What are some good books on User Interface design? How do you define user interfaces in your software specification documents? The Hub Tech Insider User Interface Design Bookshelf July 31, 2011Posted by hubtechinsider in Agile Software Development, Ecommerce, Mobile Software Applications, Product Management, Project Management, Social Media, Software, Uncategorized.
Tags: Information Architects, Luke Wroblewski, Microsoft Visio, Om Malik, product management, Project Management, Project manager, Rich Internet Application, User Experience, User interface, User interface design
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The Hub Tech Insider User Interface Design Bookshelf: Essential UI Design Books for IT Directors, Project Managers, Program Managers, Software Requirements Engineers, Business Analysts, User Interface Designers, Graphic Designers, Interaction Designers and Information Architects.
Some of the tools that I typically use to produce wireframes and mockups to specify software that is under development include traditional desktop personal computer graphics application software packages such as Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, business graphics and diagramming packages such as Microsoft Visio, and many others, including some on the Mac OS X and Linux platforms.
But no matter which software program you use to prepare your wireframes and mockups, you still need to have the knowledge surrounding what types of controls are available, and the wisdom to know the most apropos situations in which to use those software controls.
It may be surprising to many people that are not involved in the software industry, but it is not always system and application software programmers who are the most familiar with these types of user interface interactivity patterns and controls. User interface designers, graphic designers, and information and interaction architects are usually the ones who specify these types of “Web 2.0” controls.
If you are writing software specification documents, I recommend that you become as familiar as possible with all of the different types of rich internet application controls and interaction patterns that are examined in detail within these books. Programmers and project and program managers will benefit as well.
A great amount of time and effort will be saved if everyone on the project team has familiarity with these fundamental web interface and interaction patterns. Having a common vocabulary with which to communicate to each other in design and development meetings will pay dividends throughout the course of the software development lifecycle.
The ability to suggest an interaction pattern or a type of control that can preserve screen or page real estate, for instance, can make the critical difference in getting a software system design specified in a limited amount of time. Having knowledge of user interface best practices and common user interaction patterns in-house, on the project team itself, can not only save money in avoidance of expensive user interface consultants and UI design firms, but it can also ensure that the tricky question of post-implementation compliance amongst your development team and programming staff.
I have compiled a list of books that in my opinion merit a place on any professional user interface designer’s bookshelf. If you are looking to stock your User Interface library, you really can’t go wrong with this list of books.
I feel that IT Directors, Product Managers, Program Managers and Project Managers, as well as Graphic Designers, Information Architects, and Interaction Designers and Usability Engineers (read this article if you need help understanding what these job titles mean) could all benefit from reading several or all of these books.
I have found in my professional career that having advanced knowledge of User Interface design techniques and best practices aids me greatly in producing high quality project plans and functional specifications for web based applications and their related software development projects. Mockups and wireframes that incorporate the various design patterns outlined in these books have greatly increased my ability to communicate and develop project related deliverables and artifacts for complex and cutting edge user interfaces, particularly those that include social media platform integrations and RIA, or Rich Internet Application, frontends.
The more knowledge that you acquire in your professional career on a software development team, and the more you know about user interfaces for web based applications, the more value you will be capable of delivering to both your employer and yourself in the form of expanded career opportunities.
Web Form Design: Filling in the Blanks
By Luke Wroblewski. Rosenfeld Media, May 2008.
Anyone who designs anything for the web needs a copy of this. It makes it so nice to not have to think about designing forms. I can spend my time on more interesting design challenges. This book doesn’t leave my desk.
Forms make or break the most crucial online interactions: checkout, registration, and any task requiring information entry. In this book, Luke Wroblewski draws on original research, his considerable experience at Yahoo! and eBay, and the perspectives of many of the field’s leading designers to show you everything you need to know about designing effective and engaging web forms.
I have found this book to be the most practical, comprehensive and data-driven guide for solving form design challenges and I consider it an essential reference.
The Smashing Book #1
This book is available exclusively from Smashing Magazine. This book looks at Web design rules of thumb, color theory, usability guidelines, user interface design, best coding and optimization practices, as well as typography, marketing, branding and exclusive insights from top designers across the globe.
This book contains ten carefully prepared, written and edited stories that are based upon topic suggestions and wishes of Smashing Magazine’s readers. The topics covered here are fundamental and so the content is highly practical.
