5.0 out of 5 stars The Veen Factor
I started making web pages back in the dark ages of 1996. In 1999 I was making streamlined web apps for Franklin that my coworkers and I used to make on the fly calculaitons and data lookups. Eventually, I was a staff web developer at schwab in san francisco and in tokyo, japan. I had heard of Jacob Nielson at useit.com, but only after using thousands of web pages and...
Published on April 5 2004 by Blake Southwood
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not good enough.
To be fair, Veen's target audience seem to be neophytes of Web design.
I found the historical information intriguing, such as the birth of the Web and the browser makers' role in the chaotic evolution of HTML. I even found the chapter on CSS and Web page "behaviors" useful.
But I found the author's attitude towards some of his own material vexing. After...
Published on May 27 2001 by John G. Wang
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Veen Factor,
This review is from: Art and Science of Web Design, The (Paperback)I started making web pages back in the dark ages of 1996. In 1999 I was making streamlined web apps for Franklin that my coworkers and I used to make on the fly calculaitons and data lookups. Eventually, I was a staff web developer at schwab in san francisco and in tokyo, japan. I had heard of Jacob Nielson at useit.com, but only after using thousands of web pages and making hundreds of web pages myself and making dozens of web apps did I come across Jeffrey Veen's book "The Art and Science of Web Design." I cringed when I read that he wrote to avoid using images when you can use text. Everything seemed to be agains the grain and I felt like I was swimming up river as I read what Veen was writing, but only after years of experience have I learned to respect Mr. Veen and his infinite wisdom. A web site is only good if it achieves its purpose, which is access to information. And this occurs only through a site that possesses speed, simplicty, and clarity. Download speed is the most important, and meeting the user's expectations. A simple design that works is worth a bucket of gold. Only after making countless web pages have I finally taken Veen's philosophy to heart - make the web site simple and fast and don't dwell on the unnecessary frivolous pretty gifs and clutter that predominates on so many web pages. Simplicity. Speed. Clarity.
I hope that Jeffrey Veen writes another book. I highly recommend this book.
It's like Jeffrey Veen is a Web Philospher, and everything he wrote in the book is true, though for those raised on photoshop and obsessed with glossy web pages, it's hard to swallow the truth sometimes - less really is more. Make the site fast and make it simple.
5.0 out of 5 stars One made for Dog-ears,
This review is from: Art and Science of Web Design, The (Paperback)Here's a book that's sitting on my desk and it's going to be there for good long time. I mark it up. A few weeks later I come back and look again. Good writers give you that. Yes, even about technical subjects, good writers deliver. This will be one of my dog-eared ones.
The graphics are done so well that I almost feel bad about marking it up. Colored tabs on each chapter make it easy to get back to particular sections. Screen shots of leading web sites are used generously when he's trying to make a general point of design. Full scripting to cover the examples under discussion are provided, in part, and then brought together as a whole. Well-developed and simple figures are used to make specific points. Each chapter contains several side-bars and other sections covering related information to the main.
The level of writing is aimed for someone with beginning level skills, but goes quickly to the more technical issues without leaving the reader behind. When Mr. Veen is leaving out information, as when he sidesteps error trapping for active pages, he points it out. The writing flows smoothly around what could easily be an unorganized collection of confusing hyper text jargon. I found myself reading through a section to find a quick answer to something I was working on, only to end up engrossed for an hour or more.
One of the most valuable parts of this book is the experience Mr. Veen brings to his discussions. "When I started out in this business years ago my first job was, in essence, to be a human Perl script," he states at one point before going on to describe how he, and others, went on to solve the problems of high maintenance sites. In another area he describes the business of information architecture and how it could mean success or failure for sites seeking to make a profit. For those of us who are seeking to make our way in the world of web design, few lessons could provide the knowledge that is presented here in clear and concise language.
1.0 out of 5 stars There ARE better books out there,
By A Customer
This review is from: Art and Science of Web Design, The (Paperback)I was disappointed by Veen's book. It seemed very banal, because, to me, he just appeared to be giving his opinion on a bunch of sites, and what was even worse, some of those "favorites" no longer exist. I would only suggest this book for the most novice of web designers, and not someone who's been "in the game" for a while.
4.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive--but not exhaustive--overview of the Web,
This review is from: Art and Science of Web Design, The (Paperback)This is what a former college professor of mine from Nebraska probably would have called a "Platte River" book--i.e., "a mile wide and an inch deep." That's a bit of an overstatement, however, as it does go into depth in some areas while it skims the surface of others. But the book couldn't have been exhaustive, as each chapter is worthy of a book unto itself.
If you know everything there is to know about the art and science of Web design, then you're probably not looking to buy this book anyway. But if you're interested in the history of the Web and how it evolved, how it fits into our 21st century lives, its potential, its limitations, its assets, and its pitfalls, then this is a book for you.
For me, its value was giving the Web a context, and focusing on Web design as a discipline distinct from other media, such as print matter and television. By examining the Web and what it can and can't do, Web designers can put their work in perspective, exploit the Web's possibilities, and stop trying to make it do things it was never intended to.
