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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:
Object Modelling and User Interface Design
Author:
Mark van Harmelen
ISBN:
0 201 65789 9
Publisher:
Addison-Wesley
Pages:
452pp
Price:
£34-99
Reviewer:
Roger N Lever
Subject:
modelling languages; user interfaces
Appeared in:
13-4
This is a collection of work by various authors focused around using object methodology techniques with the issue of the human computer interface (HCI) and user interface design. The editor has organised the book into five overall parts
  1. Participatory Design
  2. Scenario and Task-based Design
  3. Use Case Based Design
  4. User Centred Design
  5. Summary

Within each part one or more approaches are illustrated by the author(s) in terms of the main content and these follow a similar approach of introduction, main body, conclusion and references. For example some of the approaches include Accelerated Business Concept Modelling, Designing with Idiom and Rational Unified Process. The nature of this book, an overview of many approaches, obviously means that for those readers/designers looking for a substantial offering on any one particular subject will be disappointed. However, the value of this work is in the holistic approach taken, organising and examining various different approaches, what problems they are trying to address, the relationship of the methodology and HCI and how that approach moves the designer towards a solution.

For those interested in finding a review of the current industry work in relation to designing interactive systems this book has much to offer. Since each author has provided a complete reference section the dedicated reader is able to follow-up any particular approach with the wealth of reference material. The final part of the book also includes a brief synopsis of each author and an email address, which some may find interesting. For those readers that wish to see an in-depth discussion of object modelling using one approach then this book will not be satisfying. Equally this book is not aimed at those trying to learn individual techniques, although there will be some who may well learn from it. In short, for those interested in an industry overview ofdesigning interactive systems this book is recommended.