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Designing Interfaces by Jenifer Tidwell

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THE PATTERNS

Because this book deals with interactive software, most of these patterns describe ways to interact with the data—moving through it; sorting, selecting, inserting or changing items; and probing for specific values or sets of values. A few deal only with static graphics: information designers have known Alternating Row Colors, Multi-Y Graph, and Small Multiples for a while now, but they translate well to the world of software.

And don't forget the patterns elsewhere in this book. From Chapter 2, recall Alternative Views and Extras On Demand, both of which can help you structure an interactive graphic. Chapter 3 offers Annotated Scrollbar and Animated Transition, which help users stay oriented within large and complex data spaces.

The first group of patterns can apply to most varieties of interactive graphics, regardless of the data's underlying structure. (Some are harder to learn and use than others, so don't throw them at every data graphic you create— Data Brushing and Local Zooming, in particular, are "power tools," best for sophisticated computer users.)

Next is a set of patterns for tables and lists.

Cascading Lists and Tree Table are useful for hierarchically structured data. If you use a tree view (also known as an outline view), consider these too.

The remaining patterns ...

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