Customer Review

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not so technical, but lots of pretty pictures.., 21 Jun 2006
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Defensive Design for the Web: How to Improve Error Messages, Help, Forms, and Other Crisis Points: How to Improve Error Messages, Help, Forms, and Other Online Crisis Points (Voices That Matter) (Paperback)
Defensive Design for the Web: How to Improve Error Messages, Help, Forms, and Other Online Crisis Points, by 37signals, Matthew Linderman and Jason Fried, really should be called "Examples of Bad Error Messages, Forms, etc" because although there were lots of pretty screenshots in the book, there wasn't much in the way of real solutions -- technical or otherwise..

In the book, there were no solid examples of what we should definitely do or not do, and using advice from the sites given a thumbs-up was not necessarily a great idea because the ratings were inconsistant: on page 62 nordstrom.com were given a thumbs down for specifying the format of user-inputted telephone numbers (no hypens or spaces) and yet on page 69, expedia.com and etrade.com were given a thumbs up for doing exactly the same thing (stating that social security numbers must contain the hypens). If nordstrom must accept telephone numbers in multiple formats, surely etrade should do the same with SS numbers?

One of the most annoying things about the entire book was the constant use of the incorrect term "alt tags". Tags are surrounded by < and >, alt is not, therefore alt is an attribute. This is the kind of basic HTML-related stuff that I would expect an 'expert' web-based company such as 37signals to know. What's more, there was an entire chapter dedicated to the lack of alt "tags" on various websites, and yet no clear instructions on what good alt text should say.

Throughout the entire book there was only one teensy-tiny paragraph on international forms and the need to accept multiple types of data, and yet this book is sold worldwide. America is not the only country in the world and so I would have liked to have seen more advice offered for those who're unsure on how to approach forms for a larger audience (particularly as I'm a Brit myself).

Overall, despite the varying negative points, the book itself is relatively decent. It brought up some little things that I have missed on my own website, such as, what to do if a visitor returns 0 results from a search (i.e. offer suggestions/alternatives instead), but generally contained nothing but screenshots. I would have liked to have seen more specific advice, and a little less focus on American based websites/forms.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 

Comments


Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 10 Feb 2014 13:28:44 GMT
This is exactly how a review should be written. Years after you've written it, I really find this valuable. Thanks.
‹ Previous 1 Next ›