User Interface Design
A Software Engineering Perspective

By Soren Lauesen
December 2005
Pearson Education
ISBN: 0321181433
622 pages, Illustrated, 7 ½” x 9 ¼”
$97.50 paper original

Why is it that some computing systems appear simple and intuitive to use, while others confuse the users trying to work with them? For some software designers the interface is still seen as an add-on when the rest of the program has been written while human-computer interaction specialists consider programming the final task after numerous interface prototypes have been designed and evaluated.

This book bridges the gap between the communities by showing how to design screens in a systematic way so that they are easy to understand and support the user interface efficiently. To do so, it draws on experience from programmers as well as usability specialists.

Rather than just showing the reader how to design an interface, the book details how to actually make a fully functional interface putting theory into practice and showing the problems a designer faces when working in a real-world situation.

Part A: Best of the Classics
2. Prototyping and iterative design
3. Data presentation
4. Mental models and interface design
Part B: Systematic Interface Design
5. Analysis, visions and domain description
6. Virtual windows design
7. Function design
8. Prototypes and defect correction
9. Reflections on user interface design
Part C: Supplementary Design Issues
10. Web-based course rating
11. Designing an e-mail system
12. User documentation and support
13. More on usability testing
14. Heuristic evaluation
15. Systems development
16. Data modeling
17. Exercises
18. References

• Shows how to measure usability by describing and providing examples of a variety of evaluation techniques
• Covers usability testing and heuristic evaluation
• Explains different types of prototypes - helps the student evaluate how to select the most appropriate
• In-depth coverage of task analysis
• Shows how to track the design and problems through the different stages so problems can be identified early
• Includes mental models for how users understand what they don’t see
• Coverage of Virtual Windows – presenting data in a few screens that cover many tasks efficiently
• Function design of the interface: adding buttons, menus etc. to the screens in a structured and consistent fashion

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