- Paperback: 648 pages
- Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; 3Rev Ed edition (15 May 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0470084111
- ISBN-13: 978-0470084113
- Product Dimensions: 18.8 x 3.6 x 23.5 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 37,598 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- See Complete Table of Contents
About Face 3: The Essentials of Interaction Design Paperback – 15 May 2007
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From the Back Cover
When the first edition of About Face was published in 1995, the idea of designing products based on human goals was a revolutionary concept. Thanks to the work of Alan Cooper and other pioneers, interaction design is now widely recognized as a unique and vital discipline, but our work is far from finished.
This completely updated volume presents the effective and practical tools you need to design great desktop applications, Web 2.0 sites, and mobile devices. This book will teach you the principles of good product behavior and introduce you to Cooper′s Goal–Directed Design method, from conducting user research to defining your product using personas and scenarios. In short, About Face 3 will show you how to design the best possible digital products and services.
About the Author
For over 30 years Alan Cooper has been a pioneer of the modern computing era. His groundbreaking work in software design and construction has influenced a generation of programmers and business people and helped a generation of users. He is best known as the "Father of Visual Basic," inventor of personas, and founder of Cooper, the leading design consultancy.
As Director of Design R&D at Cooper, Robert Reimann led dozens of design projects and helped develop many of the methods described in About Face 3. Currently, he is Manager of User Experience at Bose Corporation and President of IxDA, the Interaction Design Association.
David Cronin is Director of Interaction Design at Cooper, where he′s led the design of products for such diverse users as surgeons, museum visitors, online shoppers, automobile drivers, financial analysts, and the elderly.
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Top Customer Reviews
The book is organised into three distinct parts, each of which has a rather different tone. The first part is an introduction to "personas" and their goals. Much emphasis is placed on detailed research such as interviews with sample users, which is a fine luxury if you have the resources and time! However, even developers working in smaller teams will find the general principles useful.
The second part is concerned with the overall approach that an application should take. It discusses "posture": whether an application should be "full-screen" and sovereign or an infrequently used utility, and how this changes the top-level design.
This second part includes my favourite chapter, "Eliminating Excise", which is really pretty funny - it points out why we find prompts from Word annoying and why Motorola phones are just plain frustrating. However, the advice to fix these frustrations might be a bit over the top unless you have an infinite development budget: I too would love to have multi-level undos that are persistent across application sessions.
The final part covers specific advice on layouts and controls. It brings together more concrete suggestions based on the previous two parts.
It's quite possible that the ideas in this book influenced the design of applications such as Office 2007 and iTunes. Although few developers have the challenge of designing Web sites or applications for the mass market, the advice in this book is worth considering even for corporate applications. Just watch the budget!
My only observation is that it is focussed more on computer interfaces than web sites. Although its all the same, I think its important to bear in mind as many references focus on product development and not web development which is more fluid in my opinion. As such, a lot of the methodology is better suited to teams that have the time to go to the next level to get userability right before a product launch in comparison to web sites which are oftem more lightweight and flexible.
Definatly recommended for people that dont want a phamphlet on the subject, ie the sort of book designed to be read on a plane trip like many others are.
However, this book has opened my eyes to a much wider range of techniques for managing the research phase of development. The need to get "buy-in" from other departments / managers and such like to allow research projects to be funded to even a prototype stage is critical, and the detailed advice given in this books first 100 pages alone is worth the asking price IMO.
If all you are after is a book to tell you how to design a user interface, this may not be what you're after.
Likewise, if you're working on personal projects that are not required to be used by others - or need any kind of funding to be developed, I'd imagine that there are other books that just cover general UX design / layout do's and dont's.
But, if you work in any kind of R&D or development environment that requires projects to be green-lit via research (eg. You need to prove that your idea will meet requirements before you'll be allowed to develop it), then I can't recommend this book highly enough.
This is certainly a 5 star book given the huge learnings I have taken from it. Having said that - it does feel a little long winded in parts and I found myself skim reading chunks of it to get to the meat. There is no doubt that following the authors' methodology to the letter would be a long and painstaking (but successful) task that few will do - but even following a watered down version of their recommendations will be hugely valuable.
Being busy I would have loved an "abridged" version that summarised the key points in 200 pages compared with the 550+ pages - for at times it reads as much as an academic text on the subject as a practical one. But of course some people will want all the detail - and those people will love it. For those that want things a little snappier I would still recommend the book - it's packed with insight - but you will probably want to skim over some sections.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Super Books, explains in detail a lot of areas that most gloss over. It also explains how to practically go about implementing a lot of methods and techniques which others fail to... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Brid Mulligan
Common sense when you have read it. So worth reading if you design interfaces etcPublished 20 months ago by Mr. C. M. Deane
A must-have with the easiest to understand overview of the domain that I have ever come across. Highly recommended for both breadth and depth on the subject, and plenty of concrete... Read morePublished on 12 Feb. 2013 by g.
Revised version of a book that's been around for some time. This is absolutely essential reading for anybody working in interaction design or other areas of user experience. Read morePublished on 19 Oct. 2012 by Mr. L. M. Mcivor
Having thoroughly enjoying Alan Cooper at this years UXLondon I really thought I should grab a copy of this book. Essential reading for every interaction designer. Buy it now!Published on 24 July 2012 by JamesG
Read it, enjoy it, apply the concepts.
Mix with "The design of everyday things" and you will become better. Read more
This book covers every aspect you could think of in the field of UI design - UX, usability, cognitive psychology. Read morePublished on 29 July 2010 by Aaron D. Mc Adam
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