Industrial Deals Beauty Silent Corner STEM nav_sap_plcc_ascpsc Starting at $39.99 Grocery Handmade Wedding Shop Book House Cleaning Paterson Paterson Paterson  Introducing Echo Show All-New Fire HD 8 Kids Edition, starting at $129.99 Kindle Oasis Assassins Shop Now toystl17_gno
Customer Review

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An approachable, practical guide to achieving simplicity, September 27, 2010
This review is from: Simple and Usable Web, Mobile, and Interaction Design (Voices That Matter) (Paperback)
We've all been frustrated by a gadget, from trying to install a printer to spending hours setting up a new mobile phone. Page one of Simple and Usable points out that: "[The] Technology that is supposed to make our lives easier often feels like it's on the march against us." What then is the antidote to confusing products, software, and web sites? The answer is--as one might guess from the title of the book--simplicity.

Simple and Usable is both an extremely approachable and an incredibly practical guide to simplicity. Author Giles Colborne compelling shares four fundamental strategies for accomplishing simplicity: remove, organize, hide, and displace.

First, figure out the most important tasks of mainstream users, and make those tasks really easy to accomplish. Then, kill all the features that aren't core. From limiting choice, to eliminating distraction, to using smart defaults, Giles offers many tangible tactics for reducing complexity.

But just throwing something out isn't the only way to simplify. Effective organization can make an interface feel simpler to use. "There are plenty of options open to you in organizing an interface--size, color, position, shape, hierarchy." Giles explains that organizing for simplicity involves emphasizing just one or two important elements. He shares useful techniques for achieving organization such as chunking, hard edges, grids, and layering.

For those features that can't be eliminated but that are used only rarely, Giles recommends a third strategy: hiding. "Often a feature has a few core controls for mainstreamers and extended, precision controls for experts," he says. "Hiding the precision controls is a good way to keep things simple." Giles shares how progressive disclosure and timely clues can be used to reveal a hidden feature at just the right moment.

While the first three strategies--remove, organize, and hide--work well in conjunction, the fourth strategy is, as Giles puts it, "a cheat." Displacement is the technique of moving functionality from one location, say a TV remote control, to a different location, such as onto the TV screen itself. "One of the secrets of creating simple experiences," Giles says, "is putting the right functionality on the right... part of the system."

Not only is Simple and Usable packed with practical strategies for achieving simplicity, but it's also quite an enjoyable read. Giles manages to infuse frequent examples into the book's impressively concise 1-page sections, making for inviting reading whether you're on a 3-minute bus ride or spending a Saturday at the cafe. As an advocate of simplicity myself, I highly recommend this book to anyone who has a hand in building websites, software, or products.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the guidelines and FAQs here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
  [Cancel]