Interface Design with PhotoShop

COMPUTER BOOK REVIEW  

422  words

Title: Interface Design with PhotoShop;  Author: J. Scott Hamlin
Publisher; New Riders Publishing; ISBN 1-56205-668-9; Softcover; 
251 Pages; US$39.99 CAN$56.95.

Reviewer: Raymond Saint Arnaud, "Interface Design with PhotoShop 
is a book that helps the reader create imaginative, complex and 
visually enriched interfaces."

Interface Design with PhotoShop

Open a Web page or a MultiMedia CD ROM and the first thing that will 
strike you is the visual design. The question that immediately pops 
into the users mind is, "Is this going to interest me?"

The visual design is the hook. It will set the tone on whether the site 
or production looks interesting and worth pursuing. Subsequently, 
the ease of use will determine how quickly the user can start moving 
through the production and begin assimilating the sites content

Interface Design with PhotoShop is a book that helps the reader 
create imaginative, complex and visually enriched interfaces. The 
author makes several assumptions of his likely reader. First and 
foremost a desire to create attractive interfaces. 

Secondly, the author assumes the reader has a good working 
knowledge of PhotoShop. The author alludes to other software 
such as CorelDraw, Ray Dream Designer and other software tools 
from the worlds of electronic publishing, but once again the reader 
must bring his own experience to the fore. 

This is not a book that teaches the fundamentals of PhotoShop, but the 
reader you will learn a great deal about the power of PhotoShop 3.0 
and up, especially the use of selections and layers.

The author provides in the first 2 chapters some basics about 
design, RGB imagery and Palettes. These two chapters may be 
he most important and critical to assist the reader in preparing 
images for distribution. One example is when to use GIF and when 
to use JPG files. Another is the use of the right palette.

Chapters 3 to 6 examine the basic building blocks of interface 
design. One chapter explains the creation of textures from scratch 
using PhotoShop's Tools, Filters and Commands. The author use 
textures to embellish backgrounds and the components of the 
interface designs. Additional chapters look at bevels, embossing, 
shadows, glows and other techniques. I found the section on 
embossing of particular interest. The author makes very good 
use of this misunderstood filter.

The balance of the book concentrates on more advanced 
interface design. The author provides information that the reader
can follow in creating designs. A casual user of PhotoShop may 
encounter some difficulty, but the experience of creating visually 
interesting interfaces will be worth the struggle.

The hope that arises from Interface Design with PhotoShop is to 
see more Web and MultiMedia creations that choose to feature 
imaginative visual interfaces. This would not only benefit the 
producers by attracting more users to examine their sites content, 
but also bring back some of the magic of exploration.



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