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Our email clients, browsers, document editors, domain-specific software, and operating systems are still important parts of our online lives. But many aspects of their interface designs have stabilized. As a result, since the early s, the audience for design books has shifted away from desktop design toward web-based design. With iPhones and other complex mobile devices now spreading everywhere, putting the whole Web in our pockets, many designers have been forced to face the special problems inherent to mobile design. How should mobile concerns change interface design, especially for websites?

Also, designers cannot ignore the influence of online social networks. I would be remiss not to do so.

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Since this book was first published, the UX design world has discovered the value of patterns, and other UX-related pattern collections have appeared on the scene. Many of them are quite good. Some took patterns originally set forth here and elaborated upon them, changed them, renamed them according to emergent conventions, or presented new information about them. I list the best of these other pattern collections in the preface, in the References section, and in the patterns themselves. So is the material written in still relevant? To a large extent, yes.

Good patterns based on fundamental design principles are just as valid now as they were 5, 10, or 20 years ago.

This second edition gave me the privilege of hindsight: I was granted the time to figure out how well these patterns have endured, and then report on them. And, indeed, a few have been removed from this book.

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But most of them remain, because they still work. The next section describes these changes in some detail. A chapter about mobile design Chapter 10, Going Mobile, contains some patterns that are specific to mobile devices. In particular, the patterns are aimed at the platforms most designers are likely to target: touch-screen devices with full connectivity, such as iPhones. Both apps and websites are covered.

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Download at Pin5i. Chapter 5 is now simply about lists. I also added several new ones, such as List Inlay and Alphabetic Scroller. Furthermore, the introductions to the chapters on information architecture Chapter 2 , navigation Chapter 3 , and page layout Chapter 4 have been rewritten to reflect recent design thinking and a new emphasis on web-based or web-like designs.

They are now. Renamed patterns, and patterns whose scope has changed For instance, Card Stack was renamed to Module Tabs, and Closable Panels to Collapsible Panels; I made these changes to conform to current terminology and other pattern libraries. These might provide you with new insights or examples. Also, some patterns in this book have been slightly rewritten to Download at Pin5i. Row Striping is one of these; some experiments were run to find out the value of the technique, and the pattern refers you to those results.

Others are no longer used much in contemporary designs, such as Color-Coded Sections. I also discovered in a survey that readers found this to be one of the least valuable chapters. Because I wanted to keep the book size down to something reasonable, I chose to remove that chapter to make room for the new material.

I encourage other design thinkers to jump in and write other patterns—or challenge us pattern writers to make the existing collections better! Com Preface Once upon a time, interface designers worked with a woefully small toolbox. We had a handful of simple controls: text fields, buttons, menus, tiny icons, and modal dialogs. We designed for small screens, few colors, slow CPUs, and slow networks if the user was connected at all.

Book Review: Designing Interfaces » Linux Magazine

We made them gray. Things have changed.

If you design interfaces today, you work with a much bigger palette of components and ideas. The book offers patterns that act as solutions to common design problems and that can be tailored to whatever the situation might be. Those situations include the amount and type of content, and actions users are expected to take such as filling out a form or choosing from a pre-specified menu.

Not only was Tidwell predicting the future by seeing the need for a systematic way to organize proven design solutions as technical capabilities grew, but she purposefully wrote the patterns in an abstract way allowing for any number of programming languages to be applied. The evolution of typed commands to a point-and-click mouse to a touchscreen is an example of how quickly human-computer interaction design is moving. As technology gets smaller and smarter, and consumers demand ease and speed, programmers, developers, and designers need to find new ways to keep up with what people want.


In pattern languages, and their modern offspring, design systems, they have a shortcut. You don't need to reinvent the wheel. The team at designsystems. We will be rolling out new articles and guides on a regular basis.

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The debut of human-computer interaction

The debut of human-computer interaction As humans began to interact with devices that could perform multiple actions, researchers looked for a term to define that exchange. A pattern language for HCI design Citing Christopher Alexander, Tidwell made her first public statement about creating a pattern language for human-computer interface design when she was a student at MIT in the late 90s. Ready to Contribute? Subscribe for Updates We will be rolling out new articles and guides on a regular basis.