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Customer Review

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great philosophy, questionable implementation, January 22, 2007
This review is from: Designing the Obvious: A Common Sense Approach to Web Application Design (Paperback)
I thought this book was very useful on many points. Through the use of illustrative examples, the author really points out what people are doing wrong (and right) in a lot of common web designs. His philosophy, essentially functional minimalism, means that you spend a lot more time stripping features off of applications than putting them on, and this is probably a great idea.

The only issue I have with this idea is that some of the exercises he proposes to help you pare things down are (in my opinion) very hard, or impossible. After all, if we were all decisive enough to excise things from the spec when they weren't strictly useful, they probably wouldn't be there in the first place.

Basically, it boils down to this: Figure out exactly what your application does. This is ONE thing. Then, remove everything that doesn't do that. If you can still do that thing, you won, and have a good design. The book goes into greater detail about a lot of things you can do to make your application as smooth for the user as possible, and helps to avoid common pitfalls. All designers should read this book - and all engineers should read it twice.
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