Web Design Books, Summer 2002

I just strolled through my local gigantic Barnes & Noble. I think I saw more computer books in one place than ever before. Some observations:

There are a surprising number of books on designing with usability in mind, which is reasuring.

There are plenty of general web design books, so many it must be hard for novices to choose among them.

The polar bear book was the only IA book on the shelves :( .

There are intermediate topics that aren’t addressed well. For example, Web Navigation was probably great when it came out, addressing a need of early web designers. But it’s out of print and, frankly (despite all the good things it has to say about my employer :), outdated. It sprung from a pre-Flash, pre-DHTML world and doesn’t do interaction design, much less all the innovations of Amazon, Google, and social networks. I’ve seen navigation done from a tech perspective, but I haven’t seen the ‘Interaction Design for the Web’ book, with a Shneiderman-like attention to human factors combined with a balanced look at navigation on the web.

I finally paged though Don’t Make Me Think. It’s awesome. Great thinking, great book design. I think I already know most of the lessons, but I might buy it anyway.

An aside: I keep expecting B&N to bridge their website and their stores by offering some sort of in-store kiosks. If I’m looking for a specific book, I’d like to do a quick search and find out if they have it and what section it’s in.