I recommend it to Web designers and developers at all levels, but beware: as a couple of other reviewers have mentioned, the typos are insufferable almost to the point of distraction. You'll want to mark it up and send it back to the publisher for corrections.
5.0 out of 5 stars For people who loves to think !,
This review is from: Art and Science of Web Design, The (Paperback)I'm enjoying this smart book by Jeffrey Veen. He knows a lot about the "inside" of web development and gives you an organized vision of the process. Usually we tend to read more about the how to (how to master sofware, etc) than the why, but as I'm seeing, the more you understand the why, more you could master and control your webs and results. For serious web designers!
2.0 out of 5 stars Try a different title,
This review is from: Art and Science of Web Design, The (Paperback)Two stars for what its worth. I'm dissatisfied with the way this book is written. Its not straight to the point and lacks substance. Although some chapters proved to be informative like (i.e. chapter one: foundations) they could still be found from other resources like the internet (and its free!!). (translation: i regret having spent my money on this book). The book was a dissapointment i thought id be reading the thoughts of a real seasoned expert, i was wrong. Now Veen will be in my "ignore the books of this writer" list.
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy Veen's Book,
This review is from: Art and Science of Web Design, The (Paperback)Reviewed by:
Timothy E. McMahon, M.S.
Principal Web Developer
The McMahon Group
There are hundreds, if not thousands of books on web design and development out there for us to reference. While there are so many authors writing, there are far fewer worth spending your money on. Jeffrey Veen though is one worth the money.
Veen's book The Art and Science of Web Design is a lesson to all of us in web development that the age of specialization is drawing to an end. To succeed in this maturing field, we need to begin integrating our design, programming and usability skills into one cohesive package that provides value to our employers and value to our users.
The Art and Science of Web Design touches on many areas from interface consistency, to rule-based design to browsers. I've read scores of books on web development and without doubt, Veen's book was one of the most enjoyable reads and one of the more informative texts I've purchased.
This is one book worth adding to your personal library.
1.0 out of 5 stars No use for this book,
By A Customer
This review is from: Art and Science of Web Design, The (Paperback)Of the many usability and design-oriented books I've had to slog through in search of useful and practical information, this isn't one of them.
I found it to be a waste of my reading time and was, in some parts, actually annoying (if a book can be annoying) because I was earnestly searching for practical advice... and all I got was, as another review suggested, hipster commentary.
If that's your thing, go for it.
1.0 out of 5 stars I haaaaaaated this book!,
This review is from: Art and Science of Web Design, The (Paperback)After reading several books on the science of web design (the Non Designer's Web Book, the Elements of Web Design, etc.), I was interested in seeing what this book had to say. Unfortunately, what it had to say was very little. Pretentious and self-consciously trying to appeal to the hip crowd, this book is just plain annoying in its writing style. The reviewer below me from England hit it right on the head-- the author never, ever gets straight to the point. Instead, he uses a lot of pretty, unnecessary verbiage just to state the obvious and the simple. Even more annoying is how the author coins these terms which I guess are supposed to be cool, but strike one as being highly pretentious, since they don't shed any light on what he's talking about. A great example is his coined phrase, "liquid web design," which is just another pretentious way of saying a web site that is built to adapt to different browser conditions. This term is annoying not only because the author could have just as easily used more commonly known words like "malleable" and "adaptable," but because you have to learn what he means if you aren't *hip* enough to know what "liquid web design" means. It's almost as if to understand this book you have to learn a new language only spoken by elitist, trendy techie hipster snobs who sit around at Starbucks and use words like "pro-active." This is an unnecessary extra step in trying to understand something as straightforward as web design. Terrible, annoying, and pretentious with a capital "P."
One star from me.
2.0 out of 5 stars Nice to look at, but verbose and messy,
This review is from: Art and Science of Web Design, The (Paperback)A disappointment, given the author's guru reputation and the five star reviews here at Amazon.
All in all, an incoherent series of essays with no clear message and little practical advice, badly edited and badly proofread (a typo on every other page -- check out the bullet points on page 17) with umpteen unenlightening screenshots and illustrations ("Code", "Word" and "Pictures" in circles joined by a triangle -- hey! they're connected!)
It's too basic for techies (readers are advised to give alternatives when specifying font names...) but too cryptic for the novice or general reader ("Just as a good classification system will spawn prediction in information retrieval, a good integration structure will do the same with services" - -huh?)
The general-reader stuff is padded out with platitudes ("The Web may be growing fast, but its foundation stretches back through years..."), the nuts-and-bolts sections are far too specific to be useful (several pages are devoted to an IE-only method of dynamically resizing headlines, which is pretty questionable anyway) and most of the last chapter is taken up with ASP code for a specific database application.
The author also has an irritating predilection for long-winded tangential analogies (three paragraphs describing how David Copperfield uses diversionary tactics to do his magic) and unnecessary long words like "disambiguate", "heuristics" and "deconstruct".
Far better alternatives are Steve Krug's book Don't Make Me Think!, any of the O'Reilly Web books or Jakob Nielsen's website (...)
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Art and Science of Web Design, The by Jeffrey Veen (Paperback - Dec 28 2000)
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