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User Interface Design for Programmers by JOEL SPOLSKY

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CHAPTER12The Processof Designinga Product

We've talked about the principles of good design, but principles only give you a way to evaluate and improve an existing design. So how do you figure out what the design should be in the first place? Many people write big, functional outlines of all the features they have thought up. Then they design each one and hang it off of a menu item (or Web page). When they're done, the program (or Web site) has all the functionality they wanted, but it doesn't flow right. People sit down and they don't know what it does, and they don't know how to use it to accomplish what they want.

Microsoft's solution to this is something called Activity-Based Planning. (As far as I can tell, this concept was introduced to ...

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