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Friday, January 14, 2011

My Review of Designing Interfaces

Originally submitted at O'Reilly

Despite all of the UI toolkits available today, it's still not easy to design good application interfaces. This bestselling book is one of the few reliable sources to help you navigate through the maze of design options. By capturing UI best practices and reusable ideas as design patterns, <...

Developers: It's time to meet the UI!
By ederandres_an from Paipa, Colombia on 1/14/2011

5out of 5
Pros: Accurate, Helpful examples, Well-written, Concise, Easy to understand
Best Uses: Student, Expert, Novice, Intermediate
Describe Yourself: University Student
Developers: It's time to meet the user interface! This book describes interaction patterns for building successful, engaging user interfaces in a practical, didactic way for software developers. It offers a collection of recommended patterns for building attractive, powerful user interfaces which improves the usability and the user experience.

This is a collection of interaction patterns known by the usability engineers but unknown for software engineers and developers. Each pattern is associated with the purpose of an entire user interface (UI), its visual components and the actions it must support. In this way, a developer responsible of the presentation layer of an application reduces the probabilities of using incorrect user controls and bad windows arrangements that leads to errors, fatigue and annoyance.

Moreover, a highly usable product increases the rate of return of investment that a company invests for the development of such a product. With this book you'll learn the key elements that distinguish broadly accepted products like Adobe's and Apple's products. That's because many products coincide on their functionality, however, the usability and user experience (UX) makes the difference.

What I liked most were the speech and the illustrations of each interaction pattern, so I didn't fell tired, on the contrary each time more motivated. I think this is a good starting point for entering in the world of good user interfaces without a lot of formal usability theory.

Note: This review was in exchange of the O'Reilly Blogger Review Program (

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

My Review of 97 Things Every Programmer Should Know

Originally submitted at O'Reilly

Get 97 short and extremely useful tips from some of the most experienced and respected practitioners in the industry, including Uncle Bob Martin, Scott Meyers, Dan North, Linda Rising, Udi Dahan, Neal Ford, and many more. They encourage you to stretch yourself by learning new languages, looking ...

Professional guidance at your hands
By ederandres_an from Paipa, Colombia on 1/11/2011

4out of 5
Pros: Well-written, Concise, Easy to understand
Best Uses: Novice, Student
Describe Yourself: Developer, University Student
I describe this book as one of the kind "Developer, did you know ...?" because it highlights the best practices that every programmer must keep in mind for a software engineering project. These 97 development practices are organized in 19 categories such as coding style, design principles, project planning, usage of tools, collaborating with pairs, and design for the end user.

Within these 97 best practices are those that should always be applied and those that must be balanced or avoided completely. For example, organizing the source code in an easy, expressive and compact manner (pp. 26–27); and creating designs conceptually correct that reduce the collateral effects of applying the singleton OO design pattern (pp. 146–147).

Each practice is described in one short, concrete article in no more than two pages. Many developers learn the best practices after reading several books, magazines and blogs, but this book organize those practices in one single place. However, it is necessary clarify that this is not a programming book, and for really applying a practice the respective technology documentation must be read.

If you are a junior developer or recent graduated student, this book is a good road to achieve the knowledge acquired by senior developers.

Maybe, a discussion about UML would have been interesting to include.

Note: This review was in exchange of the O'Reilly Blogger Review Program (