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 11 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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2.0 out of 5 stars Simplicity or design fascism?,
This review is from: Designing Web Usability (Paperback)It was with great trepidation that I bought this book, but did so because of the hype surrounding it. I am sure I am not alone. This book in common with so many others makes the fundamental mistake of ignoring the fact that the internet is a new medium with new aesthetic imperatives as well as new technological criteria. This is a handsome book, well published albeit with more than its fair share of typos. The usage of English by the author is appalling, but nowhere near as bad as the content matter.
As someone professionally involved in the design, mark-up and content resourcing of web sites, this book offered nothing. To start a tome purporting to offer advice about developing sites, it seems disengenous to offer advice on cellphone and PDA technology straight off the bat, as these technologies have not yet been developed. The author appears obsessed with 'telling' rather than advising how best to offer up a well designed site. This imperical stance is let down wholesale by bad examples of the advice offered and instead of accepting the fact that the web will shortly become one of the biggest branding exercises in the history of business, the author seems content to give further advice on arcane and automatically out of date statistics on page loading, screen real estate and design criteria. Nowhere, but nowhere is branding or aesthetics mentioned. The big mistake - 'content as design' is automatically assumed in this book. This is a rehash of the 'Web sites that suck' mentality, that achieves nothing and gives the term 'American Design' a reputation it does not deserve.
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, if brief.,
This review is from: Designing Web Usability (Paperback)The concepts in this book are desperately needed on the vast majority of websites. However, as another reviewer has stated, there is nothing new in this book if you've read Jakob's online column at useit.com. In fact, the book often contains word-for-word extracts from Jakob's web column and reads more like a web site than like a book. It is also deceptively brief, as it contains many screen shots to illustrate the points in the text. While some of the examples are very effective, I would have preferred a more in-depth examination of the principles and fewer illustrations.
Nevertheless, the book is worth buying just to have it available as a print reference. If all web designers took Jakob's advice to heart, the web would be a much friendlier place.
3.0 out of 5 stars No surprises here,
By A Customer
This review is from: Designing Web Usability (Paperback)Heard so many positive things about this book that I was a little disappointed. JN tends to be very conservative when it comes to the web. He makes many good points, but I don't agree with some of them.
5.0 out of 5 stars Practical Tips From A Master of Usability Engineering,
This review is from: Designing Web Usability (Paperback)This beautifully produced volume by a leading expert in usability engineering might well be called a handbook because of its throughness. It is packed with principles of usability applied to web design.
Use it to move the code-mad developer to consider design issues or to bring a wildly creative sort back to reality.
The only problem is that I hesitate to pass the book to the staff developer who needs it for fear that I won't get it back.
5.0 out of 5 stars Shockingly good...,
By A Customer
This review is from: Designing Web Usability (Paperback)After 5 years of creating educational and commercial web sites, I thought I'd made all the mistakes, and finally figured out what I was doing...thought I had some insight. Well, Nielson's book floored me. Absolutely brilliant. Suggestions backed by theory and data. If every developer read this, the web would be a better place...but then I'd end up with less work, so ignore my words. Don't buy this book. Keep making unusable sites...for my sake. For my children's sake. We thank you.
5.0 out of 5 stars Jakob Nielsen's New Masterpiece,
This review is from: Designing Web Usability (Paperback)Jakob Nielsen has done it again! His new book is a true masterpiece.
Every section demonstrates how management on the strategic level as well as public relations professionals, designers and marketers can all be inspired to think or re-think their entire e-business approach.
Full of experience and wisdom, not to mention the vast amount of illustrative examples that accompany Dr. Nielsen's guided tour through dos and don'ts in the world of web design and usability.
By the way, due to it's super logical structure, the book is also an excellent handbook to return to for pieces of good advice at later stages. And believe it or not, even as bedtime reading Jakob Nielsen's book is in a class by itself...
My conclusion: A must for management and a gold mine for everybody else seeking to improve the presence and the results of their organization on the net.
5.0 out of 5 stars Indispensible,
This review is from: Designing Web Usability (Paperback)With "Designing Web Usability: The Practice of Simplicity," Jakob Nielsen proves what many of us thought after reading "Useability Engineering," Nielsen's books are indispensible tools for Web site architects and designers.
"Designing Web Usability" offers a comprehensive overview of the practical problems to be solved in Web site design. He goes at the "what" and the "how." He explains in clear prose, and describes using current examples of what is right and what is wrong with Web sites seen by millions.
If you follow Nielsen's instructions carefully, you will be rewarded with faster Web projects and satisfied Web customers. There is no reason to make the same mistakes others have made, and no reason to make your users frustrated by your Web site's design. "Designing Web Usability" goes a long way toward soving today's problems.
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Baseline Reference,
This review is from: Designing Web Usability (Paperback)Desigining Web Usability is, overall, an excellent book. I agree with one of the previous reviewers who stated that if you are a seasoned Web designer/developer there is not a ton of information here that is new. But it is nice to have it all in one place and so lavishly presented. The production value of this book is very high and is itself an example of excellent information presentation (albeit in the print world).
The book is especially good for those new to Web site design and usability. I have seen all too often how graphic designers or especially marketing types and executives new to the Web insist on designing a Web page THEY like instead of one usable for the intended audience.
Overall you may not agree with everything Dr. Nielsen says but if you take the basic principles to heart your Web pages will be much better. A key principle is that just because a page looks good does not mean it functions well. Dr. Nielsen will show you how to do that.
3.0 out of 5 stars Excellent resource for novice designers,
By A Customer
This review is from: Designing Web Usability (Paperback)...but this is nothing new if you're a dedicated reader of his <Devhead> column. I was hoping for more of a step by step, a to z process for developing site architecture and usability testing.
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite Usable,
This review is from: Designing Web Usability (Paperback)I already was familiar with Nielsen's views from his Web site. I am an enthusiastic supporter of most of his opinions.
There are one or two ideas with which I disagree. For example, I believe that there should be comment forms on sites, and that these should go to high-level executives (I personally answer comment forms for my business). If you are getting overwhelmed with dumb questions, take that as actionable information.
Also, Nielsen believes in treating your home page as an orientation page. Because the majority of links to our site do not point to our home page, we cannot assume that the consumer ever will go to that page during a site visit.
Those are nits. Everything else in this book is advice that we either have taken or have compromised on taking (not necessarily the right compromises, either).
This book is more usable than Nielsen's web site in three ways.
1. Screen shots. Having the screen shots on the pages is like having Nielsen sitting next to you, jabbing you in the ribs and saying, "See what I mean?"
2. Time to absorb. Reading his advice in book format, I have more time to absorb it. I picked up on little details (like using Link Titles) and I became more motivated to implement some of his other ideas.
3. Bookmarks. I don't use bookmarks much on the Web (I can't keep them organized), but I have some of his pages marked, which makes it easy to refer to them.
Because of these usability advantages, the book is value added relative to Nielsen's web site.
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Designing Web Usability by Jakob Nielsen (Paperback - Dec 20 1999)
CDN$ 57.99 CDN$ 36.53