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Designing Web Interfaces: Principles and Patterns for Rich Interactions Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Length: 334 pages Optimized for larger screens
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Bill Scott is director of UI Engineering at Netflix in Los Gatos, CA, where he plies his interface engineering and design skills. Scott is the former Yahoo! Ajax evangelist and pattern curator for the Yahoo! Design Pattern Library.

He has a long and glamorous history in the IT world, due mostly to his unique understanding of both the technical and creative aspects of designing usable products. His ramblings and musings can be found at

Theresa Neil is a user experience consultant in Austin, Texas, where she designs rich applications for start-ups and Fortune500 companies.

Product Details

  • File Size: 17801 KB
  • Print Length: 334 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (January 15, 2009)
  • Publication Date: January 15, 2009
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0026OR33U
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #840,881 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are brand spanking new to web design, and have never coded a single site, you may want to hold off on this book for a minute. I'm not saying it is not for beginners, because it is. Those new to HTML and CSS may want to get the hang of that before jumping into incorporating Ajax and JavaScript along with advanced CSS techniques.

Who is it for? I would recommend this book for art directors, project managers, web designers (all levels), interactive designers, DVD menu designers (though not directly related, you can still take away some important aspects or "patterns"), and especially those that design online training modules (we all know how dull they can be.) Like the DVD menu designers I mentioned above, I think Flash designers can benefit greatly, as well. Though the book is not directly geared toward Flash design, the patterns and "anti-patterns" talked about can easily be used when designing for a Flash experience.

The layout of the book is broken up into the 6 "principles" described in the product description of this book. The sections "Make It Direct" and "Stay on the Page" are by far the two largest sections, for they are the most important of the 6. "Keep it Lightweight" is the shortest section/principle, but by no means is rushed or glossed over. It poses some great design ideas to keep it intuitive, discoverable and keep you from designing 'mouse traps.'

In order to get the most out of this book, you would have to have designed a web site before reading this book. If you are a project manager or art director in charge of a team designing a web site (but not a web designer yourself), it would benefit you greatly to have a general understanding of web design, HTML, what Ajax is, CSS, cross-browser compatibilities, and Javascript.
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Format: Paperback
This book absorbed me for the last weekend, and I have to say, it is the best book in the field of HCI I have come across since reading Tidwell's Designing Interfaces: Patterns for Effective Interaction Design. Of course, I like everything that happens to quote Cooper's About Face 3: The Essentials of Interaction Design and Raskin's The Humane Interface: New Directions for Designing Interactive Systems (ACM Press) - but this one gave me lots of new, practical ideas for the web, and a consistent terminology I can use to think and talk about Rich Internet Applications.

Nicely organized and layouted, well-written, and, in my opinion, thought-through easy-to-grasp structure. I was studying many patterns in the Yahoo! pattern library online and I am glad that Bill Scott finally published a book with the same clarity and logic that I came to like online.

Will become a standard in the company I work for and I am sure our clients will already start to "fear" discussions around the six principles when arguing with our consultants for what should be done and how :-)

Great book.
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Scott is a/the genius behind Netflix and Yahoo!'s interfaces, so I got this book to figure out how to make my web interface programming work more professional.

However, much of what I've read here goes against the spirit of the design I was taught to do in grad school. For example, Netflix/Yahoo! make complex designs that are highly functional for expert users, and at-least reasonably usable for intermediate users. These designs feature transitions which use fades, transparent controls which only become visible when a user hovers, and dueling interfaces which allow power-users to move at a different speed than weaker users, etc.

By comparison, my grad program emphasizes designing for readability, learnability and with a singular notion of organizational principles structuring content in such a way that it is accessible to humans, search engines, and user agents (speech synthesis for visually impaired users). In Designing Web Interfaces, this perspective is consistently swept aside in the quest to build "rich interactions" at the expense of these peripheral users.

The result for me of this encounter with "Designing Web Interfaces" has been a renewed appreciation of how hard it is to make interface design choices. So often design is a question of framing, which establishes who the audience is, what the goals are, and what standards to use for a product.

I think at best, this book offers insight into future trends of professional design -- what Scott calls "rich interactions". However, I have a feeling that I'll always be more on the novice/disabled/user-agent user's side, leaning towards standard-based and user-centered designs, no matter what these captains of industry are cooking up.
1 Comment 60 of 75 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I got this hoping to collect a few new tips and tools for making cleaner interfaces. Generally I have a lot of respect for O'reilly books but this one let me down. It seems more to be a collection of desktop user interfaces from the late 90s and screenshots of old versions of very popular websites such as Amazon. If you've never done any web design then this will at least introduce you to the common terms for different interface pieces but has no implementation details and can't be referred to as "current" in any sense of the word.
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