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on 22 August 2012
This book is a collection of some of the most common user interface patterns found in contemporary software and web applications.

The major advantage of this book are the clear explanations of each pattern and that do a good job at showing the design decisions behind them. It makes you think beyond the pattern and more on the interaction and navigation issues that you must identify within your widget, piece of software or webpage.

The book lacks some of the patterns found in web applications and mobile interfaces nowadays. Though there are other titles dedicated to these, I didn't find one yet that is as clear and informed about interface design as this one.

A book on interaction and interface design might be a good help before heading to this one. A background on these disciplines might help you take the most from this book, as well as this book will be a good hands on approach to the concepts learnt from those disciplines.

Although this is a reference book, I think it must be read through before it can be used comfortably. The text however is very clear and you can pick three patterns per day.
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on 26 May 2011
Sitting down to design a form: this is the book to use. A palette of varied options with their pros, cons. Concerned with input options, data presentation, navigation, form layout... (see TOC).

This book is a list of ideas. Read it once to know the options. Skim trough it periodically not to overlook alternatives. The alternatives are varied, well illustrated, with a number of examples. Descriptions as long as they merit.

The book describes the current state of the art when designing functionality. In this it is quite complete. It doesn't concern itself with the general philosophy, process or tools.

A great book, highly recommended.
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on 28 August 2015
This book is full of useful information and reliable best-practice guidelines for IXD. It's great in theory... however, in practice, I struggle to actually use the book as a UX designer.

It isn't really suitable to just sit and read cover-to-cover, as it's basically just a catalogue of patterns and there's no particular flow. The tidbits of interesting information are scattered throughout. For every pattern, there are examples, explanations and sometimes a short description of why they should behave a certain way. This is great, but if you're trying to just get a general idea of usability principles, you have to go through an awful lot of "a lightbox is this..." and pages and pages of screenshots to get to each paragraph of useful text.

So the book is really more of a reference guide to be dipped into as and when a UI design issue becomes apparent. You need to design a search results filter? Check the book and see exactly what works or doesn't work, why it works, and real-life examples of how it has been implemented on other sites and software.

However. And this is a big "however", the majority of the time when I am faced with an issue of "how do I design XYZ functionality?" the book does not have any relevant information about the exact pattern I need. Or if it does, the information is so short and vague, that it doesn't really tell me anything useful. An example is when I was creating a dashboard for an interface. This is a pretty major UX pattern, and thankfully the book contained a section outlining it. However there was only 4.5 pages in the book about it - mostly images - with about 100 words of text. No good for me.

It's also a royal pain trying to actually find certain patterns in this book, partly due to the organisation structure of the tome. This isn't a fault of the author or the editor - it's very difficult to put together a single architecture for conceptual, subjective subjects such as design patterns.

For finding this information, you would be better off simply googling your idea and the word "UX".
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on 31 May 2011
This book is definitely a must-buy when you're doing anything related to designing interfaces for software. Why? Because it contains a thoroughly researched and very complete list of about all of the design patterns for interfaces that you will need at this moment.

In Designing Interfaces Tidwell describes everything that is necessary for designing an interface. She starts with the canvas, tells what lay-out is and then moves on to the numerous elements that make up an interface, such as how to get input from a user, how to present (complex) data, how to present lists, et cetera.

Each of the interface patterns is illustrated by a few example color screenshots and a set of answers to the following questions:
- What is it?
- When to use it?
- Why use it?
- How to use it?

This is not a book you read once and then put on a bookshelf. It is a book you flip through once, to take in the complete picture of the available interface design patterns. Then, whenever you have to design a interface (which comes around about every few weeks in my work as a SharePoint administrator and designer), you pick up the book once again to check if you're making the best decisions with regards to the data you have to present or the user input you need.

I did not give this book a 5 star rating, because although the book is comprehensive and clear, it lacks innovative user interface ideas. It describes what is current, but it does not lead the way towards new design patterns.

However, if you're not looking for something new, this book containing a good overview of the available user interface patterns is for definitely for you!
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VINE VOICEon 7 February 2011
This book considers and gives practical, useful advice on designing practical, useful interfaces to websites, web and desktop applications, mobile apps and so on, covering what the author refers to as 'interface idioms' - different styles and types of interface and giving clear direction on how users interact with them.

The patterns themselves are broken down into the what, where used, why and how the patterns are used - each section followed by great, clear screenshots with commentary on the good and bad of each design.

New sections in this edition include integrating social media into your site or app, and also looking at patterns for designing for the mobile web.

The section for mobile I found particularly interesting - it gave a comprehensive range of design patterns appropriate to mobile websites and apps, which gave me some really useful information for a new project.

Overall, a fascinating read, one you can dip into as necessary. Highly recommended
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on 26 September 2014
Great literature. I use it in my education in Web Development.
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