Designing Web Usability Paperback – Dec 20 1999
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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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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.
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.
Most recent customer reviews
its a good book to get introduce to the usability standard. Lots of example are covered in the book. a+Published on Jan. 13 2013 by Vedge
This is a good book if you've never heard about usability. I agree with the review saying it would be time for a review though...
I find it too extremist on some points. Read more
You may not follow all of Jacob Neilson's guidelines, but you can't start any website construction or redesign project without reading this book.Published on March 6 2005 by Blair
This book is a must for every web developer, although I think it's time for a newer version, as some of the examples and theories are based on pre-2000 studies. Read morePublished on July 18 2004 by Michael Lugassy
Another excellent source of information from the INTERNET guru of them all! This book is a definite MUST HAVE for any website designer, newbie to web design and anyone and... Read morePublished on June 26 2004
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. Read morePublished on May 23 2004 by Matthew T. Nelson
I'm a designer and I design web sites for a living, and this book didn't click with me. The topics in the book are repeated over and over and over and over again--simplicity and... Read morePublished on March 17 2004 by Team Chang
This man can really tell you how to design a website that will satisify user well. He has researched the field of web design and usability stats and knows his stuff. Read morePublished on March 16 2004 by G. Brown
Another Outsource Marketing favorite! We have given at least a dozen copies of this book to clients and friends of the firm. Read morePublished on Dec 7 2003 by Patrick M. Byers
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