Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Joel’s “User Interface Design for Programmers”

A while ago, after reading Joel on Software, and making all of my development team at the time read it (all recruits since have also read it), I decided that Joel Spolsky was a great author and I should buy all his books. And I did – I read “More Joel on Software” and was disappointed; Smart and Gets Things Done shares a lot of content with the original Joel on Software book; and my latest read was User Interface Design for Programmers. I really had my hopes up for this book – there are very few books around about UI design, and I really wanted this to be a good book that I could hand on to programmers who work for me and say “this book has lots of simple and useful advice – stick to what Joel says”. I really wanted this to be “the book” on UI Design.

It’s not. It has lots of interesting anecdotes, useful tips, and some good points; but it doesn’t feel like the “A to Z of UI Design” that I was hoping for. I guess this might be my expectations – Joel on Software was a great book which is the simplified “A to Z of software project management”, so my expectation for his UI book to be equally authoritative wasn’t met.

It’s not a bad book, but like I said in my review on More Joel on Software – it’s not the killer book that the original Joel on Software was. And if you haven’t read the original Joel On Software, then buy it and read it. It’s brilliant.