48 of 56 people found the following review helpful
Programmers, find out why UI designers have it tough!,
This review is from: User Interface Design for Programmers (Paperback)
Joel is a good writer who happens to be a programmer. That alone is enough to reccommend this one-of-a-kind book. His website contains tons of insightful, opinionated essays, and most of the time he's right, whether his topic is design, business stragegy, HR, or coding techniques. He's an ex-Microsoft employee who's saavy enough to know what MS does right and what they don't.
In this book, much of which is available at his site, he's taking an approach that I don't think anyone else has: why UI design matters to programmers. He's not talking to experienced visual desingers, or HCI people, or interaction desingers or what have you. He's talking to programmers, the folks who will actually write lines of code. This book, in a quick 150 pages, shows programmers why interaction designers will spend, say, two days worrying about a couple of words or the placement of two buttons.
Like Steve Krug's book "Don't Make Me Think", it's a somewhat lightweight treatment of the topic for an experienced UI desinger, but you'd be foolish to pass it up for that reason. This, along with Krug would be a great book for Project Managers or senior staff wondering what all the fuss about "usability" really means. Where Jakob Nielsen's preachy fussiness can bore you to tears, Joel and Krug will make you eager to put their ideas into practice.
Any company that can get its programmers, managers, and designers on the same page about the still under-appreciated value of UI design (and the analysis that goes into it) will find they can make better products faster.