User interface design is all about how people actually interact with things. Many people go throughout the day not thinking about the elevator button they pressed, the mobile application they used, or the knob they turned in their car. I can go on all day listing things that we use, but don’t really pay attention to.
The goal of user interface design is to make the user’s interaction as simple and efficient as possible. If you didn’t have a hard time using the microwave, then it was probably designed well. But let’s be honest, microwaves have terrible user interface. What happened to one simple knob? Who knows, maybe microwave manufacturers are simply trying to troll us and make our lives miserable. 1st world problems…
Sorry for the mini rant. Let’s move along.
The design process must balance technical functionality and visual elements. Most of the time, everyday things should be used with common sense. That’s when you know the design is good.
Currently, there is an uncountable number of published user interface books. This fact presents a problem for every designer: Which books are actually shelf worthy and deserve to be read? To answer that question, below is a list of the 10 must have user interface books.
If you’re a newbie interface designer, these books will get you up to speed and ahead of your competition. They’re well written, easy to read, and simple to understand. Each of these books will teach you something new or give you an insight on how to do things better. Even if you’re a skilled veteran, these books are still bound to inspire you and recover some lost neurons.
Advertisement — Continue reading below
We hope these books will stimulate your mind and enhance your stored vocabulary. Enjoy!
Don’t Make Me Think 2nd Edition
In only a span of five years, over 100,000 copies were sold after its debut. It’s hard to find a web designer who hasn’t read this classic masterpiece about web usability. In this edition, Steve Krug distills his years of experience into simple, practical–and often amusing–common sense advice for designers, programmers, writers, editors, and Webmasters. It’s not a surprise that many readers’ concepts of web design have been completely changed by reading this book.
The Design of Everyday Things
Initially, businesses found out that quality is the key to attaining a competitive advantage; subsequently, came the service. And now, the previous director of the ICS (Institute for Cognitive Science) at UC (University of California), Donald A. Norman, exposes how intuitive designs are the new competitive edge. This literary work in this book is a powerful source of how and why particular products provide customer satisfaction while others provide the complete opposite.
Universal Principles of Design
Whether it’s a museum exhibit, a marketing campaign, a complex control system, or a video game, the concept of design that every designer or non-designer sees is the combination of several concepts, ideas, and practices mashed together from different disciplines. Because nobody is an expert at everything, designers always struggled to look for valuable information on how to create a design masterpiece – until now.
The Universal Principles of Design is a complete design encyclopedia. It provides clear and concise explanations for the visual samples that are used in practice. All major concepts of design are illustrated and defined in this book for the expansion of your knowledge.
About Face 3
This completely updated book, shows practical and effective tools to design amazing Web 2.0 websites, mobile devices, and desktop apps. This book will teach you the rules of great product behavior and the goal-directed design method of Cooper (the author), which includes everything from defining a product using scenarios and personas to directing user-research. After reading this book, you’ll acquire the best knowledge and know-how about design.
The Smashing Book
Containing practical and useful knowledge for developers and web designers, The Smashing Book is a literary work printed in full-color with 10 chapters. This book is exclusively offered by The Smashing Magazine. It tackles web design color theory, rule of thumb, user interface design, optimization practices, usability guidelines, and best coding practices. It also discusses branding, marketing, typography, and presents select insights from some of the best designers in the world.
Visual Display of Quantitative Information
This book is a classic masterpiece on charts, tables, and statistical graphs. It contains 250 illustrations of the finest statistical graphs and a couple of the worst ones. It includes detailed analysis display of data for effectiveness, preciseness and swiftness. It also contains theory and practice of data graphics.
Additionally, this book shows how to design high-resolution graphics, edit and improve designs, make multivariate graphics, time series, data maps, and relational designs. Lastly, it sheds light on topics such as data variation vs. design variation, aesthetics, sources and detection of design deception.
Brave NUI World
Gestural and touch devices have been seen as the next evolution in human-computer interface. This has brought several dilemmas to software developers as they struggle to create touch-based UIs and designers tussle with the task of integrating the technological advancement into their designs. These problems have led to the publishing of this book. It contains the practical and intuitive ways of designing gesture and touch-based interfaces. It shows tools and information needed to undertake touch or gesture based designing.
Make It So
Designers, even non-designers, enjoy the user interfaces shown in sci-fi movies and TV shows. This fact was realized by the author of this book, Nathan Shedroff. He knew that these humorous, instructive and inspiring interfaces in sci-fi shows and movies could be used and applied in real life. With this in mind, he wrote this book. He carefully studied these sci-fi interfaces in which designers can get knowledge and information to make their real-world designs better and more cutting-edge.
Mobile Design Pattern Gallery
Written by an expert in her field, Theresa Neil, this book gives readers a walkthrough of design patterns. This book is intuitively separated into 10 different categories – forms, navigation, tools, searches, tables & lists, charts, invitation, help, and anti-patterns. It provides a handy reference to 70 design patters of mobile apps and it is illustrated by over 400 screenshots of major mobile platforms (Android, Blackberry, iOS, Symbian, WebOS, and Windows Mobile).
Seductive Interaction Design
Providing an answer to the question “Why is everyone ignoring this awesome website or app that I’ve made?”, this book provides a fresh approach towards designing a website or an app that is centered on the phases of seduction.
Principles or concepts of psychology are used all over this book alongside several samples that show how these methods are used with pronounced success. To top it off, this book includes exclusive interviews with influential designers.