Goal-Centered Design

Alan Cooper’s  About Face 3: The Essentials of Interaction Design is the standard for user centered design, in my opinion.  The original 1995 version changed how I approached designing computer programs & interfaces and every programmer who writes user facing systems should read any version of this book.   Warning:  If you’re currently working on a GUI intensive app, reading this book may cause you to rework lots (but the users will benefit).

The latest version is much expanded from the original but the second half especially has useful information on proper use of dialogs, toolbars, menus, etc. The first part covers mental models and behavioral aspects of human-computer interaction and the last part goes through many current UI paradigms which could be vastly improved.  An interesting read on many levels and worth the time if you’re interested in this area.

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