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Books about GUI


This is not a comprehensive list of books, there are many other books worth buying. This is just a few GUI/UI books that don't gather dust in our shelves.

Programming with Qt by Kalle Dalheimer, ISBN 1-56592-588-2 is a simple introduction to programming with Qt. For those wanting something more than our short tutorial, this is it. (Read more or buy it.)

The (Psychology|Design) of Everyday Things by Donald Norman, ISBN 0-38526774-6, is one of the classics of human interface design. Norman shows how badly something as simple as a kitchen stove can be designed, and everyone should read it who will design a dialog box, write an error message, or design just about anything else humans are supposed to use.

The title of the first edition was The Psychology of Everyday Things, the book was renamed to The Design of Everyday Things for the second edition, sacrificing a neat acronym for a descriptive title. (Read more or buy it.)

GUI Design Handbook by Susan Fowler, ISBN 0-07-059274-8, is an alphabetical dictionary of widgets and other user interface elements, with comprehensive coverage of each. Each chapter covers one widget or other element, contains the most important recommendation from the Macintosh, Windows and Motif style guides, notes about common problems, comparison with other widgets that can serve some of the same roles as this one, etc.

There is an example chapter on the author's web site. (Read more or buy it.)

Macintosh Human Interface Guidelines, second edition, ISBN 0-201-62216-5, is worth buying for the don'ts alone. Even though you're not writing Macintosh software, avoiding most of what it advises against will produce more easily comprehensible software. Doing what it tells you to do helps, too. (Read more or buy it.)

This book is now available on the web and there is a Mac OS 8 addendum.

The Windows Interface Guidelines for Software Design, ISBN 1-55615-679-0, is perhaps the best guide to how a modern GUI program should look. Skips some of the more elementary stuff from the Macintosh one, but covers newer widgets (like tool tips) and says much about e.g. dialog layout. (Read more or buy it.)

This book too is available on the web, but has occasionally been hidden in an impenetrable maze of javascript. Try and see.

The Java Look and Feel guidelines haven't been published yet, but are available on the web.

The Icon Book by William Horton, ISBN 0-471-59900-X, is a perhaps the only thorough coverage of icons and icon use in software. In order for icons to be successful, people must be able to do four things with them: decode, recognize, find and activate them. This book explains these goals from scratch and how to reach them, both with single icons and icon families. Some 500 examples are scattered throughout the text, generally in groups of four or five. (Read more or buy it.)

Buying these books from Amazon.com.

These books are made available in association with Amazon.com, our favorite on-line bookstore. Here is more information about Amazon.com's shipping options and its customer service. When you buy a book by following one of these links, Amazon.com gives about 15% of the purchase price to Amnesty International.


Copyright 1999 Troll TechTrademarks
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