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Developing User Interfaces Microsoft for Windows Paperback – 1 May 1999

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Product details

  • Paperback: 600 pages
  • Publisher: Microsoft Press,U.S.; Pap/Cdr edition (1 May 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0735605866
  • ISBN-13: 978-0735605862
  • Product Dimensions: 18.9 x 4.2 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,391,345 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Amazon Review

For the seasoned C++ programmer Developing User Interfaces for Microsoft Windows provides a common-sense guide for improving Windows user interfaces. After a survey of recent writings on user interface design this title covers a wide range of topics in very short chapters with a minimum of software engineering jargon. One outstanding area looks at re-using resources in Visual C++. The text also presents a "model" Windows programme--Visual C++ 5.0.

In its exploration of designing software for beginning and advanced users the book advises against creating software tailored for specialised roles (a preference that arguably shows the book's interest in "shrink-wrapped" software as business applications routinely require distinct modules for different types of users). Software is categorised into applications and utilities, with visual design guidelines for each. The book doesn't avoid controversy here by arguing against both user-driven design and prototyping within the project life cycle. Further chapters look at what UI features should be readily visible to users and which ones--like unnecessary error messages--should be removed.

In one notable section new ideas in UI design based on today's Web sites are presented. (HTML changes the rules for Windows desktop users too.) Readers also get a laundry list of features that work, such as "direct manipulation", good configurability, previews and tooltips. There's advice on help and documentation and an excellent section on creating simpler yet more effective setup programs. This book can be read profitably by any Windows developer using C++. It provides a solid checklist for thinking about user interface design on the Windows platform. --Richard Dragan


Everett McKay's Developing User Interfaces for Microsoft Windows provides a great deal of practical, straightforward information written specifically for Windows developers. Unlike most books on GUI design, this book is written by a programmer, and as such, may seem more accessible to other developers. Highly recommended for the target audience. -- from Isys Information Architects, Interface Hall of Shame - Recommended Reading

This is a book about Interaction Design for GUI and how to use it to improve the User Experience with GUI Application software. The first impression is the quality and depth of the knowledge on Interaction, Navigation, Human Interface and Usability. The author is very well read and the book is filled with content taken from many recent authors working in the field as well as copious references to other material. It is also obvious that this is a book which is operating at a higher level than many Windows GUI books which have gone before it. In many ways, it is also better than many recent books on Swing, in this regard.

Everett McKay has written a good book whi ch is a considerable improvement on other Windows specific books which have gone befo re. It sits at a much higher level of UI Design and seeks to develop methods and tech niques in improving User Experience, general Navigation and Interaction Design. Despi te its Microsoft patronage, this is a book which has value to add to the design of an y GUI applications and those seeking a general book on improved Interaction Design fo r Swing or Mac or Linux / X-Windows applications could do a lot worse than read this book.

The cover is misleading and the title is a misnomer. The book isn't about De velopment, its about Design. It isn't about User Interface so much, but, User Interac tion instead! Finally, its not much about Microsoft Windows either. You might have ex pected Microsoft to release a clutch of books heralding the next generation Windows 2 000. Well this certainly isn't one of them.

It sits in the gap between methodology books such as Deborah Mayhew's, Usability Engineering Lifecycle and style guide books such as Galitz, The Essential Guide to User Interface Design.

McKay is evidently an experienced, well read and thoughtful author. This thick book must have taken a g reat deal of effort. It represents best of breed techniques for much of what is known and understood. It hints at some newer areas of research such as patterns for prototypes. It will teach you what should be visible, how to make the rest invisible and ho w to prevent add the unnecessary evil. Windows needed this book 5 years ago! Perhaps even earlier in order that the developers had time to read it. I wonder if its been required reading at Microsoft this past few months?

Recommendation: A really good t eaching book for GUI Interaction Design. Fills a gap between grandiose methodology bo oks and lower level style guides. Such a pity that it comes so late. Microsoft finally shutting the stable door, after the application horse has bolted! -- from's Book Recommendations; Copyright 1999, David J. Anderson, All rights reserved

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Knowing, understanding, and applying the standards for Microsoft Windows user interface design allows you to create programs that the user already knows how to use. Read the first page
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 3 Aug. 1999
Format: Paperback
The chapter "Learn from the Web" is *almost* worth the price of the book. It lays out clearly and concisely the differences between web and windows interfaces, and why the web interface is the way it is.
The rest of the book, unfortunately, is less informative. It's somewhat painful to read, as the author repeats himself incessantly. That is, he says the same thing over and over. Many times. One has the impression he was paid by the word: each chapter ends with a couple pages of recommended reading, frequently with the same books. The author rambles endlessly about which features he does and does not like about different windows applications. No attempt is made to compare his personal preferences with real user reactions or usability studies. Frequently in order to provide a 'bad' example, he shows how an existing dialog could have been made even worse. No such dialogs exists. It's the old straw-man approach. There are no examples of how an existing dialog might have been made better.
In between repeating himself, rambling, referring to other authors and building straw men; the author manages to convey a reasonable collecton of user interface basics. Emphasis on basic. Repeated many times, of course.
If you are trying to bring your interface *up to* Windows levels, then this may still be a useful book to you. However, if you consider Windows way behind in the art of the user interface, or if you have any UI experience at all, you will not find further enlightenment here. (Except perhaps the first 4 pages of the Web chapter.)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Mullins on 17 Jan. 2000
Format: Paperback
Developing User Interfaces for Windows should be within reach of every Windows developer who will have some UI developing to do. Along with the Windows User Experience, also from Microsoft Press, this book is an invaluable aid.
Each chapter is short and precise, but, avoiding any cliché's, explains the Windows UI and developing for it in great details. The Book is relatively long, but it needs to be in order to cover in detail the task of developing Windows UI applications, which it does well.
The book is slightly geared towards 'C' developers, but I am a VB developer and find it easy to convert and 'C' idioms into VB. The book is in a real-world 'hands-on' style. Not too much theory and analysis exists (unlike other books on UI design), which lends it to being excellent both for reading and for reference afterwards.
I Highly recommend this book.
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By A Customer on 26 July 1999
Format: Paperback
Ever wonder why your software isn't as intuitive as something from Microsoft? Me too.
I've been browsing through different user interface books for months (and drinking plenty of Borders coffee) without any luck. Finally, something readable comes along.
McKay's book is well-organized and focused on specific user-interface issues (instead of blather from other authors like, "think about your customers first"). It's perfect for the small software company that doesn't have experts in user interface, technical writing, or quality assurance. It's also great for the programmer who does have access to a large team, but wants to make his life easier.
My only quibble is that it has a slight focus on C (and it would be nice if it had equivalents for visual basic).
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Format: Paperback
I was a little sceptical at the price of this book, but now I have received I have to say it is one of the most useful I have seen. Each chapter takes a different issue and explains it in easy simple language, give a number of example and the pros and cons of each idea. As each chapter is short and concise it is the sort of thing you could pick up and read over a tea break and actually learn something new in that time. The title is specific to Microsoft Windows, but it is equally relavant to other operating systems as well. Talking about the ideas behind design (different groups of user etc), it even talks about the design of HTML pages. The only concern I now have is that it is possible to see how badly written out product is :-).
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By A Customer on 18 Aug. 1999
Format: Paperback
This is a good book. It is long, but so are most comprehensive books and the style is conversational and easy to read. The chapters are independent, so readers can read just the parts they are interested in.
The book covers just about every aspect of a gui including design and testing and is full of practical advice.
I am using a very useful section entitled 'Sample User Interface Guidelines' as a checklist for testing gui's. And, of course, I keep it nearby as a handy reference.
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