Windows IT Library UPDATE--December 17, 2003

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1. Book Review
- The Essential Guide to User Interface Design: An Introduction to GUI
Design Principles and Techniques (Second Edition)

2. Announcements
- Order Windows & .NET Magazine and the Article Archive CD at One Low Rate!
- Have You Seen Connected Home Media Online Lately?

3. New from Windows IT Library
- Scripting with InfoPath
- .NET Architecture

4. New Books in Print
- Unix Network Programming, Volume 1: The Sockets Networking API, Third Edition
- Windows Server 2003 Security Bible

5. New eBooks
- Content Security in the Enterprise--Spam and Beyond
- Migrating to Windows Server 2003, Active Directory, and Exchange 2003

6. Windows IT Library Top Five
- A+ Certification: How to Pass Your Exams
- Microsoft Windows NT Server Administrator's Bible: Option Pack Edition
- Microsoft Windows NT Secrets: Option Pack Edition
- The Microsoft Outlook E-Mail and Fax Guide
- Undocumented Windows NT

7. Event
- Check Out 4 New Upcoming Web Seminars

8. Contact Us
See this section for a list of ways to contact us.

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==== 1. Book Review ====
The Essential Guide to User Interface Design: An Introduction to GUI
Design Principles and Techniques, Second Edition
Author: Wilbert O. Galitz
Publisher: Wiley Computer Publishing
Published: May 2002
ISBN: 0471084646
Paperback, 760 pages
Price: $60.00

One of the most difficult aspects of building an application or a system lies in designing the UI. UI design might appear to be so subjective that coming up with a solution that suits every individual user's needs and wants is virtually impossible. But although a lot of fluidity is associated with UI design, some aspects of design should be followed religiously. To learn about those aspects and to ensure that the UI design process is tightly controlled, I urge you to read Wilbert Galitz's "The Essential Guide to User Interface Design."

Galitz, an acknowledged expert in UI design, has written several books that address the challenges of interface design. Now in its second edition, this book is a comprehensive examination of the best GUI design principles and techniques for designing a UI as part of application or system development. The information in the book is also relevant to the development of Web-based systems.

Galitz's book consists of two parts. The first part provides an introduction to and an overview of the UI. Galitz points out that the benefits of good interface design include a marked improvement in users' decision-making capabilities and a reduction in their number of transaction errors. Users can act on well-presented information more quickly, confidently, and effectively than they can when the information is haphazard and carelessly thrown together.

A good UI design, also yields benefits such as lower training costs, because the screen data is displayed in a more intuitive and self-explanatory manner; less user stress, because the interface helps rather than impedes users; and heightened job satisfaction, because users prefer to work in an environment characterized by order and structure.

The second part of the book covers the UI design process. Topics covered in this section of the book include
-- The importance of getting to know the users or clients who'll be using the application or system.
-- How to gain a proper understanding of the business functions that underpin the UI.
-- The development of system menus and other navigation schemes.
-- The proper use of device-based controls (e.g., touch screen, joystick, light pen, mouse) and screen-based controls (e.g., radio buttons, tabs, list boxes, scrolling tickers).
-- How to write unambiguous, easily understood screen text and messages.
-- The creation of meaningful and relevant graphics, images, and icons.
-- The correct organization of windows and pages.
-- Choosing colors for different circumstances, such as textual graphics screens, statistical graphics screens, and Web pages. Galitz even includes a section about colors you should avoid.

The significant role that the UI plays can't be overstated. Galitz stresses three goals of interface design: to "make working with a computer easy, productive, and enjoyable." Regardless of the amount of functionality in a program or system, users will begrudgingly interact with it or, worse, refuse to use it if its interface doesn't feel "just right" to them. You might think that's an exaggeration, but I've seen users in an insurance company spurn a system that failed to deliver UI features that the users deemed essential. Galitz provides even more graphic examples of what can happen if the UI is flawed. He recounts how one user "relieved his frustrations with his computer with a couple of well aimed bullets from a gun." Another stressed user "in a moment of extreme exasperation and anger, dropped his PC out of his upper floor office window."

The last chapter of "The Essential Guide to User Interface Design" covers usability testing, including its purpose and importance. Three examples of the different tests that Galitz puts under the spotlight are cognitive walkthroughs (that is, reviews of the interface in the context of tasks that users perform); think-aloud evaluations; and focus groups.

Although system and Web developers will benefit directly from the advice and techniques that Galitz provides, other IT professionals, such as team leaders, analysts, and project managers, will also learn from the book. No one likes to use a UI that's designed with too little thought. Galitz best sums up this idea when he states that the "user interface is the most important part of any computer system. Why? It is the system to most users. It can be seen, it can be heard, and it can touch. The piles of software code are invisible, hidden behind phosphor, keyboards, and the mouse." To find more information about "The Essential Guide to User Interface Design," including a table of contents, visit the publisher's Web site at http://www.wiley.com/compbooks.

