June 21, 2012
The book challenges you to think differently about your work, your code and your designs.
So how has the reception been for the book online? A selection of reviews are already posted.
Michael Wilson of UX Magazine concludes that "Although many of the concepts presented in both of these books may not be earth-shattering for well-versed UX designers, the sum of the book is greater than its parts. Smashing Book #3: Redesign the Web and its extension provide a thorough illustration of the modern interactive landscape that many will find valuable."
Designerves points out that the "main book consists of theoretical and practical stuff for redesigning web, while its extension is more focus on theoretical side." They conclude with "For me, these two books are like my new guidelines when I want to redesign or even build new website."
Peter Gasston of Broken Links calls the book a call to arms — "This book is a manifesto of modern web development, it wants us to start a new era of high professionalism and it’s showing us the way with new approaches to planning, design thinking, consideration for the user and coding best practices."
The presentation of the book is also particularly notable, he continues: "It’s beautifully designed, from the cover by Veerle Pieters to the animal-based illustrations by Kate McLelland, even down to the full-colour screenshots in every article, it’s an object worth buying and owning." He finishes with a recommendation: "I can unreservedly recommend that you make this an addition to your bookshelf."
Christopher Butler from Newfangled Web Developers is impressed by how the book tackles the broad subject of web design and development — "I can imagine entire books just covering the business of the web, web project management, client services, heck, even how to think about the web. But imagining all of that in one book that isn't the size of a pyramid's cornerstone is tough." — and praises the user-friendly writing style: "There's plenty of important technical detail, but it's presented in a light, warm, and human-focused way."
He concludes that "The entire book is wonderfully balanced between theoretical and practical, with each author contributing a strong point of view on their area of expertise as well as a thorough explanation of how to execute it in a way that is useful."
Although the book's title made him "afraid to find out that we had done it all wrong," Robert Bowen of Noupe quickly found himself "inundated with so much practical, applicable advice on how to present a redesign project to clients and how realigning is the much better route." He also highlights the chapter on Photoshop as being especially noteworthy. In conclusion, he notes that the book "doesn’t just make you want to be a better designer or developer on your projects, it gives you actual steps to take and ways to accomplish it."
Marios Lublinski of Dessign.net was impressed with the chapter on website realignment rather than total redesign, noting that "I can tell you from experience that most customers would love to hear that you can save parts of their website and reuse what you can to make this process smooth and affordable." As he progressed through the chapters, he found that "The more I read “The Smashing Book #3″ the more I wanted to know how I could improve my skills and help my customers and how I could gain more trust from them so they will be with me for many years and not just for one project."
Finally, Jeremy Girard of Pumpkin-King.com tried to skim through the book for the purposes of a review, but "instead became engrossed in each chapter." He highlights the community aspect of the book, collectively written as it is by multiple authors, praising the editors for having "done a great job creating a consistent tone through the entire book while still allowing each author to put a little of their own style into their chapter."
However, he does caution that "there is still a sense that each chapter was written without a sense of the other chapters" and would have "loved to see more of a tie between each chapter." In conclusion, he comments that "not only is this a good book and an enjoyable read, but it is an important book that really can change the way we design, or redesign, for the web."
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