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Designing from Both Sides of the Screen: How Designers and Engineers Can Collaborate to Build Cooperative Technology Paperback – Dec 10 2001


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Sams; 1 edition (Dec 10 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0672321513
  • ISBN-13: 978-0672321511
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 17.9 x 2.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 767 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,387,159 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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By A Customer on March 8 2003
Format: Paperback
As an IT project manager for a Fortune 500 company supporting online programs and projects, as well as web sites and applications, this book summarizes a day in my life. Not just a must-read, but a godsend for both application developers and UI designers -- two groups who traditionally don't always see eye-to-eye. Can't we all just get along? Yes! This book tells you how, using simple, easy-to-understand language and real-life examples. End users and customers will thank you for reading it.
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Format: Paperback
I highly recommend this book as an invaluable resource for anyone currently in, or looking to enter, the instructional design field. The authors have successfully been able to present information, which can often be dry and complex, in a clear and easy to read format.
I have a read many books in this area and they have been a fantastic cure for insomnia. This on the other hand is a compelling read from start to finish. Many of the concepts presented will not be foreign to people that work in this field or in the area of product development. However the logical order and detailed examples work brilliantly to drive home the principles.
Publishers in this area should use this book as a bench mark for design and layout for its susinct and logical passage. Thank you very much Ellen and Allan for such a useful tool!
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Format: Paperback
First let me tell you this is an interaction design (or user interface design) book, since the title of the book doesn't do this job well.
This is one of the books that have great impact on me. I agree with the review written by Kevin Mullet (printed on the book's back cover) that the ideas presented in this book are a bit "dangerous". It is dangerous because they are not the common practice yet. If people want to follow these ideas, they need to have changes. Changes are always dangerous to many people.
Those "dangerous" ideas include:
- Build fewer features but build them well. (The current practice is to build as many features as possible so that marketers can list those features for promotion. Is a product easy to use? Everyone can claim that since there are no criteria for such a claim.)
- User interface design should drive the system architecture, not the other way around. (Modifying system architecture is always hard. If we want to support a certain interaction afterwards, the architecture will probably can't support cleanly, if at all.)
- Technology should be used for user needs, but not for technology's own sake. (Visual design should also be treated the same.)

Last but not least, this book shows that user interface design is actually science but not art. We don't need a graphic design degree to be an interaction designer.
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Format: Paperback
This book has many examples of good and bad web pages and also consumer products. What it covers is seemingly obvious, but apparently not realized by many. It shows how users and designers can work together for optimal result. It should be a required reading for anyone doing user-interface designs. It is good that they actually have a good free product, HUBBUB ... .that was created using this design philosophy.
I didn't give it a 5-star only because, to me, the section of their HUBBUB experience and the conclusion was too long and could have been made more concise. Also, it was disappointing to see their product not following their own design goals well enough, which seemed to make the book less effective.
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Format: Paperback
I'm not an expert in either Interface Design or Programming Methodology, and I've only read a little bit in these areas. As I read this book, I found myself thinking: "You mean this approach isn't standard practice already?"
After reading Ellen and Alan's description of how a UI Designer and a Developer should interact with each other, it just seems so obvious that everyone should work this way. User needs should affect architecture, and technology constrains design--how hard can it be to understand that? But the implications--design and development are iterative, and ongoing user testing is critical to the iterative process--could change the way some people think about programming projects. (The old Specify, Design, Program, Test, Release process seems somewhat naive in retrospect.)
The book has a kind of fun and lively feel to it. It's clear that the authors were having fun telling their various stories, and were excited about illustrating their points. The writing is casual, which made it amazingly easy to read.
On the other hand, once the informal style sold me on the overall approach, I almost immediately wanted a more rigorous treatment. I'd have loved an Appendix that summarized the formats of the various documents, for instance, and perhaps one that reviews the process flow diagram used at the beginning of the later chapters. (As a former academic, I found myself wondering as well about the independence and completeness of the Design Guidelines, too, but that's my quirk. It's probably not an issue most readers would care about.)
I think this book could become one of those that inspires a sort of religious commitment to its vision, and that that would probably be a very good thing.
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