Most helpful positive review
Two words: Exceptionally useful
on May 4, 2004
If I could keep only one of the dozen or so User Interface-related books I purchased in 2003, this would be the one.
I haul it along to most of my clients (I'm a user interface designer). The design patterns in the book actually do help us to design more effectively. The patterns describe recurring issues and trade-offs in relation to specific design problems. Each pattern also describes a solution to its specific problem. Instead of starting from square one, we can start with something known to work and modify or refine it as needed for our specific site.
Yes, I knew a lot of this already, but it's still a big help to have it all written down, illustrated and organised at my fingertips. And it really helps my clients who are working on a first, second or third system and who don't have a personal database of tens or hundreds of projects. Or the ones who are caught in an endless discussion loop.
The book itself is easier to use than any other reference book in my collection. The patterns are organised and cross-referenced so that I can easily pick out just what I need for a given project. The book has a clear and pleasant visual organisation with color-coded sections. It is heavily illustrated with examples and sketches. And the resources section at the back is truly thorough, not just an afterthought.
This is one of the books I especially recommend to software developers, since many of them are already familiar with the use of patterns in designing code. And I've found that developers on the whole are a pragmatic bunch, always looking for a way to get better results with less effort. That's exactly what the Design of Sites is good for.