This third edition of The Essential Guide to User Interface Design is about designing clear, easy-to-understand-and-use interfaces and screens for graphical and Web systems. It is the eighth in a long series of books by the author addressing screen and interface design. Over the past two decades these books have evolved and expanded as interface technology has changed and research knowledge has expanded.
The first book in the series, called The Handbook of Screen Format Design, was published in 1981. It presented a series of screen design guidelines for the text-based technology of that era. Through the 1980s and early 1990s the book's content was regularly updated to reflect current technology and published under different, but similar, titles. In 1994, graphical user interface, or GUI, systems having assumed interface dominance, the newest version of the book, which focused exclusively on graphical system interface design, was released. It was titled It's Time to Clean Your Windows. The follow-on and updated version of It's Time to Clean Your Windows was the first edition of this book, The Essential Guide to User Interface Design. The impetus for these newer editions of The Essential Guide to User Interface Design has been the impact of the World Wide Web on interface and screen design. This new edition incorporates an extensive compilation of Web interface design guidelines, and updates significant general interface findings over the past several years.