My bookshelf is full of HCI texts. Some are great, some not so great. This is one of the greats. That's why I've been using the first edition for my Georgia Tech College of Computing undergraduate HCI class for the past four years and will move on to using this second edition as soon as it is ‘hot off the press’.
I like this text because it emphasizes the process of user interface design rather than the artifacts and technology of UI design. It is process that I believe is the most important part of UI design, and the hardest for technology-oriented students to appreciate.
Importantly, the process discussion does not just say ‘first do this, then do that, next do such and such.’ Yes, the text of necessity prescribes, but more importantly, it also describes, with lots of examples and for-instances to help the reader fully understand and appreciate the prescription.
The prescription is right on, and can be boiled down to Hansen's classic admonition ‘know thy user’ (Hansen 1971)1 followed by ‘consider alternatives,’ ‘prototype early, prototype often’ and ‘test early, test often’—or, as some would say, ‘fail early, fail often’, since there will surely be some failures in the testing.
When I first started teaching a full semester-long HCI course to computer science students about thirty years ago, I spent much more time than now on details of interaction devices and interaction ...