GUI Bloopers: Don'ts and Do's for Software Developers and Web Designers (Interactive Technologies) (英語) ペーパーバック – 2000/3/31
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GUI Bloopers looks at user interface design bloopers from commercial software, Web sites, and information appliances, explaining how intelligent, well-intentioned professionals made these dreadful mistakes--and how you can avoid them. While equipping you with all the theory needed to learn from these examples, GUI expert Jeff Johnson also presents the reality of interface design in an entertaining, anecdotal, and instructive way.
This is an excellent, well-illustrated resource for anyone whose work touches on usability issues, including software engineers, Web site designers, managers of development processes, QA professionals, and usability professionals.
Hear Jeff Johnson's interview podcast on software and website usability at the University of Canterbury (25 min.)
* Takes a learn-by-example approach that teaches you to avoid common errors by asking the appropriate questions of your own interface designs.
* Includes two complete war stories, drawn from the author's personal experience, that describe in detail the challenges faced by UI engineers.
* Covers bloopers in a wide range of categories: GUI components, layout and appearance, text messages, interaction strategies, Web site design, responsiveness issues, management decision-making, and even more at www.GUI-bloopers.com.
* Organized and formatted based on the results of its own usability testing--so you can quickly find the information you need, packaged in easily digested pieces.
*Announcing the sequel: Web Bloopers. Totally devoted to the Web. Go to www.web-bloopers.com.
"Better read this book, or your design will be featured in Bloopers II. Seriously, bloopers may be fun in Hollywood outtakes, but no movie director would include them in the final film. So why do we find so many bloopers in shipped software? Follow Jeff Johnson as he leads the blooper patrol deep into enemy territory: he takes no prisoners but reveals all the design stupidities that users have been cursing over the years."
Jakob Nielsen, Usability Guru, Nielsen Norman Group
"If you are a software developer, read this book, especially if you don't think you need it. Don't worry, it isn't filled with abstract and useless theory--this is a book for doers, code writers, and those in the front trenches. Buy it, read it, and take two sections daily."
Don Norman, President, UNext Learning Systems
The introduction states explicitly that the book is not intending to discuss either UI examples that are the most flagrantly hilarious, or examples that are the worst. Rather, the book critiques UI examples that are some of the most common. The examples are good, and described in depth, with specific reasons given for their classification as mistakes. There are also suggestions in some cases for how the designers could have avoided the blooper.
As a visual designer working primarily on the Web, I found this book as a good place to start learning more about the basics of an analytical approach to User Interface design. Even though the book focusses mostly on stand-alone application design, the principles can still be applied to UI issues on the Web, certainly in Web design using forms or heavy information structure. Some examples are hard to apply to the Web, for instance, the bloopers dealing with application menubar design issues are not widely applicable to Web pages. However, this book provides a great overview of the philosophy and process of UI design.
The worst thing I can say about this book, is that it isn't any fun to read, despite the impression given by the title. Since I come from a less analytical perspective on the topic, it definitely takes some determination to read this, although it is written in a straightforward and accessible manner. The most annoying aspect of the writing is that Jeff Johnson has apparently developed some bitterness towards everyone who is not a UI professional, and he rants constantly about developers, designers, marketing, and management. While his reasoning is usually valid, many entries read like the author is venting his issues to his psychiatrist after a hard week of consulting. With all the jaded complaining about developers (who seem to be his favorite target), I can't believe any of them can tolerate reading this book.
If you can get past Jeff Johnson's fanatical personality then there is much good insight to be gained from this book, for all User Interface novices.
Johnson gives us a widget-by-widget tour of labels, text fields, buttons, radio buttons, check boxes, and overall layout management. But he doesn't stop there. The notion of usability also extends into issues like consistency. Even more important is responsiveness, the chapter on which is worth the price of the book alone.
What makes this book so enjoyable is the multitude of case studies. These aren't meant to make you laugh out loud like Lucille-Ball-botching-her-line bloopers, but rather to get you to concentrate on the bigger picture of usability. The longer case studies of Johnson's experience as a consultant on a set-top-box design project and a game interface project are interesting if you're thinking about working with or becoming an interface design consultant yourself.
Another benefit of the book is that it takes you through common and common sensical design strategies starting from needs analysis to paper prototyping to early focus group testing and refinement. The references to deeper studies in many of these areas are plentiful.
This book is more focused on GUIs than books like Ben Schneiderman's _Designing the User Interface_, which is a useful, thoughtful survey, but reads like a Ph.D. thesis compared to _GUI Bloopers_. Johnson is also focused on usability, in contrast to something like the _Java Look and Feel Design Guidelines_, which focuses exclusively on graphical layout issues, such as how many pixels to leave around 9 point sans serif font in a button and what color scheme to use for highlighted icons.
One final note: Johnson ate his own dog food and usability tested his book!
Even though the applications used in the book are from the nineties, they are still very applicable, since the advice given frequently transcends the tools used to build the screens. It is applicable to web applications as well.
I read through this book once, and now use it as a reference.
I was at the session at the Computer Human Interaction conference in Holland where Jeff Johnson spoke. But another Jeff, Jeff Raskin also spoke and showed how some of Johnson's examples could be improved.
Raskin also introduced a book, The Humane Interface, somewhat deeper than this one, that helps you to really understand Web design. I'd reccomend reading and understanding Raskin's book so that you can see the few places where Johnson's ideas don't quite work. Then you can use this book, which is 95% right.