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The ACCU passes on review copies of computer books to its members for them to review. The result is a large, high quality collection of book reviews by programmers, for programmers. Currently there are 1918 reviews in the database and more every month.
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Title:
GUI Design Essentials
Author:
S Weinschenk, P Jamar&S Yeo
ISBN:
0 471 17549 8
Publisher:
Wiley
Pages:
345pp+CD
Price:
£34-95
Reviewer:
Edward Crosby
Subject:
user interfaces
Appeared in:
10-3
Like it or not, most users will judge an application within the first 10 seconds by its GUI interface. The old adage of judging a book by its cover equally applies to software and its GUI. This book is divided into two parts, part one - how to capture what our GUI must achieve and make it practical to the end user and part two - how to choose and layout the controls on the form. The former discusses the processes and reviews well whilst the second illustrates good screen layout.

What the book lacks is substance. We know when to use a radio button instead of a check box but just how many twips high is a command button? You see, what is written down in this book is just plane common sense but when it comes to implementing the interface we want to know numbers. How many of us have sized up our command buttons to match those in a Microsoft product or let the control snap to the grid so that it looks about right? Just how high is a status bar. When an application is being developed consistency is paramount and the higher the number of developers the greater the need becomes to have these details documented.

This book does have one big plus. For anyone writing a GUI standard the CD contents are an excellent place to start. The authors have included their GUI standard as a word document and given the reader permission to bespoke it accordingly.