Book Review: Elements of User Interface Design
A total introduction to user interface (UI) design, Elements of User Interface Design covers theory and application with easy language and real world examples. Author Theo Mandel achieves an effective blend of theoretical consideration and practical utilization without leaving the less experienced user by the wayside. At the same time, even the most hardened applications developer will find abundant value in the discussions of user psychology and the analyses of popular UIs of the past and present.
Chapter topics include UI models, computer standards and UI guidelines, usability testing, command-line and menu driven interfaces, and graphical user interfaces (GUIs). The book also discusses intelligent agents and Internet interfaces at length. Each chapter contains examples from some of the most popular applications and operating systems complete with analysis and historical background.
The book itself has a fairly friendly UI; Mandel's writing is conversational and easy to follow, even when discussing complex topics. Throughout each chapter, "Key Ideas," such as tool tips, are broken out for clarification and quick reference on the current topic. Quotes at the beginning of each group of chapters are both topical and entertaining.