[MUD-Dev] Something in the water

Caliban Tiresias Darklock caliban at darklock.com
Fri Jul 27 03:00:25 New Zealand Standard Time 2001


On Thu, 26 Jul 2001 15:00:03 -0700, "Dan MacDonald"
<danmac at windows.microsoft.com> wrote:
>> From: Dave Rickey  

>> I'm going to have to study up on it again, I stopped before they
>> started calling it HCI, after I quit making user interfaces.  Can
>> you recommend any books or web-pages on the subject?

> I enjoyed reading Alan Coopers book on the subject...  "The
> Inmates Are Running the Asylum"

Probably a better choice is his "About Face: The Essentials of User
Interface Design". "Inmates" is targeted more at convincing
management that UI design is a Good Idea, while "About Face" is more
about what to seek and avoid in terms of interface design. That
said, I think *everyone* who develops or wants to develop software
ought to read both.

To diverge a little, the "Big Three" authors everyone should read
IMHO are Robert Sedgewick (algorithms and data structures), Alan
Cooper (user interface design), and Jesse Liberty (general
programming and project management). These people not only know what
they're talking about, they also know how to teach *you* what
they're talking about. If you just go pick up Jesse Liberty's "Teach
Yourself C++ in 21 Days", you'll end up a better C++ programmer than
90% of the professionals I've worked with after you read it.

(Don't pay any attention to the 21 days part, that's just a
"branding" thing Sams does. I took a class taught by the author
using this text, and he said up front that you can't really *absorb*
the material in less than six weeks. Then he spent twelve weeks
teaching it, and I thought it was a pretty fast pace. So I'd say the
average self-directed, spare-time student who knows nothing about
programming should plan to spend a week on each "day" in the
text... which is pretty consistent with the general wisdom that to
become an effective programmer takes about six months.)

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