Designing Highly Useable Software
Publisher: Wiley / Sybex
Final Release Date: December 2006
Pages: 342

Learn What Usability Really Is, Why to Strive for It, and How toAchieve It

"Highly useable" software is easy to use. It does what you expectit to. And it does it well.

It’s not easy to build but as this book demonstrates, it'swell worth the effort. Highly useable software is highlysuccessful software--and everyone wins.

Inside, an accomplished programmer who has made usability hisbusiness systematically explores the world of programming, showingyou how every aspect of the work is implicated in the usability ofthe final product. This is not just an "issues" book, however, butsystematic, real-world instructions for developing applicationsthat are better in every way. As you'll learn, there's no suchthing as "intuitive" software. Instead, there are just thefactors that make it highly useable: simplicity, consistency, therecognition of accepted conventions, and the foregrounding of theuser's perspective. With these principles under your belt, you'llquickly discover dozens of ways to make your applications moreuseable:

  • 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 ofdata
  • Understanding how the wrong programming decisions can limitusability
  • Ensuring smooth starts and stops
  • Capitalizing on the usability advantages of object-orientedprogramming
  • Understanding how usability affects your product’sfinancial success
  • Using the testing process to improve usability
  • Promoting usability in training, installation, and onlinehelp
  • Making management decisions that will benefit softwareusability

Some chapters are written primarily for programmers, one primarilyfor managers. Most are for everyone, and all are filled withilluminating, usually amusing examples drawn from both inside andoutside the technical world. A helpful appendix providesinformation on standards, usability groups, and sources for moreinformation.
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