REVIEW - The elements of user interface design

Title:

The elements of user interface design

Author:

Theo Mandel

ISBN:

0471162671

Publisher:

John Wiley & Sons (1997)

Pages:

440pp

Reviewer:

Nigel Armstrong

Reviewed:

August 1998

Rating:

★★☆☆☆

This is best regarded as a sort of consciousness raising exercise. The author has had long experience in UI design and this book contains a wide-ranging trawl across the depth and breadth of what is involved in the subject. However, in the end, what comes across is the lack of a single authorial voice. What he tends to do is to talk about various problems and issues in various types of UI design, then present a list of bullet points, often taken from somebody else's work. This would not be so bad, were it not that it happens so many times and that one list of points is frequently followed by another. Every chapter also has its own long and copious bibliography. The end result is that of a survey of the subject rather than an authoritative work in its own right.

There is a lot of very useful material here, once you can get past the way it is presented. It certainly made me think deeply about the UIs for which I have been responsible and given me ideas about how they might be improved. If you are looking for a good broad-based introduction to the subject and don't mind a (very) American style of presentation, then this has to be on the list of possible choices.


Book cover image courtesy of Open Library.