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Designing Web Usability Paperback – Dec 20 1999


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: New Riders; 1 edition (Dec 20 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 156205810X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1562058104
  • Product Dimensions: 17.1 x 2 x 23.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 794 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (222 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #240,525 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

From Amazon

Creating Web sites is easy. Creating sites that truly meet the needs and expectations of the wide range of online users is quite another story. In Designing Web Usability: The Practice of Simplicity, renowned Web usability guru Jakob Nielsen shares his insightful thoughts on the subject. Packed with annotated examples of actual Web sites, this book sets out many of the design precepts all Web developers should follow.

This guide segments discussions of Web usability into page, content, site, and intranet design. This breakdown skillfully isolates for the reader many subtly different challenges that are often mixed together in other discussions. For example, Nielsen addresses the requirements of viewing pages on varying monitor sizes separately from writing concise text for "scanability." Along the way, the author pulls no punches with his opinions, using phrases like "frames: just say no" to immediately make his feelings known. Fortunately, his advise is some of the best you'll find.

One of the unique aspects of this title is the use of actual statistics to buttress the author's opinions on various techniques and technologies. He includes survey results on sizes of screens, types of queries submitted to search portals, response times by connection type and more. This book is intended as the first of two volumes--focusing on the "what." The author promises a follow-up title that will show the "hows" and, based on this installation, we can't wait. --Stephen W. Plain

Topics covered: Cross-platform design, response time considerations, writing for the Web, multimedia implementation, navigation strategies, search boxes, corporate intranet design, accessibility for disabled users, international considerations, and future predictions.

From Library Journal

While everyone wants to design cool web sites, no one wants to think simple and consider whether the design actually accomplishes its goal, which is usually to sell, teach, or entertain. The sole exception is Nielsen, who has made a living speaking and writing about what works and what doesn't work in interactive media. His simple, well-written, and well-illustrated book discusses web usability, page design, content design, site design, intranet design, accessibility for users with disabilities, international use, future directions, and simplicity. Buy more than one copy.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Paperback
This book is primarily a stylebook. The web is often mistaken for an electronic book and this is probably one of the reasons it has taken a while to find a guide aimed at web usability. Jakob Nielsen does a great job in creating a style manual for a medium, which has different aims and limitations from printed material. What made Tim Berners-Lee¡¦s innovation successful; the delivery of digital media on all manner of computer platforms; is also its drawback. Not every platform treats HTML tags in the same manner.
Nielsen¡¦s main point is that the web is primarily a communications tool, although an interactive one. He states, ¡§the main goal of most web projects should be to make it easy for customers to perform useful tasks.¡¨ In addition Nielsen points out that your display terminal is not a book. This means a screen that although interactive is harder to read than a book. The prime advantage is the ability to link to other current and active links or content in an immediate manner. The biggest mistake a site author makes is in creating slow, confusing, or cumbersome sites.
Make no mistake, the author knows is stuff and is consistent in his tone. This is the first part of a two-book set. By the time you have read both books some of the more obvious points are a bit overdone, but his main goal; to get web designers to change some of their bad habits worked with me.
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By Jess on Oct. 7 2003
Format: Paperback
Jakob Nielsen is well known for his reports on usability and I really enjoyed his book "Homepage Usability." I figured that this would be a more in-depth exploration of how to design with the user in mind. Most of the points were on the ball, and very common sense, but nice to see it in writing from someone else. The examples in "Designing Web Usability," though ancient, fit well with the points.
I kept getting lost, in a way, because I kept getting distracted by the prehistoric examples and data. For example, what do I design for? 640? 770? What is in use today? 1997 was a long time ago in web years. I suppose it's difficult to have a book with such current data in it, but I'm thinking it's definitely time for a new version of this book.
There is also a tendency for redundancy. I suppose this is inevitable since whether you're a search results page or an intranet site, you're still dealing with the same topics of design.
I do like that even though this book is ancient, it touches on accessibility issues. So many places are only now thinking of that. I also like that testing is mentioned, though again, it is peppered with out-of-date technology which makes all the information seem invalid.
I think this book would be much stronger with new examples, updates here and there to technology and re-released. I think that that was one of the strengths of his other book, "Homepage Usability," was the freshness of the examples and problems designers are facing. If, and when, there is a new and more concise version of this book, I will buy it.
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Format: Paperback
this play must be read at least twice in order to get
a real sense of whats going on.Ibsen created a timeless work of art when he wrote Hedda Gabler.Here we have a simple plot,A woman who feels that she is trapped in a loveless marriage,discovers that her old love is back in town. To make things more complicated for Hedda, this old lover is a rival of her husband.To add insult to injury,her old lover is being helped by the woman she hates.But I wouldn't fell too sorry for our Hedda, from the very opening of the play we get a chance to see who Hedda really is.In this scene we see George Tessman, Hedda's husband admiring the new bonnet of his aunt Miss Juliana Tessman,who has just placed it on a chair.Hedda enters.
Hedda-
Tessman, this servant will never do.
Miss Tessman-
Berta will never do ?
Tessman-
Whatever put that in your head, dear?
Hedda-
Look at that! She has left her old hat lying around on a chair.
Tessman-
Why, Hedda--
Hedda-
Suppose anyone had come in and had seen it!
Tessman-
But Hedda! That bonnet's Aunt Julia's
Hedda-
It is ?
Miss Tessman(picking up the hat)
Yes, indeed. And what's more,it;s not old.
Hedda knew that the hat belonged to Miss Tessman,and that it wasn't old.This is where the reader get a sense of what Hedda is about.We see the woman full of jealousy,needing always to be the center of attention.
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Format: Paperback
This book did not resonate with me. Perhaps it is because I recently completed reading a great book on web design, "The Design of Sites."
It is not that the book is without merit. There are nuggets of wisdom buried in every chapter. Jakob Nielsen is an acknowledged web design expert. This book summarizes much of his thinking. Simplicity and usability should rule the web, according to the author. He is right. Users, or perhaps the term, surfers is more appropriate, are never more than one click from moving on to the next site.
There are some great chapters - the one on content design springs to mind. However, the book is like reading a W. E. B. Griffin novel. By the time you finish it, you realize it does not contain much new material. Topics and introductions are continually re-served and rehashed. At these prices, the author ought to credit his readers with enough intelligence to remember lessons taught in previous chapters.
The author's mantra is to know your user. This book would have been better if he accepted his own advice.
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