viernes, 7 de enero de 2011

Review of Bill Scott & Theresa Neil's Designing Web Interfaces Master Class

9:21 by Rafael Flores · 0 comentarios

Review of the Web Interface design video by Bill Scott and Theresa Neil, a good bunch of very good recommendations and patters and anti-patterns on WI designing. Unfortunately it doesn’t get into the how-to at all though, which makes this video a “nice to” but not “must to” watch.

Given that December is such a busy moth I chose a video as my first contribution to the O’Reilly review program, "Scott & Neil's Designing Web Interfaces Master Class”. As I was about to go on a trip my idea was to use the in-flight hours to go through the bit more than 4 hours long video. Unfortunately I couldn’t because the sound quality of some of the speakers (public members and sometimes even the speakers themselves) was a bit too poor to listen to, so these are not videos that you could see whilst on transport though imho those are the time where they should be more suitable for. View quality however was excellent with the cameras making a good job not to miss anything (just some slides cannot be seen whilst switching cameras; this is a bit of a nuisance right now as the link provided by the speakers where the presentation should be downloadable from doesn’t work…. Hopefully they’ll solve this).

Now, to the content. Bill Scott is a “die hard” UI veteran with lots of experience designing and consulting others’ projects on anything UI related, or should I say Web Interface (WI) related, making sure that user’s experience is as excellent as could be. Theresa Neil has also a broad experience primarily on the design part of WI/UI experiences. And they show their value all the way through the videos, presenting a master class on design principles. I must say though that this is not what I was looking for, since myself being a bit of a “mid-level-do-anything” guy I wanted to see some code examples on actually how to do things (in whatever language) instead of a nice bunch of samples of patterns and anti-patterns on interface design. Don’t get me wrong: the samples shown provide very good ideas and insight value, however to me this gets short. (For example, I was looking for some content more like O’Reilly’s “HTML5 Mobile Web Development” video instead).

All in all, I got out a loot of good advices and recommendations, kind of the ones I could get if I had contracted a UI-consultancy service, but much cheaper:

  • Use Hub&Spoke model for navigation
  • Differentiate of what Click versus Hover means in the user’s mind
  • Keep constant flow
  • Idiot boxes
  • Be careful about overlaying
  • How to best invite user’s interaction
  • Use transitions and animations where and when they make sense, don’t overuse
  • Be reactive so the customer feels her progress

And many more. As said, lots of valuable recommendations on how the good web sites are created (and why they are good) as well as lots of samples of poor sites. Pity this didn’t get my hands code-dirty.

The video can be found here: http://oreilly.com/catalog/0636920010043/

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