5.0 out of 5 stars good intro
its a good book to get introduce to the usability standard. Lots of example are covered in the book. a+
Published 10 months ago by Vedge
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but seriously needs a second edition
This book came out in 1999 and you have to be prepared for that. It's still about 80% useful, which is amazing considering how fast web technology is moving. I love the way the author uses lots of actual pictures of websites to illustrate every point. If he would bring it into the third millenium, I'd probably give it five stars instead of three.
Published on May 23 2004 by Matthew T. Nelson
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5.0 out of 5 stars If web design were a religion... this would be the bible,
This review is from: Designing Web Usability (Paperback)Cover to cover this book is crammed full of good stuff. I started learning about the internet from the search engine optimmization side of the web. I was always told that good seo was good usability and vice versa.
As I turned the pages I kept saying "good idea" and "I never though of that." The intranet chaper was so convincing that I thought about calling coorporate headquarters and chewing them out about the site desing. A+++
4.0 out of 5 stars New Century, New Book,
This review is from: Designing Web Usability (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 I also like that testing is mentioned, though again, it is peppered with out-of-date technology which makes all the information seem invalid.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.
5.0 out of 5 stars Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen,
This review is from: Designing Web Usability (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.
Tessman, this servant will never do.
Berta will never do ?
Whatever put that in your head, dear?
Look at that! She has left her old hat lying around on a chair.
Suppose anyone had come in and had seen it!
But Hedda! That bonnet's Aunt Julia's
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.
3.0 out of 5 stars Lesson Learned; Lesson Forgotten,
This review is from: Designing Web Usability (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.
5.0 out of 5 stars Top book by a top guy,
This review is from: Designing Web Usability (Paperback)Anybody who says that Nielson does not back up his "opinions" with research didn't read the book. The whole idea of the book is quite the opposite. Nielson does an outstanding job using hard statistics and data to prove his theories. These are not opinions, ladies and gentlemen. These are serious ideas with powerful and well researched facts backing them up.
Though the book is kind of expensive, the whole thing is in color and makes the price worth while. I use this book all of the time to show clients how exactly their site will impact most average users. It is a serious book for serious advocates of web design, and to a Web Master like myself, it is the perfect weapon to create a beautiful and completly usable web page.
4.0 out of 5 stars Must-read for Web Devs,
This review is from: Designing Web Usability (Paperback)The teachings in this book are critical in developing a web site (particularly one that is Line-of-Business focused) that will drive repeat visits. The most important lessons learned: (1) Don't break the browser model, (2) Know your users' needs and design the site to accommodate them, and (3) Learn how people read screens and design pages to surface the most important content in a page or site.
1.0 out of 5 stars Where's the beef,
This review is from: Designing Web Usability (Paperback)Pablum served up as science with no practical scenarios or examples to back up the author's theories. Sort of like reading Freud and wondering when we are going to get to Skinner.
3.0 out of 5 stars worthwhile but stodgy,
This review is from: Designing Web Usability (Paperback)This book is widely regarded as a web usability classic. Not everyone loves it, though. Opinions range from "he is a genius" to "the book is obsolete".
The book is bigger than it need be. Nielsen argues strongly that web sites should be concise, but that doesn't carry over into his writing. In several places a paragraph or two seemed very familiar, having been used several chapters earlier. There are lots of colour screenshots of web pages, mostly to point out flaws.
I agree with most of what he says: Make things simple, easy and effective for users; make your pages download as fast as you can; provide a site search and so on. Where he lets himself down is in speculating about what the internet might be like five, ten or even twenty years from now. This is a complete waste; I got fed up wading through it.
It's also too heavy on opinion and too light on practical detail for me. Nielsen claims he plans to write a "how to" book sometime, but that's no use right now. The section on internationalization, for example, tantalizingly mentions a few things (US switches go "up" for "ON", European ones go "down"; don't use baseball metaphors etc.) then leaves it up to the reader with very little further help.
Well worth absorbing, but I won't often dip into it again. Unless you are a collector, borrow it rather than buying.
4.0 out of 5 stars Jakob Nielsen is da man ... wait ... the man,
This review is from: Designing Web Usability (Paperback)For information on web usability and perspective of a real pro, give this book a shot. Many designers get caught up in the glitz of FLASH and the complication of endlessly nested tables that they cut out a valuable group of users. The book is careful not to disparage design focused sites but adds a bit of reality to the purpose of web standards and the true intent of the internet. While the publishing date is a bit aged, the principles are sound. Overall, a good addition to any developers library.
5.0 out of 5 stars A lot of good sense.,
This review is from: Designing Web Usability (Paperback)By thinking of a website as an interface instead of a means to directly deliver entertainment or complex content the value of the Jakob Nielsens's guidelines becomes more obvious.
Browser incompatibility issues, unsupported file types, and the prevalence of modem dial-up-connections makes the internet and website design a challenge. Simple and usable websites are an even bigger challenge, which is why too few exist. But what a refreshing relief they are when happened upon.
If more websites adhered to the Jakob Nielsen way of thinking ( as it is mine ) the internet would be much more useful.
Steve Krug's 'Don't Make Me Think' should also be read, and digested.
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Designing Web Usability by Jakob Nielsen (Paperback - Dec 20 1999)
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