Top positive review
A good reference...
on November 2, 2012
I needed this book for a class on designing interfaces and ergonomics. The book's approach into splitting each technique into a usable pattern is smart. It makes the book a very useful one to keep on your shelf for quick reference. For example, it takes two minutes to look-up patterns on how to "List items" and select one that qualifies for the task at hand.
Each pattern has a "Why, How, Where" way of explaining them so if you know you want to use a specific pattern, but don't know how it should be presented then it's very easy to get an answer.
There are many pictures in the book so it makes learning patterns visually very efficient and it gives a clear idea on some of the patterns that may have unusual names. I did not read the previous edition, but I can safely say the pictures and some of the patterns are updated to today's technology. All of them are real-world examples of the latest trends so it's a decent pick-up if you want to get updated.
My only gripe with this book is that since it tends to be more of a reference reading it is pretty boring and static. I mostly skimmed over the patterns and only took interest into the ones I didn't know. Most of the elements in the book are very obvious for anyone who follows technology so it might be more useful if you are someone that started working in the 90's and need an update on the current trends.
Lastly, 99% of the interfaces covered are composed of regular widgets that come with any good UI toolkit. There's barely any mention on building custom interfaces such as the ones that would be used in a planes cockpit or in video games, so I can't say I've learned much about building exceptional interfaces for custom needs(Chapter 1 kind of gives you input on what you should do before drawing a prototype).
Overall good concise book that goes to the point. A great reference.