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
Amazon.com で最も参考になったカスタマーレビュー (beta)
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!
After going through the theory in the first chapter, the author lists 82 GUI bloopers organised in logical sections, grouped under 7 chapters - thus making the book easily searchable. At first you might think that the book provides a few laughs at the expense of GUI screen shots from software applications publicly available. It certainly does that and it is very entertaining from that point of view, but that is just a side effect of the real value it offers.
Every blooper is described in terms of why it is wrong, accompanied with screen shot examples and reasons why a developer might have committed the mistake. It finishes off by describing the remedy to the blooper and providing GUI solutions for the screenshots that were 'named and shamed' earlier. The approach is very instructive but not overbearing.
Categories include GUI components, layout & appearance, textual, interaction and responsiveness bloopers. Believe me: these are not extreme GUI errors that we never commit; read this book and prepare to be enlightened. It has earned a place on my reference shelf and I am already referring back to it every now and then. We are also using it as a checklist for UI products in Alpha/Beta development and for assisting in the production of a new in-house style guide.
The details cover a broad range of topics relevent to almost any computing professional. Web programmers will enjoy the _extensive_ discussion of the proper use of form elements. Web designers will welcome the section on the proper use of text vs graphics. Traditional applications programmers will like the section on performance and responsiveness.
Given the very specific nature of the advice, GUI Bloopers doesn't help much with overall, high-level user interface design. For advice of that nature, check out Jef Raskin's "The Humane Interface." What Bloopers DOES provide are some additional details to think about when implementing your UI. It also has good advice on development methodology, including the importance of early and frequent user testing.
And this book definetly needed to be written; I identified _MANY_ of the bloopers in my current (fortunately unfinished) application. It also finally convinced me to include user testing in my development process, after several other UI books failed to persuade me of its importance.
My only problems with the book are really more the editor's fault than the author's. Firstly, GUI Bloopers can be overly wordy. For example, Johnson spends 6 pages struggling to get across the idea that extremely small font sizes are bad. Some good editing could probably have reduced the page count by 15%-25%. Also, none of the illustrations have captions explaining what they represent (only numbers), forcing readers to scan the text for references to "figure #21". A decent editor would have pointed this out.
However, harvesting the advice in GUI Bloopers is worth a little rubbernecking. Unless you happen to be a usability guru or quasi-genius, reading GUI Bloopers will definetly improve the usability of your applications.
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