Software for Use: A Practical Guide to the Models and


  • Hardcover
  • 608 pages
  • Software for Use: A Practical Guide to the Models and Methods of Usage-Centered Design (ACM Press)
  • Larry L. Constantine
  • English
  • 09 October 2016
  • 9780201924787

10 thoughts on “Software for Use: A Practical Guide to the Models and Methods of Usage-Centered Design (ACM Press)

  1. Charles Charles says:

    Stating that software is to be written for humans to use is a phrase that should provoke a sarcastic reaction uestioning the intelligence of the one uttering it If that were always the case then there probably would be a comic strip similar to the immensely popular Dilbert devoted to this topic Unfortunately time pressures complexity ignorance and low user expectations combine to make it all too common that the phrase user friendly might as well be a mantra in whale song Some projects are developed without any input from those considered the target costumer base and in others the input is solicited only to be ignored or belittled The authors of this book argue for the insertion of what they call usage centered design into the intense often chaotic process of building softwareChapter 11 Help Me If You Can Designing Help and Helpful Messages made the greatest impression Throughout the history of software development the creation of genuinely helpful documentation has been an art woefully MIA muddled incomprehensible and abstruse Even the most intuitive of interfaces with occasionally leave you baffled or you will click on the wrong item or press an inappropriate key The development of essential use cases for help distills the topic down into eight statement prefixes that any parent of a young child faces several times a day Some of the best advice for creators of online help comes from the basic principles of newspaper journalism Get to the point Tell the whole story in the headline Tell the whole story in the first paragraph Or the even blunter advice Make your help helpThe most significant advance in the design of user interfaces has been the creation of the icon A section called ' eye con' design brings things right to the point it is the eye that matters With so little area available the creation of uality icons is a real art form However it is something that can be learned This is a section that should be reuired reading before you open the drawing programNo book that promotes the user can be complete without extensive treatment of the World Wide Web While there is no doubt that the Web has changed the world as is properly pointed out programming for the Web does not differ all that much from traditional programming The authors' approach is summarized in the caption The chaos and complexity of the Web places a premium on such old fashioned virtues as making it clear to users where they are and how they got there I would add the additional line and clearly showing them what they should do This philosophy is backed up by experience where users will generally not wait longer than the number of seconds they can count on their fingers Users also avoid sites that are difficult to navigate or as unclear as if they were in monochromeIf there is a weakness in this book it is the lack of clear examples As the author highlights in several places many people function well in their jobs without thinking a great deal about it However if they are asked to codify what they do and how they do it problems arise Only clear examples can demonstrates the true path to understanding This is especially telling in the section on web design While there is a diagram illustrating a poorly designed online form there is no example of a good one A link to a site demonstrating a well designed form would be an enormous improvement There is a Website listed on the back cover but it is the site of the company where the authors work and any material directly related to this book is not readily apparentThere is so much valuable material in this book that is the only possible to highlight a few of the most striking items If and when I ever go back into the chaotic world of software development purchasing copies for each member of the team will be written into the budget along with the necessary time to read and discuss it probably the highest ROI that the project will havePublished in Journal of Object Oriented Programming reprinted with permission and this review also appears on


  2. Steve Whiting Steve Whiting says:

    I picked this up based on a reference in Alaistair Cockburn's Writing Effective Use Cases and having read it I can see why he recommended itThe book is very strong on the process for developing UI designs and has some very perceptive critiues of designs in existing applications many of them from Microsoft the authors don't seem to be huge fans It's interesting to see that some of the things they criticised have indeed been addressed in later versions all the example are circa Windows 95Office 97The book isn't perfect it is a bit verbose and rather over long and it introduces a piece of terminology which I think is really unhelpful the use the word essential as in Essential Use Cases and Joint Essential Modelling This is intended to mean the essence or the vital parts of but which tends to infer the important ones and conseuently that other use cases or models are unimportant I'm also really unconvinced about the value of their Use Case relationship diagrams To be honest the whole chapter on Use Cases is pretty weak and would be better skipped and replaced by a reading of Cockburn's bookThe other area which lets down the book and rather damages their credibility is where they suggest UI improvements Unfortunately a lot of their suggestions are terrible mainly because they treat the specific case in isolation and don't consider consistency between applications or transferable skills from predictability of behaviour all of which is pretty ironic given the prominence they give to consistency and predictability of UIOn the other hand the coverage of measurement of UI uality is very good even if the maths behind some of the measures seems pretty dubiousWell worth reading but to be taken with a pinch of salt in places


  3. Paul Paul says:

    This is a classic that was a great leap forward for the art of designing for usability And it came just at the right time as the web went mainstreamI remember having the privilege of taking one of Larry Constantine's courses back around 2000 I loved the course so much I bought the book as they say; That was when he converted me to the Essential Use Case techniue which to this day is my preferred mode of thinking about user interactionAlmost ten years later we are still learning of course We have a new generation of design leaders Robert Hoekman Steve Krug etc but it is telling to see just how well Software for Use has stood the test of time Aside from the fact that examples tend to necessarily refer to contemporary but now obsolete software and widgets the core philosophy and advice is just as relevant today


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Software for Use: A Practical Guide to the Models and Methods of Usage-Centered Design (ACM Press)➺ [Download] ➶ Software for Use: A Practical Guide to the Models and Methods of Usage-Centered Design (ACM Press) By Larry L. Constantine ➻ – Buyprobolan50.co.uk In the uest for uality software developers have long focused on improving the internal architecture of their products Larry L Constantine who originally created structured design to effect such improv In the uest for uality software Use: A PDF/EPUB æ developers have long focused on improving the internal architecture of their products Larry L Constantine who originally created structured design to effect such improvement now joins with well known consultant Lucy A D Lockwood to turn the focus of software development to the external architecture In this book they present the models and methods of a revolutionary approach to software that will help programmers deliver usable software software that will enable users to accomplish their tasks with greater ease Software for PDF/EPUB or and efficiency Recognizing usability as the key to successful software Constantine and Lockwood provide concrete tools and techniues that programmers can employ to meet that end Much than just another set of rules for good user interface design this book guides readers through a systematic software development process This process called usage centered design weaves together two major threads in software development methods use cases also used with UML and essential modeling With numerous examples and case studies of both conventional and specialized software applications the for Use: A PDF/EPUB å authors illustrate what has been shown in practice to work and what has proved to be of greatest practical value HighlightsPresents a streamlined process for developing highly usable softwareDescribes practical methods and models successfully implemented in industryComplements modern development practices including the Unified Process for Use: A Practical Guide PDF/EPUB or and other object oriented software engineering approaches.