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222 Reviews
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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 15 months ago by Vedge

versus
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 Simply Outstanding, Sept. 29 2001
By 
L. Richards "lrichmtg" (Olathe, KS United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Designing Web Usability (Paperback)
I never thought I'd be so impressed by a book that I'd actually write a review here. However, this, by far, is the most incredible book about the science of Web usability I've ever seen.
I almost feel sorry for the those who use the sites created by those who rated this book poorly.
In their defense, sure, if scanning the book, a lot of what Nielsen says can be interpreted as "common sense." Unfortunately, it's obvious by looking at the images in the book, coupled with Nielsen's explanations, that many websites don't use this "common sense" approach in their site development.
Personally, prior to reading the book, I didn't agree with Nielsen's "10 Laws" - to me, they seemed outdated and didn't take into account new media. Thankfully I purchased the book anyway.
This book covers the gamut from navigational development to writing for the web. It is an outstanding foundation for those InfoMapping for the Web.
I can only hope that Nielsen writes a book specifically for Intranet development in the future. I'm going to push that Designing for Web Usability become a standard for our department, and I suggest it as a 'must-have' for all web designers and content developers.
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3.0 out of 5 stars helpful info, but no surprises, Aug. 11 2001
By 
Dixie Vogel "Good Karma Host" (KS United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Designing Web Usability (Paperback)
i got this book originally hoping that i'd find something in there i didn't already know...
there wasn't much. if you've studied usability on your own, there aren't many surprises. if you haven't, you'll get some important points. there are some good reminders here, but how many of us buy books for the reminders?
my biggest gripes are: jakob prefers functionality over form EVERY time, which isn't the real world. you need both. (have you seen _his_ site? yawn!) and jakob prounces his rules as if they are coming straight from the mouth of god. please!
there are some good suggestions and reminders and there will be a couple of things you don't know. but if you already have some knowledge of usability, go to the library for this one.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Myriad Dimensions of "Usability", Aug. 3 2001
By 
Robert Morris (Dallas, Texas) - See all my reviews
(TOP 10 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Designing Web Usability (Paperback)
An abundance of market research data indicates that convenience (or ease of doing business) is ranked either first or second among attributes by which customers measure their satisfaction with a seller of goods and/or services. This is especially true of visitors to Web sites. As Nielsen brilliant explains and then convincingly demonstrates, "web usability" is another application of the KISS Principle. He has written two books which "attack the problem of usable web design from two angles. This first one is about the 'what' of good websites, and the second is about the 'how.'...This book explains what is known about the properties of easy-to-use websites. Short preview: Relish simplicity, and focus on the users' goals rather than glitzy design." He guides his reader through various phase of web design (page design, content design, and the design of the overall architecture) and then shifts the reader's attention to "special issues" such as intranets, users with disabilities, and international users. Nielsen concludes his book with a "view toward the future of the Internet and new developments on the Web."
Who will derive the greatest value from reading this book? My hunch (only a hunch) is the owner/CEO of a small-to-midsize company which has not as yet launched a Web site, or, which has done so and the Web site has not achieved its objectives thus far. Whether designing a Web site or a residence, the same basic question must first be answered: Why? More specifically, how will it be used? By whom? To serve which specific purposes? To accomplish what? And at what cost? Nielsen observes, "usability rules the Web. Simply stated, if the customer can't find a product, then he or she will not buy it. The Web is the ultimate customer-empowered environment. He or she who clicks the mouse gets to decide [italics] everything. it is so easy to go elsewhere; all the competitors in the world are but a mouseclick away." The challenge, then, to maximize the "usability" of a Web site for those who are attracted to it. Research data reveal that a substantial majority of those who go on-line visit only ten Web sites 90% of the time. Presumably those who are only one-time visitors had an unsatisfactory experience. Getting them to return may not be impossible but is certainly very, very difficult.
Nielsen explains that "There are essentially two basic approaches to design: the artistic ideal of expressing yourself and the engineering ideal of solving a problem for a customer. This book is firmly on the side of engineering." He correctly realizes that today, this moment, the patience of a Web site visitor is measured in seconds. "This book is full of specific methods that can be used at almost every stage of a web project to dramatically enhance the the user experience." That's true. Nielsen does indeed provide an abundance of information, observations, caveats, and suggestions but all of them presuppose the constant practice of simplicity in both planning and execution of strategies and tactics.
Who else will derive substantial value from this book? Decision-makers in much larger organizations (especially those involved on a global basis) who are hard at work on projects whose success depends directly or indirectly, on the usability of their organization's Web site. Specifically, those who are formulating or revising initiatives to improve CRM, employee recruitment and retention, allocation of resources, logistics, internal and external communications, contingency planning and crisis management, and cycle time reduction. In other words, decision-makers who are determined to maximize usability in literally every area of operations. Yes, this is a book about the Web but the Web, ultimately, is about everything and everyone involved in every organization, regardless of its size and nature.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This book is the very best in it's class., Aug. 3 2001
This review is from: Designing Web Usability (Paperback)
Nielson explains all with simplicity. It's really amazing how easy he makes 'designing usability' seem. Simple concepts and a good understanding of what the public are looking for are laid out in plain fashion. He adds statistics that may be useful for designers and hopefully improves their understanding that the web is not a paint canvas but rather an information superhighway where people are looking for answers not pictures.
