About Face 3

About Face

Also known as, “The Bible.” Just kidding, but seriously, this book covers everything, except religion; unless you’re a die-hard designer, then maybe this is your religion. End of book review (nailed it!)


“THE ESSENTIALS OF INTERACTION DESIGN” is the subtitle of this encyclopedic archival. More befitting “ENTIRETY” might be; the authors didn’t gloss over a thing here. As the third edition (2007) of a book initially published in 1995, it’s evolved with its time. However, with mobile experiencing tremendous growth since 2007, the book is beginning to feel antiquated in that regard. While the foundation of the design process outlayed in the first half of the book seems to have a timeless relevance, it’s the technical advice for controls, menus, toolbars, and other desktop interface designs that make the later half of the book already outdated. And understandably so, given the publishing date of 2007. Credence that even technological wizards like Cooper have mere mortal foresight for technological evolution.

I was particularly fond of the Design Values outlined in Chapter 8. Designers should design solutions that are:

  1. Ethical –¬†considerate, helpful, do no harm, and improve human situations.
  2. Purposeful – help users achieve their goals and aspirations. Accomodate user contexts and capacities.
  3. Pragmatic – help commissioning organizations achieve their goals. Accomodate business and technical requirements.
  4. Elegant – Represent the simplest complete solution. Possess internal (self-revealing, understandable) coherence. Appropriately accommodate and stimulate cognition and emotion.