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View Full Version : Suggested HMI/HCI Reading material?




Earendil
May 9, 2012, 11:26 AM
Ladies and Gentlemen! I come to you, my educated internet subgroup, not because I can't find material on Human Machine/Computer Interfaces, but because I am finding way too much!

When I want to pick up a new programming language, I just go to a couple friends that have similar self education styles, senses of humor, and technical level, and ask them what they'd read. Sadly (for me, and the industry) there are few people that think properly designed and justifiable user interfaces are the bomb digity. Now, I don't know very much about you all, except that you use an OS that was designed better, or at least puts a priority on it.

So here is what I'm looking for, to help narrow this down a little further:

I'm not looking for a giant academic 600 page textbook.
I am looking for more than a rule book. If a book (or person) wants to tell me what to do, I want to know why I'm doing it, even if it's only a brief description.
I work on a real time, critical, complicated system with LOTS of user input. The priority is on making sure the user is never confused, always hits the right button in a timely manner, and never hits the wrong button. So how to make something "pleasing to the eye" is not the primary focus. Knowing what something like Fits Law is and how it can be applied is important.
Basically, if it can be applied to a game, it can probably be applied to our system.
Anything that lays the basic ground work and gives me good terms to go out and research would be good as a compliment to a more technical book. I can probably manage to acquire 2 or 3 books.
Good blogs/articles/essays on the subject are always welcome :)


One book I've found so far that looks to be right up my ally is
Designing with the Mind in Mind (http://www.amazon.com/Designing-Mind-Simple-Understanding-Interface/dp/012375030X/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1336415564&sr=1-1-fkmr0) by Jeff Johnson.
The book doesn't appear to have a parallel book out there.

Last tidbit (sorry this is so long). I work with a group of engineers where I am one of the most junior. I have a passion for good UI that isn't shared by many in my group. I would like a general knowledge base that can be used to help justify and explain my input and observations. My manager has been awesome and agreed that my passion should be used, and at the end of 6 months I'll be giving a presentation to my team on what I've learned about applicable HCI principles.

My background is Computer Science, but no part of my education included UI design. One professor even used the term "UI Fluff" with some frequency.

ANY and all feedback is VERY welcome!