to the user. I find myself returning to it often, and the principles shown can be used in information and Web design as well. Very well laid out, and easy for busy developers to digest, it still manages to get across what classic mistakes we keep on making, while getting across the things you should be thinking about while you're designing an interface. Excellent.
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