CHOICE Review published

I was just notified that my recent review of a book was published in the September CHOICE issue. Thought I  would include a copy here. Didn’t want students to think I was slacking and only teaching classes *grin*.

“Web anatomy: interaction design frameworks that work, by Robert Hoekman Jr. and Jared Spool.  New Riders, 2010.  213p index ISBN 9780321635020 pbk, $39.99

When people visit numerous Web sites, they need to learn how to navigate/use each site.  Usability studies often indicate possible problems.  However, different usability studies (of the same site) may create contrasting lists of problems.  This confusion has led to the concept of interaction design frameworks, i.e., a set of desired behaviors coupled with reusable code.  Usability specialists Hoekman and Spool define such a framework as “a set of design patterns plus other elements and information, used together to guide the design of a complete system or site context.”  Frameworks provide guidelines but are not “set in stone.”  Designers can build upon these and scale their designs as needed.  Consider a search results page where the pattern is expected, but the designer modifies it to fit in the context of the larger application.  The authors discuss five frameworks in detail: “Catalog” (product gallery), “Search,” “Sign-up,” “About Us,” and “Movie Sites.”  They conclude with a section on how to craft and use frameworks along with an explanation of how to convince organizations of the need for a framework library.  Both practicing and aspiring Web professionals will want to consult Web Anatomy when they begin a new project.  Summing Up: Recommended.  Academic, two-year technical program, and professional audiences, all levels.”

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