Table of Contents

designing highly useable software
Designing Highly Useable Software
byJeff Cogswell ISBN:0782143016
Sybex 2004 (342 pages)

This guide teaches you how to think about and plan for the needs of your users/administrators before writing your first line of code, making your applications more sensible to users.

Table of Contents
Designing Highly Useable Software
Part I - Keeping It Simple
Chapter 1 - The UUI—The Useable User Interface
Chapter 2 - Modeling the Real World
Chapter 3 - Laying Out Your Windows and Dialog Boxes
Chapter 4 - Managing Your Software’s Time
Chapter 5 - Highly Navigable Software
Chapter 6 - Data, Reports, and Printouts
Chapter 7 - Adding a Web Interface
Part II - The Lonely Engineer
Chapter 8 - Under the Hood
Chapter 9 - When Your Software Starts, Stops, or Dies a Quick Death
Chapter 10 - Modularity and Libraries
Chapter 11 - Object-Oriented Pontificating
Part III - The Business of It All—It’s “Dollars and Sense”
Chapter 12 - A Very Gross National Product: Business and Software Problems
Chapter 13 - Testing, Testing, Testing
Chapter 14 - Installing, Training, and Helping
Chapter 15 - Book in a Book—A Guide for Programming Bosses
Appendix A - Software Design Resources
List of Figures
List of Real World Scenarios
List of Sidebars

It’s not easy to build, but as this book demonstrates, it’s well worth the effort. Highly useable software is highly successful software—and everyone wins.

Inside, an accomplished programmer who has made usability his business systematically explores the world of programming showing you how every aspect of the work is implicated in the usability of the final product. This is not just an “issues” book, however, but systematic, real-world instructions for developing applications that are better in every way. As you’ll learn, there’s no such thing as “intuitive” software. Instead, there are just the factors that make it highly useable: simplicity, consistency, the recognition of accepted conventions, and the foregrounding of the user’s perspective. With these principles under your belt, you’ll quickly discover dozens of ways to make your applications more useable:

  • Making windows and dialog boxes easy to comprehend and use
  • Designing software that is time and resource-efficient
  • Making your software easy to navigate
  • Reducing the complexity of reports and other presentations of data
  • Understanding how the wrong programming decisions can limit usability
  • Ensuring smooth starts and stops
  • Capitalizing on the usability advantages of object-oriented programming
  • Using the testing process to improve usability
  • Promoting usability in training, installation, and online help
  • Making management decisions that will benefit software usability

About the Author

Jeff Cogswell is, first and foremost, a user of the world: He uses computers, he uses cars, he uses sinks, he uses paper towel dispensers, he uses roads—and he has an option on how they can all be designed better. But beyond that, he is an expert C++ programmer and software architect with years of experience creating highly useable software.