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About Face 3: The Essentials of Interaction Design

ISBN: 978-1-118-07915-7
648 pages
June 2012
About Face 3: The Essentials of Interaction Design (1118079159) cover image
This completely updated volume presents the effective and practical tools you need to design great desktop applications, Web 2.0 sites, and mobile devices. You’ll learn the principles of good product behavior and gain an understanding of Cooper’s Goal-Directed Design method, which involves everything from conducting user research to defining your product using personas and scenarios. Ultimately, you’ll acquire the knowledge to design the best possible digital products and services.
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About the Authors vi

Foreword: The Postindustrial World xxi

Acknowledgments xxv

Introduction to the Third Edition xxvii

Part I Understanding Goal-Directed Design 1

Chapter 1 Goal-Directed Design 3

Chapter 2 Implementation Models and Mental Models 27

Chapter 3 Beginners, Experts, and Intermediates 41

Chapter 4 Understanding Users: Qualitative Research 49

Chapter 5 Modeling Users: Personas and Goals 75

Chapter 6 The Foundations of Design: Scenarios and Requirements 109

Chapter 7 From Requirements to Design: The Framework and Refinement 125

Part II Designing Behavior and Form 147

Chapter 8 Synthesizing Good Design: Principles and Patterns 149

Chapter 9 Platform and Posture 161

Chapter 10 Orchestration and Flow 201

Chapter 11 Eliminating Excise 223

Chapter 12 Designing Good Behavior 249

Chapter 13 Metaphors, Idioms, and Affordances 269

Chapter 14 Visual Interface Design 287

Part III Designing Interaction Details 321

Chapter 15 Searching and Finding: Improving Data Retrieval 323

Chapter 16 Understanding Undo 335

Chapter 17 Rethinking Files and Save 349

Chapter 18 Improving Data Entry 367

Chapter 19 Pointing, Selecting, and Direct Manipulation 375

Chapter 20 Window Behaviors 423

Chapter 21 Controls 439

Chapter 22 Menus 473

Chapter 23 Toolbars 493

Chapter 24 Dialogs 505

Chapter 25 Errors, Alerts, and Confirmation 529

Chapter 26 Designing for Different Needs 551

Afterword: On Collaboration 565

Appendix A Design Principles 569

Appendix B Bibliography 575

Index 581

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For over 30 years Alan Cooper has been a pioneer of the modern computing era. His groundbreaking work in software design and construction has influenced a generation of programmers and business people—and helped a generation of users. He is best known as the "Father of Visual Basic," inventor of personas, and founder of Cooper, the leading design consultancy.

As Director of Design R&D at Cooper, Robert Reimann led dozens of design projects and helped develop many of the methods described in About Face 3. Currently, he is Manager of User Experience at Bose Corporation and President of IxDA, the Interaction Design Association.

David Cronin is Director of Interaction Design at Cooper, where he's led the design of products for such diverse users as surgeons, museum visitors, online shoppers, automobile drivers, financial analysts, and the elderly.

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  • New content relevant to the popularization of new Web technologies and mobile platforms
  • The continuation of a general shift in emphasis from Windows desktop software to other platforms and domains including appliances, web applications, consumer electronics and mobile devices
  • Updated examples to reflect current state-of-the-art interfaces and additional case studies where appropriate
  • Updated graphics, icons, layout, and cover to speak compellingly to a more design-literate audience
  • Updates to Cooper’s immensely popular Goal-Directed Design methodology
  • Updates to reflect new thinking in interface, interaction and product design methods
  • A reorganization to make it more accessible as a reference book
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