I recently finished reading
Designing the Moment: Web Interface Design Concepts in Action by Robert Hoekman, Jr. It’s a book about designing for good user experience. I had read positive reviews about the book and thought I would give a shot. I have to say as a designer it was one of the most helpful books I’ve ever read. I recommend that all Web Designers and Developers read it as I am confident it will help you and also inspire you in future projects.
When designing Eric’s Empire I used several tips from Designing the Moment to make my site more usable and consistent. In chapter 2 “Showing Your Personality”, Robert explained how using characters that serve as metaphors and visual hooks can help unify your design and make it more consistent. I paid close attention to that when designing Eric’s Empire. As you can tell I used the grunge style star all throughout my site. I’m using it as a fav icon, imagery in page headers and as rollovers in my main navigation. Not only does it add personality to my site but it also gives it a sense of consistency.
In chapter 22 “Designing the Obvious Blog”, Robert gives three ways to create a better blog. He talks about the benefits of using “trackbacks” and offering a RSS link. While most blogging and tech nerds know what those are, the common blogger may not, so when designing you should always remember to include the word “subscribe” when linking to your RSS feed, rather than just throwing a random RSS button on your page.
The book also goes into other important usability topics such as making forms more usable, which is a big one for me, and designing navigation. Overall I thought it was an excellent book and it will defiantly be sitting on my desk for a while as a reference whenever I am working.