Designing the User Interface: Strategies for Effective Human-Computer Interaction, Global Edition

Ben Shneiderman / Catherine Plaisant / Maxine Cohen / Steven Jacobs / Niklas Elmqvist / Nicholas Diakopoulos  
Total pages
June 2017
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Designing the User Interface: Strategies for Effective Human-Computer Interaction, Global Edition

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For courses in Human-Computer Interaction


The Sixth Edition of Designing the User Interface provides a comprehensive, authoritative, and up-to-date introduction to the dynamic field of human-computer interaction (HCI) and user experience (UX) design. This classic book has defined and charted the astonishing evolution of user interfaces for three decades. Students and professionals learn practical principles and guidelines needed to develop high quality interface designs that users can understand, predict, and control. The book covers theoretical foundations and design processes such as expert reviews and usability testing.


By presenting current research and innovations in human-computer interaction, the authors strive to inspire students, guide designers, and provoke researchers to seek solutions that improve the experiences of novice and expert users, while achieving universal usability. The authors also provide balanced presentations on controversial topics such as augmented and virtual reality, voice and natural language interfaces, and information visualization.


Updates include current HCI design methods, new design examples, and totally revamped coverage of social media, search and voice interaction. Major revisions were made to EVERY chapter, changing almost every figure (170 new color figures) and substantially updating the references.


About the Book

  • Provides a broad survey of designing, implementing, managing, maintaining, training, and refining the user interface of interactive systems, especially mobile devices.
  • Describes practical techniques and research-supported design guidelines for effective interface designs.
  • Covers both professional applications (e.g. CAD/CAM, air traffic control) and consumer examples (e.g. web services, e-government, mobile devices, cell phones, games, virtual reality).
  • Delivers informative introductions to development methodologies, evaluation techniques, and user-interface building tools.
  • Offers an extensive array of current examples and figures illustrating excellence in design.
  • Includes full-color presentation throughout with commissioned chapter opening artwork.
  • Guides students who might be starting their first HCI design project.
  • Presents strategies for enhancing quality of user-generated content.
  • Focuses on universal usability including special populations, sustainable design, and societal transformation.
  • Emphasizes internationalization and customization of interactive systems.
  • Includes reports on recent research results and innovative products.

The Companion Website has additional practice opportunities and information resources for students and professors:

o Links to hundreds of human-computer interaction resources, examples, and research studies that enhance and expand on the material in each chapter

o Self-test questions and discussion questions for each chapter

o Homework assignments and projects

o Selection of video resources

Instructor Resource Center includes PowerPoint lecture slides and answers to discussion questions at

  • This Sixth Edition has been shepherded by Ben Shneiderman, a leader in the field of HCI and Founding Director (1983-2000) of the Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory (HCIL) at the University of Maryland at College Park. He began as the sole author for the earlier editions and added Catherine Plaisant, Research Scientist and Associate Director of HCIL in the Third edition. For the Sixth edition Maxine Cohen from Nova Southeastern University and Steve Jacobs from Northern Arizona University have been moved from their collaborator status (on the Fifth edition) to part of the author team as well as adding Niklas Elmqvist and Nick Diakopoulos, who are both new colleagues at the University of Maryland. Together they bring unparalleled industry and academic experience, enhancing the book's usefulness in informing readers, clarifying opportunities, and inspiring excellence.

New to this Edition

  • Presents the remarkable success story of HCI and user experience design.
  • Updates design guidelines, principles, and theories to reflect new ways of thinking.
  • Adds new chapters focusing on design and case studies, and updates evaluation techniques.
  • Illustrates current designs and practices with 170 new figures.
  • Explores progress in direct manipulation toward virtual and augmented reality as well as the broader use of speech interaction.
  • Expands the focus on mobile devices.
  • Offers a totally new chapter on collaboration and social media.
  • Updates vital chapters such as navigation, information search and visualization.
  • Presents balanced discussions on topics such as 3-D, speech, natural language interfaces, the degree of human control, and the role of animated characters.
  • Summarizes key points in boxes throughout the book.
  • Emphasizes issues of universal usability for increasingly diverse users of interactive systems.
  • Updates the Practitioner Summaries and Researcher Agendas.
  • Adds many new references, while keeping classic papers.

Table of Contents

Part 1. Introduction
1. Usability of Interactive Systems
2. Universal Usability
3. Guidelines, Principles, and Theories

Part 2. Design Processes

4. Design
5. Evaluation and the User Experience
6. Design Case Studies

Part 3. Interaction Styles

7. Direct Manipulation and Immersive Environments
8. Fluid Navigation
9. Expressive Human and Command Languages
10. Devices
11. Communication and Collaboration

Part 4. Design Issues

12. Advancing the User Experience
13. The Timely User Experience
14. Documentation and User Support (a.k.a. Help)
15. Information Search
16. Data Visualization

Afterword. Societal and Individual Impact of User Interfaces