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Showing 1-6 of 6 reviews(2 star). See all 32 reviews
on November 23, 2001
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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on May 2, 2001
I was disappointed by this book. I have read several articles by Mr. Veen and I'm familiar with some of his (and other's ) work on Webmonkey so I was looking forward to his insights. I've been working on the web as long as Mr. Veen and I wanted war stories and advice from a peer. Unfortunately this book is not what I expected. I expected a more advanced look at the issues and challenges of web design. His topics are huge, so why bog down with history and overview? If he had of assumed a baseline of tech and history knowledge then more meat could have been here (at least for me). Something beyond the brief web/browser history, professional anecdotes, overviews, and basic examples he provides. If you are very new to the web then this is probably a good book for you, but I think it speaks more to the newbie audience than to advanced readers. For what it is (a beginner's book), it is about a 4 star book). On the plus side I appreciated his advocacy of standards adherence and cross-browser support -- critical for beginners to hear in contrast to today's Flash/Shockwave-sodden web.
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on May 14, 2001
There are some authors who I may not always agree with but I'll pull their books off the shelf time again for reminders about what works on the web. Jakob Nielsen and David Siegel come to mind. On the basis of this book, Jeffrey Veen won't be joining the pack. When he tries to be strategic, the book rambles. When he gets down to detail, e.g. style sheets, do'ers will be disappointed. Any book that says "This code will produce this result" must expect users to write up the code and try it for themselves. In that case they'll be disappointed with Veen's book. Keep browsing and you'll find better value for money.
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on June 8, 2001
The area of usability is rapidly expanding in the publishing world. There are 2 pillars, JaKob Nielsen, and now Steve Krug. Nielsen geared to the experience user, with very specific and structure and specifics on desing. Krug, aims at the casual user. Both produced great books. Veen seems to be a tweener, his approach is not as simple and forward as Krug, and not nearly as detailed as Nielsen. I found the book to be of little value. It had a few good points, and I learned a couple of new things, but I would recomend Nielson and Krug, and rate Veen's book a very distant 3rd.
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on June 1, 2002
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.
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on June 25, 2001
Let's face it, if you have any sense for web design you don't need this book (especially for. The same blah, blah, blah about consistency and page download speed. It's common-sense, people!
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