Just bought the 5.99 Deluxe with PSDs -- Ill reply back after I have a chance to review it.
I just want to say, the 2.99 was an awesome price point - from an incentive to buy stand point. With 5.99 including PSDs it seemed like a no brainer.
I love cheap learning materials like this. It would be sweet if there was a standard e-learning app on the ipad and I could buy the courses through that app for $1.99 where all the courses were tech focused.
Khan Academy is awesome, but I want good materials that could even be things like Adrian Cockrofts cloud tutorials etc..
Ok, I read the doc and here is my review.
1. The overall concept of this is fantastic, and I think the example UI you show is clean, elegant and beautiful.
2. I would have liked to see an initial explaination of a thought process on what to first write down, in pencil, about the elements you would have in the UI. Help me know what you, as an expert, may intrinsically know - or be able to do in your head based on experience.
3. Prior to page 20, your example UI image jumps from place to place, then 20+ (mostly, except page 28) it is in the same place, this allowed me to scroll through the doc and quickly flip back and forth to visually compare steps. It would be better if all UI examples were in the same place.
4. To further item 3; I strongly feel this doc would be far better if it were in landscape format. I am reading this on a screen, and it is a PDF. Portrait wastes a ton of space and makes the overall content scaled smaller as I try to see a single page on my monitor at a time.
If you were to put the doc in landscape with all notations and commentary to the right hand side, ideally using 11x17, as the page size, this would be a hell of a lot more consumable. (It is an e-book first. Dont worry about people who print to 8.5 x 11 as much. (I make a LOT of graphic documents for all my clients, and every one of them is 11x17 because the information density and clarity balance on 11x17 is far more than 8.5x11
5. The fact that you included links to examples and resources throughout the document is fantastic.
Overall, I liked this and it was worth my purchase, but i think the formating could be improved for easier consumption.
I figured with people selling iOS games that take months of development for $0.99, an eBook shouldn't be much more expensive than that… Plus my main target for this eBook is hackers and entrepreneurs, and since design is not their main field I wanted to make it as easy as possible for them to give the eBook a try.
And I agree that a $1.99-a-course tutorial marketplace would be very cool. Seems like there's already a lot of startups in this space (Skillshare, Udacity, Khan Academy…?)
Thanks for the detailed feedback! Really appreciate it! Next time I come out with something, remind me of your comment and I'll send it to you for free :)
2. I skipped this step because chatroom apps are fairly common, and I didn't want to reinvent the wheel. But you're right, for most apps you'd start out with pen and paper to figure out which elements to include and the general layout of the thing.
3. Bad decision on my part, sorry. I thought it would be too boring to have the exact same layout on every page, but when you put it like this it does make more sense.
4. Good point as well, for some reason once I decided to write an eBook my mind went straight to a book-like portrait format.
Changing the format now would take a lot of time so I don't think I'll do it, but I'll definitely consider it from now on. Thanks!
Re #2: I'm also curious about how you go about deciding what UI elements should be on the page. When I sit down to design a UI, I have the hardest time deciding on what blocks to plop down. Should 'this' be a button or a link, or should 'that' be emphasized or de-emphasized? Do I even need this element on the page? I usually feel like I'm so far off on these large scale questions that the finer points you describe aren't worth worrying about yet.
Any chance of a second UI ebook dedicated to these (trivial to experts, I'm sure) concepts? I'm a developer at heart, not a designer. Design doesn't come easy.
P.S. Some months ago I deleted my account with Paypal for moral reasons. When I tried to put in my credit card info, Paypal recognized my card as belonging to a deleted account and refused to accept my payment. Grrrrr.
I agree - I'm not sure whether to call what I find most challenging "Interaction Design" or "User Experience," but there are a lot of elements of design that are neither technical nor aesthetic. In the chatroom example, there isn't much involved because it appears to be so generic, but as you innovate more and more, this ID/UX becomes increasingly challenging.
One slightly related design problem would be, for example, how the buddy list on facebook chat works. One could classify users into groups, allow you to 'pin' a user at the top, expose more ways to have group conversations. While, one could always argue for the simplest possible solution (i.e. one big list!), it's not always the best for the user and I would read anything that helps in guiding processes to discover and decide what is best for the user. In my experience, good UI is often far less controversial than good ID/UX and less of an issue when keeping a team happy and excited about a product. All of the biggest issues where I work have been on a much bigger paradigmatic level that we debate on philosophical grounds endlessly to little avail.
Totally agree, for me the hardest part is the kickoff where you have an idea in your head and need to visualize it on paper before actually starting designing the UI. I would definitely pay for another e-book that handles the conceptual phase of an interface/application!