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User Interface Design for Programmers [Paperback]

Joel Spolsky , Dave Winer
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
RRP: 72.00
Price: 30.22 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 May 2001 1893115941 978-1893115941

Most programmers' fear of user interface (UI) programming comes from their fear of doing UI design. They think that UI design is like graphic designthe mysterious process by which creative, latte-drinking, all-black-wearing people produce cool-looking, artistic pieces. Most programmers see themselves as analytic, logical thinkers insteadstrong at reasoning, weak on artistic judgment, and incapable of doing UI design.

In this brilliantly readable book, author Joel Spolsky proposes simple, logical rules that can be applied without any artistic talent to improve any user interface, from traditional GUI applications to websites to consumer electronics. Spolkys primary axiom, the importance of bringing the program model in line with the user model, is both rational and simple.

In a fun and entertaining way, Spolky makes UI design easy for programmers to grasp. After reading User Interface Design for Programmers, you'll know how to design interfaces with the user in mind. You'll learn the important principles that underlie all good UI design, and you'll learn how to perform usability testing that works.


Frequently Bought Together

User Interface Design for Programmers + More Joel on Software: Further Thoughts on Diverse and Occasionally Related Matters That Will Prove of Interest to Software Developers, Designers, and ... or Ill Luck, Work with Them in Some Capacity + Joel on Software: And on Diverse and Occasionally Related Matters That Will Prove of Interest to Software Developers, Designers, and Managers, and to ... or Ill-Luck, Work with Them in Some Capacity
Price For All Three: 70.20

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Product details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: APRESS (1 May 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1893115941
  • ISBN-13: 978-1893115941
  • Product Dimensions: 23.8 x 18.6 x 1.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 417,602 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

About the Author

Joel Spolsky is a globally recognized expert on the software development process. His web site Joel on Software (www.joelonsoftware.com) is popular with software developers around the world and has been translated into over 30 languages. As the founder of Fog Creek Software in New York City, he created FogBugz, a popular project management system for software teams. Joel has worked at Microsoft, where he designed VBA as a member of the Excel team, and at Juno Online Services, developing an Internet client used by millions. He has written two books: User Interface Design for Programmers (Apress, 2001) and Joel on Software (Apress, 2004). Joel holds a bachelor's of science degree from Yale in computer science. Before college, he served in the Israeli Defense Forces as a paratrooper, and he was one of the founders of Kibbutz Hanaton.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not a 'must have' 29 Aug 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
An enlightening book, much in the same vein as "Don't make me think". It even has the token chapter on designing for the web! (where users are even less likely to be computer literate)
Although the title refers to being specifically for 'programmers' it's not focused at programmers per se, more at applications developed by programmers, and then used by everyone.
Well written and often well argued, although occasionally contadictory. The examples used in the book, although timely, tend to feature and focus on bad design rather than pointing to a good design and saying why. I suppose this helps you to avoid the same mistakes, but you might just as easily make different ones!
I wouldn't take the content as gospel, but it did create a few interesting discussion points between developers at work.
If you've not read a book on Usability/UI for a while then you could do worse than this - especially for the way it points out some of microsofts stupidest mistakes. (moving the start button in and up 2px!)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Style - very accessible 12 April 2006
Format:Paperback
This book is written in such a way that it is almost as if you are having a conversation with Joel about UI design. It presents all the major concepts about UI design without assuming you are a UI guru but also without treating you as a simpleton that need to have everything explained to you. Joel has an entertaining and engaging style.

You will find your self wanting to continue reading, and learning. You will find yourself thinking - "aha that is why it's that way" or "no wonder the customer alway complains about that bit" or maybe just "that is what I was doing then" when you finally know what the name is for the concept you applied without knowing.

All in all I would HIGHLY recommend this for new and experienced UI designer alike as a must have - maybe not sat on the bookshelf as a constant reference but they should all have read a copy at somepoint!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A cover to cover read 24 Jun 2005
Format:Paperback
I've just spent a very enjoyable afternoon reading this book. Joel has a very engaging writing style and avoids being preachy or overly flippant.
To some extent I suspect that Joel's audience are already converted given that they are reading the book at all - but I'll admit to committing a few of the sins he describes so entertainingly, and I'll avoid them in future.
I recommend it as a good read almost as much as for its technical content - buy it at once.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An entertaining and helpful book 21 Nov 2003
Format:Paperback
This book reminds me of an entertaining evening lecture, rather than a dull college one. It is humourous and light, I read it in an evening. Along the way I found myself agreeing with many of the points made, being challenged by others, but never failing to finish each chapter without having learned something useful.
I'm sure I'll be dipping into time and again to make sure the my user-interfaces of my own applications match up.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly enjoyable read 17 April 2002
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I'll start by saying that I thoroughly enjoyed this book; it's been a long time since I read something that I actually wanted to take home with me.
That said, it's a very short book and doesn't have a lot to say. Unlike every other UI book ever written there are no rules, no guidelines, not even much in the way of suggestions. It doesn't tell you what to do or not do and it doesn't tell you when or even why!
So why the five-star rating? Because the one underlying message that's hammered (entertainingly) home over 135 pages is so incredibly vital and I can't think of anywhere else I've ever seen it actually written down. The message is very simple - think about what you're doing. Think about the interface you're designing, what it's going to be used for and who by. This is the first book I've ever read where the author actually seems to understand that no set of rules can possibly cover all the bases and therefore it is equally applicable whether you're designing a complex Windows application or a single-screen web page.
I'd imagine there are some pixel-perfect uniformity junkies out there who might hate this book, but to everyone else - read and enjoy!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Experienced, Perceptive, and Easy to Read 26 Sep 2002
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a great book. It is written for those programmers that know they don't know much about user interfaces, but also know they'll have to make the decisions because their employer doesn't have anyone else. From a mainly Windows point of view, it goes through common features in dialogue boxes, menus, task structure, and so on, discussing the common principles and things that are easy to fix.
It points out that users can't remember and can't use the mouse. Convention-following design is often better simply because it doesn't surprise users. Things that take you weeks to code may be experienced by the user in seconds, so they had better be clear.
The book is very easy to read, in plain English with plenty of screen shots. It says things that all application programmers should know. I think of it as being the desktop-application equivalent to "Don't Make Me Think" by Steve Krug, which is about web usability.
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