May 8, 2009
Impressively, my colleagues Ben Shneiderman and Catherine Plaisant have published the 5th edition of the text Designing the User Interface. There aren’t many focused professional activities that one can pursue for over 20 years, but Ben – and now Catherine – have sustained, and actually increased their energy in this one. This nearly 600 page full-color book is an excellent way to learn about the field of Human-Computer Interaction, and to see the lay of the land from both researcher and practitioner perspectives.
The book explains the core issues in designing usable, useful, efficient and appealing user interfaces. It illustrates the issues with numerous current screenshots of websites, applications, devices, and broad contexts of use. It offers guidelines backed by research, and it explains the theory in lay terms so the guidelines make sense.
Covering just about every major HCI topic, from basic usability and design processes to design for mobile and social environments, this book offers a very broad summary of the field. It also introduces more advanced topics such as search interfaces and information visualization among others – giving readers entry points into important trends.
With deep references, and access to sample quizzes and PowerPoint slides online, I strongly recommend this book to HCI instructors, students, and professionals new to the field. Congratulations to Ben and Catherine for continuing to support this field and educate the next generation of software designers and developers.