Designing the Obvious

by Robert Hoekman

Reviewed by Steve Kersten for ClickStart

ISBN: 032145345X

Hoekman dedicates his small but supremely valuable tome "to anyone what has even used a Web application and resented it." Its accessible prose will make you a better designer. Using a readable and engaging style, Hoekman focuses the content on the latest patterns—and most importantly on how to think about the entire process—of Web application design, providing a methodology for conceptualizing your work. As a compendium of guidelines and attitudes, the book provides actionable suggestions you can  put to use immediately during your design sessions. Yet the value of the book lies in its coherent and passionate appeal to design that lends itself to the agile processes today’s Web application users need. A natural teacher, Hoekman sets up a context for presentation in which you adapt and grow in your strategic vision while you tactically create applications based on the solid tenets of supporting users as they actually use the outcome of your work in their daily lives. The work nicely compliments 37 Signals’ Getting Real and Defensive Design. At 246 pages (with an excellent 10-page index), the contents are deceptively obvious. You will use your copy so much you’ll encourage others to purchase one rather than borrow yours.