About Face 3: The Essentials of Interaction Design

About Face 3: The Essentials of Interaction Design

About Face 3: The Essentials of Interaction Design Rating:
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Product Description

This completely updated volume presents the effective and practical tools you need to design great desktop applications, Web 2.0 sites, and mobile devices. You’ll learn the principles of good product behavior and gain an understanding of Cooper’s Goal-Directed Design method, which involves everything from conducting user research to defining your product using personas and scenarios. Ultimately, you’ll acquire the knowledge to design the best possible digital products and services.


  • ISBN13: 9780470084113
  • Condition: New
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  1. Q. G. H. Berk says


    For me it is not complete.. I do have to grab other books to get the whole picture.

  2. Rating

    I read (and still have) the previous two editions of this book. Unlike the usual “complete revised and updated” hype for new editions, this one has had some serious re-work and expansion.

    The whole structure of the book is new and very close to being a complete course/textbook in the Cooper approach to Goal-based Design. All the sections have been expanded based upon reactions to the previous version(s) as well as their collective experience. The most obvious changes are towards describing in greater detail the process and how to integrate it into the large design/development cycle.

    For those who have not read (about) Cooper (and his firm’s) work, this book is the complete approach in detail. It is written for professional UI designer and developers and makes some assumptions about the background of the reader.

    Executives, stakeholders or those needing a more general overview should pick up his other book “The Inmates are Running the Asylum” which was written for that audience. That book includes more business cases and rationale without the heavy details.

    As a UI professional for over 20 years find his approach to be the most useful in creating truly useful and usable applications. This book continues to point out how get beyond mere incremental design enhancements to truly revolutionary and winning designs.

  3. T. Lafleur says


    This book, and all of Alan’s book are a must read for all software designers.

    He guide you into the design process that one need on all software project in advance of doing any programming. A must have… Lots of new ideas not in previous editions.

  4. Christian Baptiste says


    This book is the bible for Interaction Design, I had About Face 2.0,when this one came out I didn’t think twice about buying this one.

    Some key points;

    – These guys do a great job of pointing out and giving suggestion for designers that are challenged with the “Why do we need an Interaction Designer” question that we are all faced with.

    – Second the content is extremely through, teaching you principles of how to approach the design phase all the while keeping in mind that the end users doesn’t think of software like developers do.

    – This book does a great job of explaining persona’s, tasks and goals, as well as where to concentrate your efforts.

    – This book does an excellent job of explaining the importance of interface design.

    – This book explores and critiques many common standard practices (many that should not continue to be apart of modern designs).

    – This book explains modeless feedback versus modal dialogs, and when and how to use each.

    This is by far the most complete book for Interaction Design that I have encountered, and I highly recommend it to anyone even contemplating becoming a designer.

    What the book lacks;

    – Though the book contains some images and examples, in my opinion more images and more examples would have made the book much better (also bigger, yikes!).

    – The book also lacks a end to end process that is practical for most fast pace software development firms.

    – The book lacks information in regards to dealing with data heavy applications (common to today’s RIA’s), rather it speaks to application design in real general but applicable methods.

    Maybe About Face 4.0! :)

  5. Tobeornotobe says


    Scoring in the game of interaction design is very simple. You get 0 points for discovering the obvious and making it easy for the user and -10,000 points for missing it.

    This book should be the bible for companies trying to turn their software products around.

  6. Trevis Rothwell says


    This third edition is my first exposure to “About Face”, though I certainly wish I had encountered it earlier! New computer interfaces tend to be rehashes of previous computer interfaces, and sometimes the old wasn’t very well designed. Why copy it?

    Even if you don’t change anything you’re doing with interface design after reading this book, you will surely be more conscious of the decisions you are making, and why. A must-read for anyone building software used by real people.

  7. Mark A. Talbot says


    Wide ranging in scope, yet finely focused enough for a variety of disciplines to be able to apply this knowledge directly. Primarily directed at anyone involved in software interface design, its principles could also easily apply to other disciplines as well, such as architecture and industrial design – anyone concerned with how people use products. The only complaint – and it is minor – is that it has a slightly pedantic feel, and its concepts are so refined (e.g.: user personas) that some of the theory may not be practical but for the largest of development budgets. That said, the author(s) still offer ways to scale back on this detail. All in all, a must have on the reference shelf of every interface designer.

  8. David Rutten says


    Before I even discuss the quality of the contents, I’d like to point out this is a thoroughly enjoyable read, and what a rare quality that is amongst programming books. The examples (both good and bad) are concise and properly supported by arguments. The analogies are fitting and funny.

    This book will make you think twice (at least) about a lot of things you’ve been taking for granted in the world of Interface Design. If you care at all about how people experience your software, this book will uncloud your thinking and reset your preconceptions.

    The quality of the physical book leaves something to be desired though, the paper and the binding are clearly below average.

  9. Barbara Tallent says


    With more and more applications moving toward the web and websites becoming exceedingly more complex than ever intended for their original design, Alan’s new version of this book is well-timed. Now how do we get both web and software designers to read it?

    Alan, Robert, and David walk you through the complete process of orienting your product to your customers’ goals. They provides you with the tools to build a product that will delight, rather than baffle, your customers.

    In this day and age of great application frameworks, it is fast and easy to get a web-based application up and running. But please don’t do it, at least not until you have read this book!

    I’m buying copies as early Christmas presents for all my software designer friends in hopes that I will see the end result as when I try to use some of these products.

  10. butterbean says


    If you only get one book on interaction design, this is the one.

    I picked up the second edition when I was just starting out as an interaction designer; it was a great primer and filled in a lot of the missing pieces for me. Now that I’ve been at it a while, it’s still the book I go to whenever I have a question. I found the book reads well cover to cover, and also serves well as a handbook. The info you need on a topic is usually well contained in a section.

    Not only does this book cover the general principles and theory behind interaction design, but also provides lots of real-world practical information. The writers call on designers not simply to follow rigid interaction design rules, but to create elegant, informative and respectful interfaces. That’s a loftier goal, and this book give you the tools to attain it. The updated edition also spans new technologies and paradigms that have emerged, and covers them thoroughly.

    Cooper has an unrivaled depth of experience to draw on, creating a truly comprehensive book.