The Smashing Book #2
This book shares valuable practical insight into design, usability and coding. It provides professional advice for designing mobile applications and building successful e-commerce websites, and it explains common coding mistakes and how to avoid them. You’ll explore the principles of professional design thinking and graphic design and learn how to apply psychology and game theory to create engaging user experiences.
Designing Web Interfaces: Principles and Patterns for Rich Interactions
By Bill Scott & Theresa Neil
Want to learn how to create great user experiences on today’s web? In this book, UI experts Bill Scott and Theresa Neil present more than 75 design patterns for building great web interfaces that provide interaction. Distilled from the author’s years of experience at Sabre, Yahoo!, and Netflix, these best practices are grouped into six key principles to help you take advantage of the web technologies available today. With an entire section devoted to each design principle, Designing Web Interfaces illustrates many patterns with full-color examples from working websites. If you need to build or renovate a website to be truly interactive, this book will give you the principles for success.
Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, 2nd Edition
by Steve Krug
Five years and more than 100,000 copies after it was first published, it is very difficult to imagine anyone working in web development or design that has not read this classic on web usability, but people are still discovering it every day. In this second edition, Steve adds three new chapters in the same style as the original: wry and entertaining, yet loaded with insights and practical advice for novice and veteran alike. Don’t be surprised if it completely changes the way you think about web design.
The three new chapters are entitled: Usability as common courtesy (why people really leave web sites), Web accessibility, CSS, and you (making sites usable and accessible), and Help! My boss wants me to ______. (Surviving executive design whims).
In this second edition, Steve adds essential ammunition for those whose bosses, clients, stakeholders, and marketing managers insist on doing the wrong thing. If you design, write, program, own, or manage web sites, you must read this book.
Rocket Surgery Made Easy: The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Finding and Fixing Usability Problems
It’s been known for years that usability testing can dramatically improve products. But with a typical price tag of $5,000 to $10,000 for a usability consultant to conduct each round of tests, it rarely happens.
In this how-to companion to Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, Steve Krug spells out an approach to usability testing that anyone can easily apply to their own web site, application, or other product. (As he said in Don’t Make Me Think, “It’s not rocket surgery”.)
Information Architecture for the World Wide Web: Designing Large-Scale Web Sites
Saul Wurman first used the term Information Architecture in his book of the same name. His book was mostly lots of really pretty pictures of media and webs compiled from a graphic design perspective; they were beautiful but never really dealt with the information end of things. Rosenfeld and Morville get it right. They show how to design manageable sites right the first time, sites built for growth. They discuss ideas of organization, navigation, labeling, searching, research, and conceptual design. This is almost common sense, which is often overlooked in the rush for cascading style sheets and XML.
The Elements of User Experience: User-Centered Design for the Web
From the moment it was published almost ten years ago, Elements of User Experience became a vital reference for web and interaction designers the world over, and has come to define the core principles of the practice. Now, in this updated, expanded, and full-color new edition, Jesse James Garrett has refined his thinking about the Web, going beyond the desktop to include information that also applies to the sudden proliferation of mobile devices and applications.
Successful interaction design requires more than just creating clean code and sharp graphics. You must also fulfill your strategic objectives while meeting the needs of your users. Even the best content and the most sophisticated technology won’t help you balance those goals without a cohesive, consistent user experience to support it.
With so many issues involved—usability, brand identity, information architecture, interaction design— creating the user experience can be overwhelmingly complex. This new edition of The Elements of User Experience cuts through that complexity with clear explanations and vivid illustrations that focus on ideas rather than tools or techniques. Garrett gives readers the big picture of user experience development, from strategy and requirements to information architecture and visual design.
Forms that Work: Designing Web Forms for Usability
by Caroline Jarrett and Gerry Gaffney
Forms are everywhere on the web – used for registration and communicating, for commerce and government alike. Good forms make for happier customers, better data, and reduced support costs. Bad forms fill your organization’s databases with inaccuracies and duplicates and can cause the loss of potential or current customers. This book isn’t about just colons and choosing the right widgets. It’s about the entire process of making good forms, which has a lot more to do with making sure you’re asking the right questions and in such a way that your users can answer than it does with whether you use a drop-down list or radio buttons.
