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Web Form Design: Filling in the Blanks Paperback – Color, May 2, 2008
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Luke shares his secrets in this book, which should be required reading for every graphic designer, project manager, interaction designer, or usability researcher who might ever work on a Web form. Web Form Design is that rare book capable of transforming the way an entire field does its business. --Communication Arts
Luke Wroblewski has written one of the best books on user experience and web usability that I have read for some time. It deserves a place on every user experience or web designer's bookshelf. --The Designer's Review of Books
I highly recommend this book for both new and veteran web designers. It will help you to think more strategically about web forms, which will make them more successful. Your clients and their customers will benefit from your newfound knowledge and you'll feel like a genius. --Viget Labs
About the Author
Luke Wroblewski is currently Senior Principal of Product Ideation & Design at Yahoo! Inc. and Principal of LukeW Interface Designs, a product strategy and design consultancy he founded in 1996. Luke has authored a book on Web interface design principles titled Site-Seeing: A Visual Approach to Web Usability and numerous articles on design methodologies, strategies and applications including those featured in his own online publication: Functioning Form. He is also a frequent presenter on topics related to Web startegy and design and a former member of the board of directors of the Interaction Design Association. Previously, Luke was the Lead Interface Designer of eBay Inc.'s platform team. At eBay, he led the strategic and interaction of new consumer products (including Kijiji and eBay Express) and internal tools and processes including design pattern and creative asset management systems. Luke also taught interface design courses in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and worked as a Senior Interface Designer at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), birthplace of the first popular graphical Web browser, NCSA Mosaic.
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Top Customer Reviews
This is my third book by Head First (I also have the HTML and AJAX books), so I already knew that I liked the Head First writing style - perhaps a little light on technical side, but the lessons get driven home. The reader simply retains material from these books, and that is tough to find in most technical books on the market.
Again, the only thing to watch out for is the sloppy editing; there were a few too many editing errors for my taste. I still gave the book five stars, though, because it was just that good.
In other words, the goal of the book is to optimize forms for novices, not necessarily for proficient users. In itself, this goal is laudable, however, it ought to have been made explicit. As things stand, it is uncertain if all or which parts of the advice applies to forms whose users interact with them regularly and know them well.
By the standard of this book, complex forms are a mistake. And this may well be true for public facing sites. The situation is different for in-house applications that incidentally have a browser-based user interface. On these, unfortunately, the book remains silent.
I'd like to have seen a discussion of interactive controls beyond the native HTML text fields, drop downs, check and radio boxes. I'd like to have read how to make the best of fluid or elastic page layouts, as it is, all examples assume fixed-width layouts. A chapter on the construction of forms using semantic HTML and CSS wouldn't have been out of place either.
What's missing most of all is an extended case study that goes through all the stages of designing a realistically complex form.
After all this criticism, I'd like to point out that what is there in the book is very solid. As things stand, though, there remains much to be said.
in the Head First series. It is also unique in teaching the entire life cycle of building a usable, information-rich, beautiful, navigable, and accessible web site, and not being confined to illustrating the graphical layout of beautiful web pages. It illustrates, the sketching, information design, navigation, and customer interaction issues involved in developing a sophisticated, content-filled web site and prepares the developer to perform a well-managed design and implementation process. The guide does assume that the prospective web designer have familiarity with HTML, XHTML, and CSS, but that is an entirely reasonable assumption for any web designer and is well served by the HTML/XHTML volume in the Head First Series. This is an excellent and most necessary book for the design of sophisticated information architectures, and usable beautiful web sites that serve both the user and the organization that commissioned them.