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Designing Interfaces

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Spring 2006

- Shaun Haber (PAL/CCE)

J. Tidwell. Designing Interfaces. O'Reilly Media, 2005

We have all used plain, sterile, and sometimes ugly looking web applications before. These web apps may work well, but where's the fun in using them? Sometimes it's worth taking that extra step to give your application a "sexy" look. By doing so, the user receives an overall greater experience. A look at sites like Flickr and Gmail shows that not only are these great services, they also present visually pleasing and intuitive user interfaces.

In Designing Interfaces, author Jennifer Tidwell explores the many aspects of user interface design. This book is analogous to Design Patterns (see my other Good Read) in that it documents various interface design patterns, culminating in a wealthy repository of visual ideas for the interface designer. Additionally, Yahoo! has recently created its own online library of visual design patterns ( These resources are extremely helpful for improving the front-end of any web application by promoting ideas for a more intuitive and aesthetic user interface.