Book ReviewDeveloper To Designer

time to read 4 min | 607 words

 Product image for ASIN: 078214361X Developer to Designer

All in all, I didn't really like it. Coder to Developer was full of good advice & tools, and I expected Developer To Designer to be much of the same mold. It's not.

What it is, however, is a book that made explicit many things implicit about Windows UI. The problem that I don't think that it has enough value for me. The book covers in details a lot of Windows' controls, and web UI. But it does so in a way that misses the big picture, in my opinion. There is too much focus about the low level stuff, and too little talk about the bigger issues.

For instance, I couldn't care less if the menu's click event is on mouse up or mouse down, and I don't see how it's relevant to anyone but those that implement their own menus. What I am interested at is what to do with those menus, how to arrange them to be efficient and intuitive.

The book has those things, makes no mistakes, but far less than I would consider enough. It's some discussion about dialogs and menus, some advice in regard to overall application design and a little bit more to say about how to structure your web site, but that is all. (Wow, that is a big sentence :-)). It has far more mundane stuff that I don't think add any value to the book. For example, when starting to talk about web UI, there are a couple of pages devoted to explaining how HTML works!

The feeling I get in the end is that I could get most of the value of book from cheat sheets & MS' own best practices. Of course, I wouldn't last reading the best practices, they are very dry. I managed to read this book in little over a day, which means that the book managed to sustained my interest through some particularly boring subjects (the particulars of a command button is not exactly what I would call exciting). Perhaps that is a the point of the book, to make those subjects approachable (it certainly make it so), but that wasn't the impression I got when reading about it.

Maybe I'm not the target audience, but I didn't really like the book. I understand the need to talk to a large audience with wide discrepancy in knowledge, but still... I think that the book missed with me. Mainly, I think that the problem is that the book can't decide what it wants to be, either it's a very low level book, in which case I would expect such things as Windows Logo to be throughfully covered, or it's a high level book, in which case I would expect to read about how to design the GUI to be efficent for doing the tasks that my software is supposed to accomplish. It's somewhere in between, and thus failing on both counts.

One interesting thing, at the end of the book there were some ads for more books, and one of them caught my eye:

Effective GUI Test Automation

God knows that I've enough problems testing GUI, so this looks interesting, but there are not reviews at Amazon, so I'm quite afraid to get something that overpromise.

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