Customer Review

26 of 33 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A very disappointing beginners book., 7 April 2005
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)
The authors use 40 guidelines to tell you things that even starting web developers already know. In fact throughout the whole book â€" which is extremely light reading, since nearly all the pages contain mostly white space and screen shots â€" I haven't come across a single noteworthy solution to design problems.
Indeed, all this book does is list commonly known mistakes, which would perhaps be interesting for the total novice, yet, it provides zero solutions.
Four major things are wrong with this book:
1) Most of the advice is truly gratuitous, like “Guideline 6: Keep text brief and easy to understand�, or “Guideline7: Be polite�, or “Guideline18: Use ALT tags for images� or “Guideline 24: Answer emails quickly and effectively. That is stating the obvious like “check your spelling�. Yes, they advice this as well.
2) Only a small part of the book deals with international issues and most part only applies to local American websites with local target groups. A lot of the examples of websites they approve of, wouldn't stand a change when a Frenchman, Italian, Arab, etc. visits. This book gives an all but global perspective on accessibility.
3) Some design rules they propose are actually very debatable at least. Moreover, quite a few guidelines contradict each other.
4) They mention some major problems like; missing 404 pages, lacking form validation, etc. Yet â€" and this is absolutely inexcusable â€" abide from some screen shots, they provide no real solutions, you are totally left in the dark.
So, after 236 mostly empty pages all they have told me that it is better to have a better website.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[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