About Face: The Essentials of Interaction Design, 4th edition
By Cooper, Alan
Book – 2014
Many years ago in the mid-’90s, Alan Cooper wrote the first edition of this leading UI design book. Its revelation for me was the concept of automatic save. When you are using, say, a word processor, you normally want to save before closing. So that is automatic, and if you want otherwise then you have to ask for it via some menu or control. There are never confirmation dialogs saying “are you sure you want to …”. Instead, there is an undo function which can reverse any action when you want to go back.
Cooper got his ideas while designing the original Microsoft VB. But ten years later, users of Word still need to save their work manually. It brings to mind a horror story I witnessed when an inexperienced senior was closing a word processor and asking with concern why it was asking ‘do you want to replace your existing file’. For someone who does not know the difference between volatile memory and permanent storage, this is a hurdle.
Of course, Google got the right idea, so you don’t have to tell Doc to save your work.
About Face discusses all aspects of interaction design in great detail. It has advanced with the times and covers touch-screen tablet devices. But in a world which is rapidly moving to do everything in the browser, perhaps Cooper should devote more of the book to web apps. There is a great but short section on web search UI which I find to be the high point of the book.
This edition, at 650 color pages, is much bigger than the original. That is good because there is so much to discuss.
Application Development With Qt Creator By Rischpater, Ray
Book – 2014
IPhone User Interface Design Projects, David Barnard et al, Apress, 2009
App UI designers will want to read this. It explores the design of 5 popular iPhone apps: form layouts, multitouch interaction, visual appeal. 200 pages.
Cocoa Design Patterns, Erik M. Buck, Addison-Wesley, 2010
Mac and iPhone programmers will want to read this. It also applies to the open source GNUstep project, used on Linux and Windows. You need to know Objective C. 400 pages.
Programming WPF / Chris Sells and Ian Griffiths, O’Reilly, 2007
If you program applications using .net you probably need this excellent book. 800 Pages.
Getting started with Flex 3 / Jack Herrington, O’Reilly, 2008
This book will help you develop Flash or RIA applications. It’s amazing how much useful info for a beginner programmer they can pack into a pocket sized book. 125 pages.
Cocoa programming for Mac OS X for dummies / by Erick Tejkowski, Wiley, 2009
If you don’t mind using Objective C then Apple has good tools for developing user interfaces. Here is a book which will help beginner to intermediate programmers.
Cocoa programming for Mac OS X / Aaron Hillegass, Addison-Wesley, 2008.
Here’s a good book for Mac GUI programmers. 400 pages.
Rapid GUI programming with Python and Qt : the definitive guide to PyQt programming / Mark Summerfield, Prentice Hall, 2008
If you are looking for the best toolset for rapid development of applications, your choice might be Python with Qt. Also, your resulting product will be maintainable and portable. This book is a top guide to programming PyQt, 600 pages and hardcover.