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5.0 out of 5 stars A reference book about web design to keep close to you
Full of practical design guidelines, this book will help me and my customers to focus on the right site features and to build them right. As stated by the authors, this book is "opened". So I decided to contribute by suggesting a new online text editor pattern and an improvement to the grid pattern by displaying contextual content over the HTML page using an...
Published on Feb. 3 2005 by Sylvain Charron

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3.0 out of 5 stars Some good points, but it's better for design agencies
I manage a large corporate website, and was looking for good book which provides examples of common dilemmas faced in managing a corporate website...this book failed to answer them with any true substance. This book is geared more towards the design agencies only, not people who design and develop in-house. Also, I felt that it was very basic and covered many things I...
Published on March 3 2004 by Melissa Pfeifer


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5.0 out of 5 stars A pattern language for Web stie design, Dec 30 2002
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This review is from: Design of Sites, The: Patterns, Principles, and Processes for Crafting a Customer-Centered Web Experience (Paperback)
This must-have book defines a collection of patterns for effective Web site design. Like Christopher Alexander's seminal work on patterns in architecture, the patterns range from very broad to very focused, taking you from the initial notion of what type of site you need to specific details about navigation, branding, etc. It's scope and refinement makes it much more compelling than most of the patterns work that has been done elsewhere in software. I can't imagine designing a new site without it. Thank you!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Ignore this advice at your own risk, Dec 18 2002
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Charles Ashbacher (Marion, Iowa United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Design of Sites, The: Patterns, Principles, and Processes for Crafting a Customer-Centered Web Experience (Paperback)
In computing, a wrong repeated often enough can become a right, or to use the proper term, a convention. Everyone is now so familiar with the standard layout of a main menu with the File entry on the left and the Help entry on the right that no one even thinks about constructing a user interface any other way. Such expectations lead to the structure of patterns, which in this context are just fundamental ways of doing things. Whether they are right or wrong, once a pattern becomes ingrained in the expectations of a large segment of the user community, you either do it that way or lose out to those who do.
This book is a collection of the patterns that users expect to find when they encounter a web site. Presented almost exclusively via screen shots of sites with the proper layout, the demonstrations of the patterns are clear and unambiguous. The patterns are also numbered for categorization, so that they can be easily referenced from other patterns. They are refined into enough categories so that few patterns stand alone, most are used in combination with one or more other patterns. I have read some of the books by Jakob Nielson and other web usability gurus, and consider this one to be as good as any of the others.
If you design web sites, teach the design of web sites or teach those who teach those who design web sites, then you cannot afford to ignore the lessons in this book. After reading it, my whole thought process was different when I was working on the web. I kept thinking back to the patterns in the book and contrasting them to the sites I was visiting. Granted it was an interesting intellectual exercise and a tribute to the book that it got me thinking, but it also slowed me down in the completion of the work.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Web designers: please read this!, Oct. 7 2002
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shaw6 (Sydney, NSW Australia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Design of Sites, The: Patterns, Principles, and Processes for Crafting a Customer-Centered Web Experience (Paperback)
If everyone designing a site read and implemented the advice in this book using the web would be an utterly different experience.
Beautifully organised and cross referenced, clearly written without in any way being patronising, this is a useful book for anyone designing an interfaced. People already working in interface design can learn a thing or two as well.
A must read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Substance over flash, usability over 'pop', Sept. 23 2002
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Matthew Tarpy (Skokie, IL) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Design of Sites, The: Patterns, Principles, and Processes for Crafting a Customer-Centered Web Experience (Paperback)
I admit it; I'm a sucker for web design books. Whenever a book comes out on the subject, I tend to rush to buy it, hoping it can show me how to improve my craft, and make the designs I create better and more effective. Most of the time I'm disappointed because the book is simply a paean to whatever the latest and 'greatest' is in the world of hip and hot design.
I don't want to know how to make what's hip and hot...I can figure that out for myself. What I want is to see how I can implement proven strategies that help users (my users) get things done as they use the product. And that's the true strength of this book; it's what it's all about. With almost 100 'patterns' of website design, this book breaks it down in simple, easy-to-get terms, that I, a technical usability specialist can understand and then turn around and reproduce. It's almost like a cookbook, in the sense that the book shows me:
1) What the patterns is, how it's used in the real world, and different flavors of it
2) Why the pattern is good, how it's been successful, and in some cases how it's been refined.
3) How the pattern works, what are it's components, and what does it need to be successful
4) And finally, what other patterns it's like, and how by incorporating parts of other patterns, I can strengthen my users' experience.
I want this...I don't have time to be reinventing the wheel every time my employer or a client wants a site. I need to be able to pick up a reference book and see exactly what a 'community' site (or one of a hundred other types of sites) is like, so I have a good starting place to work from as I delve into what the project sponsor wants. This book helps me by already doing the leg-work of research into best practices, common features, and pitfalls. By giving me that already, I don't have to spend time doing figuring that stuff already out, and rather can spend time doing what's important...listening to my client, employer, and user base to figure out how to meet their specific needs, and make them all happy.
That's easily worth the price of admission.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Finally! A design book for the rest of us, Aug. 24 2002
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Mike Tarrani "Jazz Drummer" (Deltona, FL USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Design of Sites, The: Patterns, Principles, and Processes for Crafting a Customer-Centered Web Experience (Paperback)
Nearly every book on user interface and site design I've read is aimed at the professional designer who understands the nuances of color, fonts and graphics elements, as well as aesthetics in general. Many of the subtle points are lost on the non professional.
The book begins with a short chapter on the foundations of good design, which provides principles, dispels myths, and stays focused on customer-centric goals. The heart of the book is Part II, which consists of 12 different design patterns based on real life examples. It leads you through each example, showing you how a particular design or design concept works and why. This is akin to the Rosetta Stone for the non-professional designer because the authors do not assume any talent of skills in design, and subtle points are highlighted and clearly explained. Because of this approach I finally understood concepts that had eluded me in the past. In addition to the clear explanations that distill design into patterns, the book is lavishly illustrated, using copious full color examples and a structured format that gives the background, frames the problem and provides a solution to each of the 12 design goals.
Material in the appendices is also invaluable, including advice on running usability evaluation, and associated plan outlines and forms. For a development group this is an extra bonus that will make it easier to incorporate the principles in this book into a quality process that gives customer-focused usability the same weight as technical quality criteria.

I'm so enthusiastic about this book that I've recommended to the company for which I work that a copy of this book be provided to each of our developers who are programming wizards, but who stumble when it comes to the user interface.
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