Much in the world of interface design has changed since the first edition of About Face was published in 1995. However, much remains the same. The second edition of About Face retains what still holds true, updates those things that have changed, and provides new material reflecting not only how the industry has changed in the last seven
Here are some highlights of the major changes you will find in About Face 2.0:
The book has been entirely reorganized to present its ideas in, what the authors hope, is a much more easy to use reference structure. The book is divided into three sections: the first deals with process and high-level ideas about users and design; the second deals with high-level interaction design principles; and the third deals with lower-level interface design principles.
Building on concepts first introduced by Alan Cooper in The Inmates Are Running the Asylum (SAMS, 1999) several new chapters lay out in more detail the process of Goal-Directed Design, including research techniques, creation of personas, and how to use personas and scenarios to synthesize interaction design solutions.
The book makes more of an effort to address issues specific to non-desktop platforms. Chapters 37 and 38 address interaction and interface design for the Web and for device platforms, respectively.
Terminology and examples in the book have been updated, where possible, to reflect the current state of the art in the industry, and the text as a whole has been thoroughly edited to improve clarity and readability.
We hope that readers will find these additions and changes as
In this book, we've made use of several conventions that hopefully clarify some of the more important points and help provide a richer, more useful experience for the reader.
This book is about designing digital interactive products. The majority of today's PCs run Windows and, as a result, that is where the greatest need exists for understanding how to create effective, goal-directed
Having said this, most of the material in this book transcends platforms. It is equally
The majority of examples in this book are from the Microsoft Office suite of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Internet Explorer; Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator; and a few others. We have tried to stick with examples from these mainstream programs for two reasons. First, readers are likely to be at least slightly familiar with the examples. Second, it's important to show that the user interface design of even the most finely honed products can be significantly improved with a Goal-Directed approach. We have included a few examples from Mac OS X as well, in places where they were particularly
A few examples in this new edition come from now moribund software or OS versions. These examples make particular design points that the authors felt were useful enough to retain in this edition. The vast majority of examples are from contemporary software and OS releases.
One of the things lacking in this new field of interaction design is a set of terms and principles that designers, programmers, and usability practitioners can use to communicate together concerning the design of behavior. We have attempted in this book to provide the start of what we hope will become an evolving list of terms and principles that
The principles, or aphorisms if you prefer, encapsulate wisdom derived from dozens of design engagements. These are divided into two categories, each identified by a unique icon, as shown here.
Buy low, sell high.
In this book, axioms refer to broad principles of interaction design. Pose these axioms to yourself when you find yourself stuck on tough conceptual problems. All the axioms are gathered into Appendix A.
Keep your powder dry.
Some aphorisms aren't as broad in scope; but they are, nonetheless, quite useful. When you are working with particular design elements described in the book, the design tips provide helpful advice. The design tips are gathered into Appendix B.
When mentioned for the first time, terms with specific meanings for the interaction design practitioner are highlighted in the text in boldface . Some of these terms are the authors' neologisms, but many of them were coined by others or are in common use.