About the book

Designing Interfaces: Patterns for Effective Interaction Design is a book about interface and interaction design, structured as a pattern language. It features real-live examples from desktop applications, web sites, web applications, mobile devices, and everything in between. This site contains excerpts from some of the book’s patterns. The book has more, of course — more introductory material, more patterns, and more examples. Naturally, I’d like you to buy it! But this material has been on the Web for a while, and I’d like to keep it here.

Read the Amazon reviews

O’Reilly’s official catalog page, with more reviews

Why a duck?

I have no idea. O’Reilly’s people picked it, not me, but I think it has something to do with the fact that Mandarin ducks are colorful, and the book was printed in full color. Also, some of their other Web books have birds on their covers. (But he’s cute, isn’t he?)

From the back of the Second Edition

Despite all of the UI toolkits available today, it’s still not easy to design good application interfaces. This bestselling book is one of the few reliable sources to help you navigate through the maze of design options. By capturing UI best practices and reusable ideas as design patterns, Designing Interfaces provides solutions to common design problems that you can tailor to the situation at hand.

This updated edition includes patterns for mobile apps and social media, as well as web applications and desktop software. Each pattern contains full-color examples and practical design advice that you can use immediately. Experienced designers can use this guide as a sourcebook of ideas; novices will find a roadmap to the world of interface and interaction design.

  • Design engaging and usable interfaces with more confidence and less guesswork
  • Learn design concepts that are often misunderstood, such as affordances, visual hierarchy, navigational distance, and the use of color
  • Get recommendations for specific UI patterns, including alternatives and warnings on when not to use them
  • Mix and recombine UI ideas as you see fit
  • Polish the look and feel of your interfaces with graphic design principles and patterns

Jenifer Tidwell is a writer and consultant in interaction design, information architecture, and pre-design analysis. She has designed and built user interfaces for companies such as Google and The MathWorks.