Book Review: Designing the Obvious by Robert Hoekman, Jr.

It’s quite a long time that I’ve read Designing the Obvious by Robert Hoekman, Jr., but I never managed to write a proper review for this little gem of web design books. I think now is the time for proper credit.

DtO is a very pleasant and easy to read and use web design book, while at the same time is tons useful. The writing is simple and very pleasant, enriched with proper screenshots and relative images to avoid eye strain. The very size of the book is quite small – it’s not meant to be a bible, more of a handbook full of good advice.

It explores real-life web applications and sites to give you solid advice on information architecture, feature creep and simplicity in design. The book is relatively new and the examples are very current – so no stress there.

The author also establishes what I like to call the GTD methodology of design, calling it 5S. The 5S stands for five Japanese words starting from S, which are… Uhm, I think I shouldn’t spoil your fun.

What I really enjoyed were the Interface Surgery sections, where real-life problems met their solutions in a deductive way. Very useful indeed.

All in all, it’s a no-nonsense book that does everything that’s supposed to – and maybe a little more. I think it deserves a place somewhere in your web design / development shelf. It’s well worth its money.

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