From Developer to Designer
March 27, 2012 10:56 AM   Subscribe

My background is in Web Development, but I just took a "User Interface" Developer position. What are some good resources to help me move from the world of code to the world UI?

For example, I usually follow A List Apart. They have a lot of good info that touches both upon code and design. What other good blogs or magazines are out there?
posted by brenton to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
I don't know if it's still cutting-edge, but Don't Make Me Think was the first thing pressed into my hands when I made the same move. Boxes & Arrows was one of the pre-eminent blogs around the same time.
posted by yerfatma at 11:04 AM on March 27, 2012 [2 favorites]

I also came into suggest Don't Make Me Think. Some time ago I asked the folks in our User Experience group which book they'd recommend, and it was their choice as well.
posted by JohnFredra at 11:08 AM on March 27, 2012

I'm a bit confused, are you still going to be a developer, actively coding things, or are you going to be a dedicated UI designer, i.e. architecting and wireframing?

In any case... Don't Make Me Think always comes up in these threads. It was an important book back in the day, but I don't think anyone needs to read it any more, since really all you need is summed up in the title, i.e. interfaces are only a means to an end, so create unobtrusive user experiences around them.

Don't Make Me Think comes from a time when User Experience was about fixing things (accessibility, usability) rather than creating compelling experiences (useful, pleasurable, beautiful). Obviously you need to crack "Usable" before you can do anything else, but if you already know that you need to do that, then skip Don't Make Me Think and buy a copy of Designing Interfaces by Jenifer Tidwell instead. It's a compendium of UI design patterns, along with advice on how and why they work.
posted by iivix at 2:04 AM on March 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

@iivix, I'll actually still be doing a lot of code, but I will be doing far more designing than I've ever done before. I'm used to getting a pixel-perfect mockup and making a website. Now (I think) I'll be given a description of what needs to be done.
posted by brenton at 6:03 PM on March 28, 2012

> Now (I think) I'll be given a description of what needs to be done.

In that case, you'll find Designing Interfaces really useful. I'd also check out any other UI design pattern source, e.g. and The Yahoo pattern library.
posted by iivix at 5:59 AM on March 29, 2012

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