Don't forget to read about usability
There has been some great talk about usability over the last week. Most of us here are primarily developers or technical managers. I want to remind everybody that there is a whole field of study around usability with several books, websites, conferences, and workshops to help you design your applications.
I think its great that we are all talking about usabiliy. I in fact have worked as a developer, usability specialist, and now a team lead guiding usability and development. I am no master, however, and I know my limits. When I dont know something I refer back to the guys who do the usability thing full time. If you know a little bit about usability, these are great references. And if you are just getting started, read this books cover to cover. They can help you think like a great usability designer.
What Im trying to get across is that lots of work has ben done in this area, and you shouldnt make the same mistakes just from not reading this stuff. We read books all the time as developers to help us change our development process and code writing. We should be doing the same with usability.
Here is a list of books that I have found useful.
- Tog on Interface - Bruce Tognazzini
- About Face 2.0: The Essentials of Interaction Design - Alan Cooper
- The Inmates Are Running the Asylum - Alan Cooper
- Design of Everyday Things - Don Norman
- Emotional Design - Don Norman
- The Humane Interface - Jeff Raskin
- Gui Bloopers - Jeff Johnson
- Microsoft Windows User Experience (Microsoft Professional Editions) - Microsoft
- Macintosh Human Interface Guidelines - Apple Computer
- Anything by Edward Tufte
And some good links
- http://www.asktog.com - Tognozzini's we site. Great articles.
- http://www.nngroup.com - A top notch consulting firm with some of the best guys around
- http://digilander.libero.it/chiediloapippo/Engineering/iarchitect/shame.htm - Great mistakes to show your colleagues about how not to design interfaces.
- http://www.acm.org/sigchi/ - ACM UI SIG
- http://www.upassoc.org/ - A great organization for usability professionals