Category: interface

Designing the Moment – Robert Hoekman, Jr. – Book Review

Designing The Moment book coverDesigning the Moment: Web interface design concepts in action by Robert Hoekman, Jr.

There are many useful concepts illustrated in this book, including:

  • Gutenberg diagram–Primary optical area and terminal anchor
  • Ambient signifiers by Ross Howard – color, size, transparency level
  • The goal to create positive moments, with a great example of the use of autocomplete
  • Video!
  • Display validation pre-submit, aka check boxes which activate next to a validated form as the user tabs through the interface
  • Many other nuanced goodies

One of the greatest compliments is that this book doesn’t go far enough, yet its core message is to go further than we have gone, hence it is a book on the path

Some criticisms

  • Talks smack about former client
  • Doesn’t go far enough in reducing instruction text
  • In showing character count in Twitter, does not indicate a “going over limit” could be handled
  • Use of the phrase (e.g., after an attendee email form field label–do we really have people who don’t know what an email address looks like? And if so, are they really going to learn it on this website?
  • Repetitive use of text, e.g., attendee first name, attendee last name, attendee email
  • Heavy use of drop-downs
  • Wants to (needlessly) coin the term protocast, for a screencast used for a demo/walkthrough
  • Inconsistency in handling question marks as helper links in an interface (uses both ? and what’s this? instead of simply ?

But these complaints are largely trying to hold the book to the standard it is trying to create for the interface designer. In other words, any of its detractions and failures are largely seen as indicators of its success in making us think more deeply about what it means to design for the moment.

Thank you sir.