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1.0 out of 5 stars This was valid stuff.. 3 or 4 years ago..., July 31 2001
By 
Shane Evans "... I stop voicing my opinion wh... (Salisbury, Maryland USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Designing Web Usability (Paperback)
"renowned Web usability guru".. that's almost funny... from circa.. 1994? I often wonder how people like this exist. Someone, somewhere, at some time.. validated this guy's archaic ways of thought and now we've got a book of outdated, narrow minded, limited use information.
It almost angers me that this hogwash is treated as factual information, when in actuality, it is nothing more than the opinion of an outdated person with no creative talent and limited understanding of our technology and how it has progressed. If we were to all subscribe to this belief, we'd still be listening to the weekly radio show and placing phone calls through "Elma" at the local switchboard.
The Internet is changing. Lead, follow, or get the heck out of the way.. we're tired of the mindless babble.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Clarifies your thinking, July 24 2001
By 
Maura Enright - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Designing Web Usability (Paperback)
His thought processes and his statistics are very enlightening. I use this book constantly. It keeps me on track.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must-read for anyone involved with site design!, July 19 2001
This review is from: Designing Web Usability (Paperback)
Creating Web sites that truly meet the needs and expectations of a wide range of online users is the core question and main topic of the book. It is not a book on how to program in HTML.
The book is packed with annotated examples of actual Web sites, and discussions of Web usability regarding page, content, site, and intranet design.
The book skillfully clarifies for the reader the many subtle challenges that are often mixed together in other discussions. For example, the requirements of viewing pages on varying monitor sizes separately from writing concise text for scanability. The book includes survey results on sizes of screens, types of queries submitted to search portals, response times by connection type.
It goes into detail of cross-platform design, response time considerations, and writing for the Web, multimedia implementation, navigation strategies, search boxes, corporate intranet design, and accessibility for disabled users, international considerations, and future predictions. If you follow the books instructions carefully you will be rewarded with faster Web projects and satisfied Web customers.
A must-read for anyone involved with site design!
FinancialNeeds.com
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4.0 out of 5 stars Well, It is Good Guildeline but a bit out of date, July 15 2001
By 
Chen Chee Weng (Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur Malaysia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Designing Web Usability (Paperback)
I admire that Jakob Nielsen point out that a lot of graphic take longer time to download. It did help us as a webmaster to try to reduce / optimize the graphic size.
However, the recent website trend is always moving toward nice-looking design. We must balance the use of graphic and text and not only try to reduce the graphic element.
Last point, I still seriously think that a clear website architecture and easy navigation is the main ingredient of a good website. That is why I give this book 4 star
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent handbook for those without common sense..., July 15 2001
By 
Raymond Flores "kuya1284" (American Canyon, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Designing Web Usability (Paperback)
I found this book to be very enlightening due to the fact that Nielsen has been around for quite some time. I did agree with some of his remarks, since most of what he said was common sense, but some I disagreed with. One of the things I disagree with is the fact that people dislike scrolling. I think he developed this mentality prior to the release of the mouse "wheel". I think that most people these days don't really mind scrolling if they have a wheel on their mouse. However, I must agree that it is quite a pain to be without one. Overall, I feel that this book is meant for those people going into Web "Site" Design, and not Web "Page" Design. It is also meant for those who are designing a website with a target audience of 100+ people. If you're making a general information web page, this isn't meant for you. If you are putting together an "information intensive" website, then you should read this book. It addresses many issues dealing with layout (Don't and Do's) and a lot of other things that people tend to overlook.
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1.0 out of 5 stars The web is not just science..., July 9 2001
This review is from: Designing Web Usability (Paperback)
I am astounded by the absolute arrogance that Mr. Nielsen displays throughout his book. He is approaching web design not only from a purely scientific point of view, but a science that he seems to determined to bend to suit his purposes; that is not science.
He offers many good points that are, however, common sense to a skilled designer working in this field that do not require you to read this book. In the bibliography section he lists more of his own work as if he is the only person worth his salt, when in fact there are many good reference pieces to read.
The fact of the matter is everyone uses the web in a different way; whether you are hosting a site or surfing through one. The broad gereralizations that Mr. Nielsen makes are at best inaccurate and at worst misleading. The examples of the work he has done, within the book, contradict his own thesis and I would not recommend this book as a serious reference that you will refer to time and again.
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Designing Web Usability
Designing Web Usability by Jakob Nielsen (Paperback - Dec 20 1999)
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