Top positive review
Excellent and Worthwhile Information
on March 2, 2003
After reading some of the reviews here, I almost didn't buy this book. But I'm glad I did. I agree that some people might find some of the critiques nit-picking. I also agree that the authors are not qualified to give copywriting advice.
But the point about exclamation marks on the homepage is a good one. They are overused. I've overused them myself. And they do make a page look like so much hype in many cases. Copywriters get carried away with hype and the web is no place for that.
I don't think we can take anyone's advice in total all the time. But I can tell you this. After I read only a few pages in this book I saw changes that I needed to make.
After looking at the critiques in the book, I can easily see the small very fine details that can make all the difference in the world in usability and, moreover, in marketing.
Jakob does extensive testing with real people and I have a lot of faith in his findings. His word is not the last word. But I trust him and I think people who are involved with designing or writing Web sites should read what he writes.
They don't have to agree with everything. But not to read him would be a mistake.
The changes I've made due to his advice have paid big dividends. I don't hold 100 percent to everything he says. But I believe I have a site that is very user-friendly in part because I apply his principals and I pass them on to my clients.
If people would just read the intricate detail in each critique, they would see what one small change could make and why it should be done the way the authors suggest.
I would have given the book five stars but the book itself had some misspelled words and it used the word "website" instead of "Web site" which is the accepted way to write it. I don't necessarily blame the authors for that. It was probably a low level editor who let those errors happen. But they shouldn't be there. Especially in a slick, well designed book and a book about usability and perfection.
But to anyone involved in making decisions about a Web site --- especially designers and copywriters --- I highly recommend this book.
Susanna K. Hutcheson
Owner and Executive Copy Director