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Designing the Obvious: A Common Sense Approach to Web Application Design Paperback – Oct 12 2006

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: New Riders; 1 edition (Oct. 12 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 032145345X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321453457
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.1 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 386 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,185,867 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From the Back Cover

About the Author

Robert Hoekman, Jr, is a passionate and outspoken user experience strategist and a prolific writer who has written dozens of articles and has worked with MySpace, Seth Godin (Squidoo), Adobe, Automattic, United Airlines, and countless others. He gives in-house training sessions and has spoken at industry events all over the world, including An Event Apart, Voices That Matter, Web App Summit, SXSW, Future of Web Design, and many more.

Robert is the author of Designing the Moment (New Riders) (, a collection of 31 stories on design solutions from real projects and the principles used to solve them. He also coauthored Web Anatomy (New Riders) (, which introduces “interaction design frameworks” as an essential part of an effective reuse strategy, with revered design researcher Jared Spool. 

Robert is the founder of the user experience consultancy Miskeeto ( Learn more about him at He is @rhjr on Twitter (

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars 29 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good pointers for beginners March 15 2007
By Pirkka Rannikko - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I think the book gives good advice or pointers for web design beginners (someone who is entering the industry after studies i.e.) so we can get our fundamentals right from the start. Although the examples are focused on designing web applications many of them are good even if you are building a more traditional site heavy with information. This book contains information that everybody in the business should know but is so obvious (as said in the title) that you can easily forget it while tackling with the techy stuff in your project.

The book is fast and fun to read and the author's style of writing is entertaining. The English is easy and it took me only a few nights to read the book even when I am not a native speaker. I wish that it would have been longer and filled with more practical advice like the one talking about form validation. While the book is different from the Steve Krug's "Don't Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability" I think they go well hand in hand.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read Feb. 18 2007
By J. James - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Even this book is meant for web UI designers, I think that it is a must read for any developer that has an application with a UI. The concepts and examples will really make you think about how you have designed your applications in the past.

This book is extremely easy to read and is well organized. The book starts out with a great overview of what the rest of the book will talk about in detail. After just reading the overview I was able to have discuss with other team members that had read the whole book cause we had a common vocabulary. As I have gotten further into the book, I am referencing it on a daily basis with my project team. We have changed a ton of the UI based on this book because we were experiencing many of the same issues that are discussed in the book.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid July 14 2007
By RJD - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a UI designer I enjoyed the book. It was clearly written with many useful nuggets of wisdom for those of us building web apps. Typically books like this deal with informational websites or ecommerce, this one covers the missing gap. While most of the examples were fairly light-weight web apps, the foundations covered in this book apply across the board. Usually I skip around in these books since the writing is so dry. Robert has written this one in a conversational tone and I read it cover to cover. Recommended.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best collection and modern usability advice I've read yet May 12 2007
By Matthew Mullenweg - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As the popularity of WordPress has grown I've learned many lessons about design and usability, often the hard way. I wish this book had been around 4 years ago when WP got started, because we could have avoided dozens of mistakes along the way.

After I was about half-way through this book I ordered a copy for everyone in my company, even non-developers, because it concisely summarized so much of what I think we should do.
4.0 out of 5 stars Read this book before building your next web application. Jan. 18 2007
By Ms. Romie - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Hoekman's book, Designing the Obvious, is a great resource for anyone involved in the creation of web applications. As a person relatively new to the usability and user interaction field, I found the book easy to understand and was able to immediately apply what I learned to the applications our company is building. The book should be required reading for anyone involved in designing web applications - developers, project managers, interface designers, business analysts...