If your web site includes forms, then you need to read this book. In an easy-to-red format with lots of examples, Caroline Jarrett, who runs the usability consulting company Effortmark Ltd.(http://www.usabilitynews.com), and Gerry Gaffney, who runs the usability consulting company Information & Design Proprietary Ltd.(http://www.uxpod.com), present their three layer model – appearance, conversation, and relationship. You need all three for a successful form – a form that looks good, flows well, asks the right questions in the right way, and most importantly, gets users to fill it out.
Designing good forms is trickier than people think. This book explains exactly how to design great forms for the web. Liberally illustrated with full-color examples, it guides readers through how to define and gather requirements to how to write questions that users will understand and want to answer, as well as how to deal with instructions, progress indicators, and error conditions.
I found that this book provides proven and practical advice that will help designers avoid pitfalls, and produce forms that are aesthetically pleasing, efficient, and cost-effective.
The book is filled with invaluable design methods and tips to help ensure accurate data and satisfied customers, and includes dozens of examples, from nitty-gritty details (label alignment, mandatory fields) to visual design (creating good grids, use of color).
Defensive Design for the Web: How to improve error messages, help, forms, and other crisis points
by Matthew Linderman and Jason Fried
Let the 37signals team show you the best way to prevent your customers from making mistakes, and help them recover for errors if a mistake does occur. This book doesn’t leave my desk either.
The folks at 37signals have created an invaluable resource: tons of ‘best practice’ examples for ensuring that web users can recover gracefully when things – as they inevitably will – go ‘worng’ !
In this book, you will learn 40 guidelines to prevent errors and rescue customers if a breakdown does occur. You will see hundreds of real-world examples from companies like Amazon and Google that show the right (and wrong) ways to handle crisis points.
You can also use this book to evaluate your own site’s defensive design with an easy-to-perform test and find out how to improve your site over the long term.
About Face 3: The Essentials of Interaction Design
By Alan Cooper. Wiley 2007.
Learn the rules before you break them. Please. Pretty please with a cherry on top? Get this book and read it if you are responsible for designing anything more than a simple web site. Good for Flex developers and Ajax developers as well. Lots of patterns that can be extrapolated for Rich Internet Applications.
Prototyping: A Practitioner’s Guide
Prototyping: A Practitioner’s Guide” is a terrific and comprehensive review of both the prototyping process and the tools involved. There’s really very little with which to find fault. I found that the book both validated my experience in prototyping and provided new techniques to try out, with many “Aha!” moments in both respects. The inclusion of case studies illustrating the techniques provide additional perspective and make the techniques more “real”. The review of each prototyping technique/tool, whether paper or software-based, includes links to additional resources like toolkits, sample images, and the like – these would be especially useful to someone just getting started with a particular tool. Speaking as a designer who’s typically relied on HTML prototypes and Visio, I must say my interest in Adobe Fireworks and, to a lesser extent, Axure is piqued. I think any UI/UX/IX designer, of any level of experience, would get something out of this book. Not that it would be useful only to them – analysts and software engineers will benefit from it as well.
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About the author.
I’m Paul Seibert, Editor of Boston’s Hub Tech Insider, a Boston focused technology blog. I have been working in the software engineering and ecommerce industries for over fifteen years. My interests include computers, electronics, robotics and programmable microcontrollers, and I am an avid outdoorsman and guitar player. You can connect with me on LinkedIn, follow me on Twitter, follow me on Quora, even friend me on Facebook if you’re cool. I own and am trying to sell a dual-zoned, residential & commercial Office Building in Natick, MA. I have a background in entrepreneurship, ecommerce, telecommunications and software development, I’m a Technical PMO Director, I’m a serial entrepreneur and the co-founder of several ecommerce and web-based software startups, the latest of which are Twitterminers.com and Tshirtnow.net.
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What’s the difference between a Graphic Designer, an Information Architect and an Interaction Designer? September 15, 2010Posted by hubtechinsider in Definitions, VUI Voice User Interface, Ecommerce, Social Media, Agile Software Development, Mobile Software Applications, Project Management, Software, Wireless Applications, VoIP.
