I made this purchase based on good reviews and published excerpts. It was with considerable disappointment that I found that the content, while generally insightful, was appropriate only for the non-professional and VERY scant. I would be surprised if there were 2000 words in all of its 163 pages (not 304 pages as advertised on this site). My evaluation: mostly fluff and vastly overpriced.
Jeffrey's book is exceptional for its clear and practical explanations of how one can optimize web design to aim lower (accomodate lower-end systems) and higher. He contextualizes all the remarks by giving real-life examples drawn from his experience at Hot Wired. He gives examples of what has worked and what has not and why. The writing is superb - without extraneous details that often fill how-to books. This is a high-level how-to, that will help designers conceptualize their sites with clearer vision. If he wants to give you info on how to do something, he just says here is the code to do X. He also displays a sense of humor that is great. I read the book in one sitting and marked certain pages with stickies. I plan to refer to it from here on when I begin my site development. As a final note, I was worried that the book might be "too cool" which is sometimes how I feel about Wired. Instead it seemed only normally cool.
This is a great book. Its has a very single-mindedly strong viewpoint on how websites should be and how we should approach building them. It reminds us of the traps to be avoided. And all the way through we are reminded that the web isnt cd, isnt magazine and isnt TV. While the typical HotWired layout/style that is preached throughout this book isnt for everyone, this book speaks vast quantities of good old common sense. This book is one of the best Web design books available. No fluff included. Short and sweet. No "how to html". Just a great "how it is" read.
Great job Jeff. This book brings a clarity to web design like no other. It makes it very clear that the web isn't just pretty pictures or complex programming or plain blah interfaces. Each solution is unique, a combination of all of the above in varying degrees. A great book that adds legitimacy to the profession of web design!
This was the first book I ever purchased over the Internet, and I was impressed by how easy and quick the process was. However, this book is also a great example of how this distribution channel can be abused to sell inferior products. Had I come across this book in a real bookstore setting I could have thumbed through it's pages before taking it up to the counter and purchasing it, thus realizing beforehand what a complete joke it is. If you were to strip the filler out and reduce the type to a normal size and ledding, you would be left with barely enough helpful content to fill a pamphlet.
A quote from Amazon's own review: "Unlike some Web design books, which emphasize style, this one has plenty of useable examples..."
This is B.S. A typical "How To" example from this book gives you instructions and HTML code for adding Wired's HotBot search engine to your web pages.
I received it in the mail yesterday. I put it back in the mail today, addressed to Amazon's return dept.