About Face 3: The Essentials of Interaction Design Paperback – Import, 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
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.
- Publisher : John Wiley & Sons (15 May 2007)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 648 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0470084111
- ISBN-13 : 978-0470084113
- Item Weight : 940 g
- Dimensions : 18.8 x 3.56 x 23.52 cm
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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.
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!