Computer Book Reviews

Don't Make Me Think! A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability by Steve Krug

Que, October 2000.
Trade Paperback, 195 pages.
ISBN: 0789723107
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Don't Make Me Think! A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability
by Steve Krug One thing many websites lack is clear navigation. Futhermore, many websites offer too much Flash, animated graphics or other multimedia that website users are not expecting and don't appreciate. Many website retailers could increase their sales by simply fixing these problems. The concept is called website usability and it helps web developers look at their website from a user's point of view. It helps you realize how users browse and search your website and what you need to have on your website to meet their navigational needs. Don't Make Me Think acts as an introduction to the subject of website usability, with clear explanations and examples. Concepts introduced and covered in the book include how people use the Web, billboard design, tabs, writing for the Web, homepage design and usability testing. Many examples from real web problems and solutions are provided.

Author Steve Krug is a web consultant who uses the concept of usability to help his clients. In this book, he offers much of the same advice he offers his clients. Although this book is relatively short for a computer book (under 200 pages), it contains a great deal of well-explained, practical information. If you are a professional web developer or designer, this should be on your desk or easily accessible in your bookshelf. It is probably ten times more important than all your Java programming books, web graphic tools and Flash web design books combined. Highly recommended.

JavaScript Unleashed 3rd Edition by R. Allen Wyke, Richard Wagner

Sams, July 2000.
Trade Paperback, 996 pages.
ISBN: 067231763X
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JavaScript Unleashed 3rd Edition
by R. Allen Wyke, Richard Wagner The use of JavaScript has quickly become more and more commonplace on the Internet. JavaScript is useful because it can be implemented on the client-side and plugged directly into your HTML code. Many webmasters just plug in already existing JavaScript code, which sometimes works, but it does not help you when things go wrong. If you want a better understand of JavaScript and you would like to learn some useful JavaScript code, then this reference does the job. This book is an up-to-date JavaScript guide, which provides complete coverage of the latest JavaScript language editions, including the JavaScript 1.4 and JScript 5 languages. JavaScript coverage in the reference includes writing scripts, fundamentals, objects, the Document Object Model (DOM), Dynamic HTML, browser compatibility, creating special effects, forms and data validation, error handling, debugging and security. A CD-ROM is also included which provides source code from the book and third party software and tools.

The book also acts an excellent introduction for beginning JavaScript coders with informative sections like, "Ten JavaScript Facts Every Scripter Should Know." Overall, JavaScript Unleashed is a great reference for both beginners and experts, with full coverage of the language and syntax, example JavaScript code and links to online JavaScript resources. Some prior knowledge of programming and some experience coding with HTML is helpful.

Practical Windows ME by Faithe Wempen

Que, August 2000.
Trade Paperback, 575 pages.
ISBN: 0789724057
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Practical Windows ME
by Faithe Wempen This is an introductory reference to the Windows Millennium Edition (Windows ME), which was recently released from Microsoft. Windows ME topics covered in the book include installing Windows ME, running programs, managing files, networking, connecting to the Internet, troubleshooting device problems, customizing the desktop, installing hardware, printers, email, web publishing, optimizing your computer, security and finding Windows help online. To ensure that each Windows ME procedure or concept is easily understand the book includes screen shots, outlines, tips and step-by-step instructions. The reference also includes a section with links to online Windows ME resources and a glossary defining technical terms.

The book can be used by beginners to Windows and by users familiar with Windows, but want to learn more about how to use the Windows ME edition. The book's design also makes it simple to quickly find an answer to a specific problem. Practical Windows ME is a helpful problem solving tool and reference that users of Windows ME will want to have near their computers.

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