On first inspection, this book presents itself as a dictionary of recognised GUI components. The author confirms in the preface that the purpose is to provide similar content to that found in her previous title The GUI Style Guide , but this time formatted as a reference.
Each GUI component is defined alphabetically, along with design guidelines and cross-references. The list is comprehensive, ranging from simple check-boxes to online help and wizards. Most entries have something for everyone; suggestions of good and bad uses for a particular component, conclusions from relevant research papers and usability tests. There is a leaning towards Windows 95 that is made apparent in the use of screenshots and terminology, but this does not really limit the material.
Generalised design discussion is relegated to the appendices, where there is a description of the 'fourteen-step drill-down method' and a summary of common usability tests.
Although accessible to most levels of reader, this book would probably find most use as a supplemental reference to something more theory- orientated.