Logic’s Last Stand

April 15, 2010

GUI Bloopers 2.0 – A brief review

Filed under: Computers, Writing — Tags: , , , — Zurahn @ 7:37 pm

GUI Bloopers 2.0 is an updated release with modern examples, but the principles remain largely the same. As detailed in the book itself, somehow the same interface problems are just timeless.

GUIs, or Graphical User Interfaces, are how most people know computers. It’s the human part of everyday computing that makes things accessible to the average person. We programmers aren’t exactly the average user, so it’s not uncommon to get great programs with terrible usability, spelling doom for the product.

While dry at times, it is a thorough guide to pointing out where design goes wrong and how to avoid it. It’s contrastable to Steve Krug’s “Don’t Make Me Think” which is brief and effective in its reasoning about how to approach interfaces, GUI Bloopers 2.0 covers every angle in detail, and by that in some ways does a better job at enlightening the developer.

I may not be able to call it a definitive guide, but it’s one area where I would in fact say that something similar, if not this, should be required reading. It’s not just a matter of GUIs, but how you think about design in general. That is to say, we’re not programming for ourselves, we’re programming for the user — we’re creating for people.

Coming in at 372 pages (not counting appendices), outside the field, for the most part it’ll read like a textbook. For those in a position relevant, though, it’s got my resounding support.

Take a look at the world from the perspective of usability, and you’ll find it hard to go back.


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