Tony Stevenson
mkdsoftware@trump.net.au
Windows IT Library Guest Reviewer

For more book reviews, visit the Windows IT Library Web site.
http://www.WindowsITlibrary.com/bookreviews

==== 2. Announcements ====

Order Windows & .NET Magazine and the Article Archive CD at One Low Rate!
What's better than Windows & .NET Magazine? Try Windows & .NET Magazine and the Windows & .NET Magazine Article Archive CD at one super low rate. Read Windows & .NET Magazine in the office. Take the Article Archive CD with you on the road. Subscribe now!
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If you haven't visited the Connected Home Media Web site recently, you'll want to check out our new look today. Connected Home online features how-to articles to help you connect, install, and optimize all the equipment, gadgets, and components in your life. Check it out!
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==== 3. New from Windows IT Library ====

Scripting with InfoPath
This chapter from "Powering Office 2003 with XML," by Peter G. Aitken, discusses what's new in Microsoft Office 2003. After reading this chapter, you'll understand how Office exchanges information with other programs and you'll know XML's role in Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Access, and Microsoft Office InfoPath 2003.
http://www.WindowsITlibrary.com/Content/888/06/toc.html

.NET Architecture
This chapter from .NET Security Programming by Donis Marshall gives an overview of the basic concepts of Windows .NET Framework architecture and programming. After reading this chapter, you'll understand .NET components and applications. You'll know about the Common Language Runtime (CLR), the .NET Framework class library, garbage collection, and XML Web services.
http://www.WindowsITlibrary.com/Content/905/01/toc.html

==== 4. New Books in Print ====

UNIX Network Programming, Volume 1: The Sockets Networking API, Third Edition
To build today's highly distributed, networked applications and services, you need deep mastery of sockets and other key networking APIs. This book delivers comprehensive, start-to-finish guidance for building robust, high-performance networked systems in any environment. This edition has been fully updated by two leading network programming experts to address today's most crucial standards, implementations, and techniques.
http://www.awprofessional.com

Windows Server 2003 Security Bible
This book covers Windows.NET Server and Microsoft Internet Security and Acceleration Server 2000, detailing key security threats, outlining the requirements for a secure Windows-based environment, and providing information on security architecture planning, securing applications, encrypting data, using authentication methods, and deploying security devices such as firewalls, public key infrastructure (PKI), IP Security (IPSec), and certificate services. http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-076454912X.html

==== 5. New eBooks ====

Content Security in the Enterprise--Spam and Beyond
High-speed Internet access has become ubiquitous across small and large enterprises worldwide. Businesses acknowledge that Internet applications such as email, Web browsing, and instant messaging (IM) are an essential medium to communicate with customers, suppliers, and partners. But with the opportunities that these applications provide come many risks and threats that an organization needs to address. This book explores these risks and discusses ways in which you can reduce or eliminate them by limiting inappropriate use, eliminating spam, protecting corporate information assets, and ensuring that this vital resource is secure and available for authorized business purposes. You can download the first chapter at the following URL:
http://www.WindowsITlibrary.com/ebooks/spam/index.cfm?pc=ebkitl

Migrating to Windows Server 2003, Active Directory, and Exchange 2003
"Migrating to Windows Server 2003, Active Directory, and Exchange 2003" delivers invaluable guidance to large and small enterprises that are migrating from Windows 2000, Windows NT 4.0, Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server, or Exchange Server 5.5. Readers will flatten their learning curve and reduce their pain quotient by implementing practices that have proven effective in the field. You can download the first two chapters of this free eBook at the following URL:
http://www.WindowsITlibrary.com/ebooks/migrating/index.cfm?pc=ebkitl

==== 6. Windows IT Library Top Five ====

A+ Certification: How to Pass Your Exams
This book walks you through all the skills tested in the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) A+ Core Hardware exam and A+ OS Technologies exam.
http://www.WindowsITlibrary.com/documents/book.cfm?documentid=175

Microsoft Windows NT Server Administrator's Bible: Option Pack Edition
This book provides specific coverage of the Windows NT 4.0 Option Pack add-ons to help you plan, install, configure, manage, optimize, and connect NT Server 4.0 to the Internet.
http://www.WindowsITlibrary.com/documents/book.cfm?documentid=405

Microsoft Windows NT Secrets: Option Pack Edition
Packed with the kind of notes, tips, and workarounds that come only from years of working day in and day out with a product, this book will help you optimize the performance, reliability, and security of your network.
http://www.WindowsITlibrary.com/documents/book.cfm?documentid=329

The Microsoft Outlook E-Mail and Fax Guide
Written for Microsoft Outlook end users and the administrators who support them, this volume explains all the real-world tasks that you're likely to encounter when working with Outlook and includes many timesaving techniques that take you beyond the basics.
http://www.WindowsITlibrary.com/documents/book.cfm?documentid=191

Undocumented Windows NT
This book documents what goes on under the covers in Windows NT. Three experts share what they've dug up on NT through years of hands-on research and programming experience. The authors dissect the Win32 interface, deconstruct the underlying APIs, and decipher the Memory Management architecture to help you understand operations, fix flaws, and enhance performance.
http://www.WindowsITlibrary.com/documents/book.cfm?documentid=356

==== 7. Event ====

Check Out 4 New Upcoming Web Seminars
Sign up today for these upcoming Web seminars: Access Control for the Web (NEW!), Assess IM Risks on Your Network, Five Keys to Choosing the Right Patch Management Solution, and The Secret Costs of Spam ... What You Don't Know Can Hurt You. Don't miss these free events!
http://www.winnetmag.com/seminars

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==== 8. Contact Us ====

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