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The Humane Interface. New Directions for Designing Interactive Systems. (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 29. März 2000

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Amazon.de

"The book that explains why you really hate computers."

I've admired Jef Raskin for years. For those who don't know, he is the "Father of the Macintosh," one of the original geniuses who guided the Mac in the early days. But, more than a computer scientist, Raskin is a cognitive psychologist. He studies how the brain works with special emphasis on how that relates to us using computers. His magnum opus was the Canon Cat, which was an excellent and well-thought-out little computer.

In The Humane Interface, Raskin goes into detail describing how computers can be made easier to understand and use. Ever want to know why you really don't like Windows? The answer is in this book. In fact, there's so much in this book that makes sense, I really want to send a copy to every employee at Microsoft.

I loved reading this book and nodding my head in rabid agreement. Raskin states, "There has never been any technical reason for a computer to take more than a few seconds to begin operation when it is turned on." So why then does Windows (or Linux!) take so darn long to start up? The PalmPilot is on instantly, as is your cell phone. But for some reason, we tolerate the computer taking a few eons to start. (And until consumers complain about it, things won't change.)

Computers can be easy to use, and the people who design them and design software need to read this book. Do you ever get the impression that the person who designed a piece of software must have come from the same company that designed the front panel on your VCR? Why should you have to double-click anything? What does Ctrl+D mean one thing in one program and a completely different thing in another? And what's the point of the Yes/No confirmation if the user is in the habit of clicking Yes without thinking about it? Raskin neatly probes all these areas.

While I admire everything Raskin has to say, the book is pretty heavy on the psychology end. Myself, I enjoy cognitive psychology (especially books by Raskin's cohort Donald Norman), though some may find that part of the book boring. Even so, Raskin builds and backs his argument in a most eloquent and scientific manner. Especially if you design software or need to teach or train people to use computers, this book deserves a spot on your shelf. --Dan Gookin

Synopsis

The honeymoon with digital technology is over: millions of users are tired of having to learn huge, arcane programs to perform the simplest tasks; fatigued by the pressure of constant upgrades, and have had enough of system crashes. In The Humane Interface, Jef Raskin -- the legendary, controversial creator of the original Apple Macintosh project -- shows that there is another path. Raskin explains why today's interface techniques lead straight to a dead end, and offers breakthrough ideas for building systems users will understand -- and love. Raskin reveals the fundamental design failures at the root of the problems so many users experience; shows how to understand user interfaces scientifically and quantitatively; and introduces fundamental principles that should underlie any next-generation user interface. He introduces practical techniques designers can use to improve their productivity of any product with an information-oriented human-machine interface, from personal computers to Internet appliances and beyond. The book presents breakthrough solutions for navigation, error management, and more, with detailed case studies from Raskin's own work.

For all interface design programmers, product designers, software developers, IT managers, and corporate managers.

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Format: Taschenbuch
Bei Interface dachte ich zuerst an Bildschirmoberflächen und Design von Anwendungen. Raskin geht aber auch auf Cockpits und Autoradios ein. Nicht zu vergessen sein "Kinder" Canon CAT und Apple II. Selbst mit der Entwicklung von IT Anwendungen mit grafischer Benutzungsoberfläche betraut, habe ich das Buch mehrmals durchgearbeitet und viele Erkenntnisse und noch mehr Begründungen herausgezogen.
Wenn mich jetzt jemand fragt: Was ist ein gutes Interface?
Kann ich antworten:
Es weist folgende Eigenschaften auf:
1. Vorstellbare Hierarchie
2. Blind zu Bedienen
3. Eingaben des Anwenders werden geschützt
"The Computer should not harm the users Work"
Weitere wichtige Argumente sind das GOMS Modell und die Theorie zum Locus of Attention.
Das Buch ist mittlerweile auch in Deutscher Sprache erschienen.
Ein Muss für alle die grafische Benutzeroberflächen gestalten sollen.
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Format: Taschenbuch
This is a valuable book for two reasons. First, it explains how human cognitive abilities and limitations determine which UI designs will be easy vs. difficult for people to learn and use. It can therefore help to educate those software designers who lack training in cognitive psychology. Second, it challenges longstanding GUI design assumptions, pointing out many ways in which conventional GUIs are actually bad for users. It can therefore point the way for evolution of current-day GUIs into something better.
What this book is NOT is a design-guide for creating GUIs that are Windows (or Mac, Motif, or Web) compliant. If that's what you want, you should look elsewhere.
My one criticism is that, in my opinion, the book loses steam in its later chapters, becoming a collection (the author calls it a "potpourri") of Raskin's pet peeves about computers, along with his remedies. For the second edition, these chapters could be tightened up or cut. Nonetheless, the Human Interface should be required reading for every software designer and UI researcher.
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Format: Taschenbuch
In a nutshell, this book should be on your shelf if you are an electronic media designer - whether you're designing Web sites or other types of interactive media. The book is well-written, and covers many critical topics in usable design.
One thing to note: there isn't a whole lot of content in this book that is specifically geared towards applying principles of Usability to Web design; you'd need to use your imagination to apply some of the principles to this area.
Nonetheless, I think that the book is well worth the price. It does a fine job of tying together a lot of otherwise abstract concepts from human factors psychology and human-computer interface study.
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Chock' full of fantastic ideas and keenly knit arguments, this book has a property almost unique in the HCI realm: The ablility to be once-read in a single sitting! How many times have you caught your locus of attention involuntarily shifting (after using it to peer at it's previous state) in the process of reading and rereading the same guru's well manicured sentence? Could it be due to the poor depth to breadth ratio inherent in the elocution of the natural history of the subject; condensing ideas vapidly towards their obvious conclusion without much attempt at scientific or philosophic duction, and then skipping on to the next one? (yawn!) Not this book. Once opened, it is difficult to close! Deductive, descriptive, and imaginatively proscriptive, it spans both verticality and horizontality; depth and bredth, not only citing but insighting. True, he does define "invisible" as "not visible", but how less reasonable is this than defining "connected" as "not disconnected" as is done in topology? Please note that in both cases the words have techical meanings whose understanding is quite independent of a sense of humor. That is the beauty of Dr Raskins work. Please read and take note of his ZIP world, an important idea whose execution is hopefully as immanent as the object of his 67' thesis on the usable, object-oriented, platform-independent graphical interface? Read this book. This man has vision. He describes the way HCI ought to be and would a' been in a "revisionists" history ( i.e. "second vision" (see 67' thesis)and also if Apple had ruled w/Raskin as it's HCI guy)).
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I recommend this book wholeheartedly and not only for the marketplace that includes application designers and web page developers, but also for the many who may be curious about the fundamentals of human-computer interaction. The book succeeds in providing a basic education in interface design principles. For me, an editorial director in magazine publishing working with a growing web department, the book was fascinating and stimulating. I now recognize interface elements that work well, or that do not, much more ably.
The book describes a set of elements that coalesce into a next-generation interface that could revolutionize the way people use computers. Jef does a brilliant job reducing quantification of interface activity to readily understandable terms. And for those who want a deeper, philosophic, scientific look, Jef very briefly delves into information theory to show how to evaluate the ultimate efficiency of drop down menus, error messages, and the like.
Jef has done an enormous amount of research and credits countless pioneers and researchers. His colorful and interesting sidebars and eclectic appendices are interesting side trips. Jef's work is an eloquent, humble, and inspirational salute to current knowledge that awaits implementation. But it is also a primer for every web page developer, every editor working with web page developers, and every application or operating system designer out there. Offering many practical insights, this book lucidly pursues the humane where computers and human lives are becoming ever more entwined.
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