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Submission + - GUI Design Book Recommendations? 8

jetpack writes: I've always hated writing user interfaces, and graphical user interfaces in particular. However, I suspect that is largely because I have no clue how to write a *good* one. By this, I don't mean the technical aspects, like using the APIs and so on. I mean what are the issues in designing an interface that is clean, easy to understand and easy to use? What are things to be considered? What are things to be avoided? What are good over-all philosophies of UI design?

To this end, I'd like to pick up a book or two (or three) and get my learn on. I'd appreciate some book suggestions from the UI experts in the Slashdot crowd.
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GUI Design Book Recommendations?

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  • The first book you should look at is "Object-Oriented Interface Design: IBM Common User Access Guidelines". It is old and a lot of people would argue against it being good design, but most software uses some subset of these standards. So it is good to know what the user is used to seeing today.

    The second book is not UI book, but an engineering/psychology book; it is called "The Psychology of Everyday Things" by Donald Norman. It goes into how everyday items are designed and how people think about the things
    • by jetpack ( 22743 )
      I have considered "The Design of Everyday Things" by the same author as "The Psychology of Everyday Things." Would you rate one better than the other?
      • by DaFork ( 608023 )
        They both are the same book. For some reason they changed the title when they reprinted it.
  • Joel Spolsky has written quite a bit on the subject of user interface design, and has published a book based on those articles. Portions of the book are available on his website. [] I haven't read the whole book, but the stuff online is worth reading. You should also check out his more recent rants, as they are good real-world examples of bad design.
    • by jetpack ( 22743 )
      Thanks for that link. I've started reading it and it looks good. I'm still looking for a couple books though, since I've got a gift certificate to burn. I notice that one of the text references that course gives is for "Design of Everyday Things." That book seems to pop up everywhere, so I think I'll pick it up.

You are always doing something marginal when the boss drops by your desk.