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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:
The Elements of User Interface Design
Author:
Theo Mandel
ISBN:
0 471 16267 1
Publisher:
Wiley
Pages:
440pp
Price:
£27-50
Reviewer:
Nigel Armstrong
Subject:
user interfaces
Appeared in:
10-4
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.