Tags: VUI, mobile software, Mobile Applications, mobile web, Information architecture, Graphic design, Design, World Wide Web, Website, Human-Computer Interaction, User interface, Library science, Interaction Design, Interaction Designer, User Experience, UI, UX
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Information Architecture is the study of the organization and structure of effective web systems. Information architects study and design the relationships between internal page elements, as well as the relationships and navigation paths between individual pages. They combine Web design, information and library science as well as technical skills to order enterprise knowledge and design organizational systems within websites that help Users find and manage information more successfully. They are also responsible for things like ordering tabs and content sections of a web-based software application. They try to structure content and access to functions in such a way as to facilitate Users finding paths to knowledge and the swift accomplishment of their User Goals with the System.
Graphic Design is the skill of creating presentations of content (usually hypertext or hypermedia) that are delivered to Users through the World Wide Web, by way of a Web browser or other Web-enabled software like Internet television clients, micro blogging clients and RSS readers. Graphic designers study and design graphic elements, logos, artwork, stock photography, typography, font selection, color selection, color palettes and CSS styles.
Interaction Design is the process of creating an interface for the user to engage with a site or application’s functionality and content. Interaction designers are concerned mainly with facilitating users’ goals and tasks, and use a systematic and iterative process for designing highly interactive user interfaces. Their methodology includes research and discovery techniques such as requirements analysis, stakeholder analysis, task analysis, as well as prototyping, inspection and evaluation methods to define the structure and behavior of a web-based software system.
What’s the difference between Design and User Experience?
- Design is about changing understanding; user experience is about changing behavior.
- Design is about intent; user experience is about purpose.
- Design is about style; user experience is about substance.
- Design is about the platform; user experience is about the person.
- Design is about the present; user experience is about the past and future.
- Design is about action; user experience is about impact.
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Providence, Rhode Island based Shape Up The Nation, Inc., raises $5 Million in a Series A round of equity financing August 23, 2010Posted by hubtechinsider in Social Media, Startups, Venture Capital.
Tags: Cue Ball, Cue Ball Capital, Providence, Providence Rhode Island, Rhode Island, Series A round, Shape Up The Nation, Social Media, Social network, Social network service, Startups, Venture Capital
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Providence, Rhode Island based Shape Up The Nation, Inc., a provider of social network based online health and wellness services, raises $5 Million in a Series A round of equity financing from a group of investors including Cue Ball Capital and Excel Venture Management.
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Newton’s MedNetworks, Inc. raises $5 Million in a Series A August 21, 2010Posted by hubtechinsider in Health Care IT, Social Media, Startups, Venture Capital.
Tags: Cambridge, Health Care IT, MedNetworks, Newton, Series A round, Social network, Startups, Venture Capital
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Newton’s MedNetworks, Inc., a provider of technology for analyzing real life social networks of physicians and patients, raises $5 Million in a Series A round of equity funding led by Excel Venture Management.
- Healthcare Social Network Analytics Firm Launched (informationweek.com)
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BizCloud Introduces BizCloud Corporate Blogging Solution June 28, 2010Posted by hubtechinsider in Social Media.
Tags: Internet Marketing, Marketing, Social Media
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BizCloud, a leading provider of cloud technology and marketing solutions for small and mid-sized businesses, has announced BizCloud Corporate Blogging Solution as the latest addition to their online business marketing solutions. This offering is designed for businesses that are looking to leverage the most effective online marketing tool to help them create and maintain online awareness and communicate their business message to a broader web audience. BizCloud Corporate Blogging Solution gives businesses an opportunity to open up new communication channels with their customers, share expertise, and generate more web traffic.
Corporate blog offers great number of benefits to businesses that integrate it into their online marketing strategy. It allows businesses to differentiate themselves from competition, achieve higher rankings and greater visibility on the search engines, generate more leads, build brand awareness, and much more. BizCloud Corporate Blogging solution leverages BizCloud’s professional bloggers to produce capturing content on behalf of clients’ companies and convey the most engaging business and industry news to large demographics of potential partners and customers.
Vahid Razavi, President and Founder of BizCloud.net, states, “BizCloud Corporate Blogging provides exceptional levels of integrated Corporate Marketing Solutions and business marketing strategy that is flexible enough to augment the current marketing of a company, or to establish new offerings.”
BizCloud Corporate Blogging Solution is suitable for companies at all stages of development. From startup companies looking to establish a regular online awareness, to industry leaders interested in providing a higher level of insight to their customers, no business can ignore the impact of effective online marketing on its bottom line. Through BizCloud’s proven, cloud based blogging platform, companies can keep their customers and partners informed and tuned in at all times. Content is written on behalf of customers by experienced BizCloud marketing staff, and customized to the specific market and industry segment they operate in.
All Blog Posts can be maintained on BizCloud Network for free, or replicated on a separate corporate blog leveraging WordPress Blog Platform. Effective online communication requires a new approach, integrating the best business content, syndication, technology, and outreach that BizCloud can provide.
Based in San Francisco, California, and offices in Europe and Asia, BizCloud (www.bizcloud.net) is an online business social utility focused on technology and cloud innovations to assist small business owners. BizCloud has mastered the art of integrated delivery alliances of cloud computing infrastructure, BPM platforms, business applications and service delivery organizations to deliver large inclusive customer outcomes for business owners. These Cloud Integrated delivery alliances cover Sales, Marketing, Operations and Engineering solutions customized to individual business needs.
For additional information, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Boston’s Currensee, a social network for foreign exchange traders, raises $8.8 Million April 26, 2010Posted by hubtechinsider in Social Media, Startups, Venture Capital.
Tags: boston, Social Media, Startups, Venture Capital
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Boston’s Currensee, a social network for foreign exchange traders, raises $8.8 Million in a Series B round of investment led by Vernon & Park Capital, North Bridge Venture Partners, and Egan Managed Capital.
Cambridge’s OneForty Inc. raises $1.85 Million in a Series A Round January 22, 2010Posted by hubtechinsider in Social Media, Startups, Venture Capital.
Tags: Cambridge, Social Media, Startups, twitter, Venture Capital
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Cambridge’s OneForty Inc., a Twitter application store and e-commerce platform for developers of applications that integrate with Twitter, raises $1.85 Million in a Series A Round from investors including Flybridge Capital Partners, Javelin Venture Partners, Jefferies & Co, Dave McClure, and Roger Ehrenberg.
Waltham’s ClickSquared, Inc. raises $6.5 Million December 11, 2009Posted by hubtechinsider in Internet Marketing, Social Media, Venture Capital.
Tags: Internet Marketing, Marketing, Venture Capital, waltham
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Waltham’s ClickSquared, Inc., a provider of on-demand intelligent email and relationship marketing services, has raised $6.5 Million from MMV Financial and ROI Capital.
Tags: Acquisitions, Framingham, Social Media, Startups, Venture Capital, waltham
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Framingham, Massachusetts based Punchbowl Software, operator of a party planning web site, has acquired Waltham’s ImIn.com, a group travel site, for undisclosed terms.
LinkedIn workshop hosted by local search firm November 24th in Wellesley November 11, 2009Posted by hubtechinsider in events, Social Media, Staffing & Recruiting.
Tags: events, Social Media, Wellesley
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LinkedIn has emerged as one of the largest professional social networking sites ever. Are you on it? Do you use it to its full potential? On November 24, TreeTop Technologies will be holding a LinkedIn workshop. Hafiz Greigre, TreeTop’s “Human Hub” (don’t ask me what that means — I’m not entirely certain [chuckles] ), will share his insights and expert advice on the do’s and dont’s of this powerful tool, and what you should be doing with your account and why. This event will be held at The Commonwealth Financial Group, Wellesley Office Park, 60 William Street, Suite 200, Wellesley, Mass. 02481. Space is limited. Please call (617) 795-2550, ext. 100 or email jpierre-louis@TreeTopT.com for more details on the event and to RSVP.
Awareness Inc., On-demand social media marketing software firm based in Waltham, names Pitney Bowes vet as CEO November 10, 2009Posted by hubtechinsider in Social Media.
Tags: news, Social Media, waltham
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Awareness Inc., an on-demand social media marketing software firm based in Waltham, MA, names Pitney Bowes vet Mark Cattini as CEO. Cattini was formerly President of Marketing Services at Pitney Bowes Corporation.
Zig Ziglar speaks about Twitter: video May 24, 2009Posted by hubtechinsider in Social Media.
Tags: Social Media, twitter
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I have been a huge fan of Zig Ziglar since reading one of his books a good 15 years ago.
The Ziglar Corporation are a training and development company that have really embraced the Internet and Social Media. The company is now headed by Zig’s Son, Tom Ziglar.
They have a great blog and do some really good Video Podcasts that are available from iTunes.
Below is a short video with Tom and his Father Zig where they talk about Twitter and the benefit it has brought to the Ziglar Corporation.
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