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Making the Web Work: Designing Effective Web Applications 1st Edition

15 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0735711969
ISBN-10: 0735711968
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Making the Web Work is one of the first books to discuss in detail the unique challenges and issues involved in designing Web-based applications and services. The book tackles this subject on three levels by describing a structured method for prioritizing and categorizing individual design decisions, by offering a detailed analysis of various design options, and by documenting established Web interface conventions. Individual chapters focus on conceptual modeling, task flow, information architecture, navigation, form design, online help, and visual design for Web applications. The book concludes with an in-depth analysis of two well-known consumer applications, Amazon and Ofoto.

"Applications are clearly at the heart of the future of web interaction. Bob has created a clear and compelling guide for the creation of web activities that successfully and realistically address people's needs and aspirations." --John Rheinfrank, CEO, seeSpace and Clinical Professor, Kellogg School of Management

"Although a corporation's web site can have a huge impact on their brand, image, and customer satisfaction, the unfortunate reality is that web design is not a well-understood discipline within corporate America. This book makes a compelling case for the importance of web design and provides a comprehensive framework and processes for creating web applications that are both useful and usable. Bob's real-life examples and humor make the book approachable and practical for all professionals involved in the creation of web applications." --Jennifer Bailey, Former SVP, Netscape Communications

About the Author

Bob Baxley is a practicing designer who lives and works in Silicon Valley. Specializing in interaction design for both Web applications and services as well as desktop products, Bob has worked in a variety of corporate and startup environments. He began his career in 1990 as the designer for ClarisWorks, and later worked on a variety of projects for Adobe Systems, Apple Computer, Epiphany, NetObjects, Ameritrade, and others. Currently, Bob runs the Design and Usability teams at myCFO, a leading wealth management firm. In 1985, he received a B.A. in History and a B.S. in Radio/Television/Film from the University of Texas at Austin. He also received a Masters of Liberal Arts from Stanford University in 2000.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 474 pages
  • Publisher: Sams Publishing; 1 edition (November 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0735711968
  • ISBN-13: 978-0735711969
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,374,601 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Jack Dawson on November 14, 2003
Format: Paperback
An impeccably-organized encyclopedia of web design.
If I had to base an entire web design class on a single book this would be the one. Bob Baxley's "Making the Web Work" is easily the most comprehensive manual for applying good design to create a great user experience on the web. This book has both breadth and depth-just look at the table of contents. Regardless of your level of web design proficiency you will find more than your money's worth of useful insight here (even if you have already read just about every other web design book!).
One thing I especially like about this book is that Bob doesn't provide a single solution for a design challenge, but takes time to present and evaluate (pro/con and why) several alternatives. He doesn't just feed you the "right" answers the way Jakob Nielsen does in his "Designing Web Usability." Bob's approach will help you gain a thorough understanding of the options and make informed design decisions.
The two case studies of Amazon and Ofoto included at the end of the book are the most comprehensive I have seen: they're about 30 pages each!
About the only gripe I have is that Bob takes the liberty of using lesser known versions of some terms without providing their more known synonyms. For example, while Lou Rosenfeld and Peter Morville have all but established the terms "ambiguous" and "exact" for the two types of classification schemes, Bob prefers to call them "subjective" and "objective," respectively, without providing the alternative terms. Similarly, "organization scheme" is replaced by "classification scheme", and "organization structure" with "model of association." My IA students have enough difficulty keeping one set of terms straight!
Overall, however, this one serious web design book. Highly recommended.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Dr. T on February 25, 2003
Format: Paperback
Have you noticed how some web sites are warm, inviting, and easy to use, but using other sites can be a difficult and even frustrating experience? The difference lies in their design, the topic of Bob Baxley's seminal, well-researched book Making the Web Work: Designing Effective Web Applications.
Good design is not a hit-or-miss issue. Mr. Baxley provides a comprehensive, in-depth framework for exploring the nine dimensions of web application design space: the Conceptual Model, the Structural Model, the Organizational Model, Viewing and Navigation, Editing and Manipulation, User Assistance, Layout, Style, and Text. Each layer is presented in an easy-to-understand manner, always from the point of view of what "works" for the user. Mr. Baxley uses examples taken directly from the web to illustrate his points: I found myself returning to some of my favorite sites to see how the designers handled issues ranging from their choice of conceptual model (magazine-style catalogs versus reference-style catalogs) to navigation choices to layout alignment.
This book is much more than just a book on usability, layout, graphics or web page controls. It is rather a comprehensive approach to web application design, thoughtfully and humorously argued, and interspersed throughout with tips and techniques for the would-be designer. Although it would be a great text for a course on advanced web design, it will become a well-thumbed and indispensable addition to every web developer's library.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Business book lover on November 27, 2002
Format: Paperback
Despite the ubiquity of the internet, the art and craft of designing web applications - defined by the author as a web site that stores and manipulates data unique to each of its users (for example online stores and sites offering financial or other on-line services) - is an evolving field. MAKING THE WEB WORK offers a thorough methodology for anybody tackling such a task, be that the actual designer of a web application, or the product managers and engineers working with (and sometimes without) the designer. Even experienced web application designers will find food for thought.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Tess A. Lispi on August 9, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book is tattered from referencing it and has many passages underlined. Unlike some usability books it is organized in a manner that moves you through the design problem space. It begins with setting definitions and examining the possible forces behind these projects. Then Baxley dives into the meat of the design process through a 3 layered approach. He covers all the bases - from the user point of view to navigation, Help systems, forms, layout and shows how it alI fits into the models within the layers. It is well written, making points clear without repetitive passages. I would recommend this book for beginners and old hands. It is a great book, written following the usability rules he is propounding.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Paul Hibbitts on February 13, 2003
Format: Paperback
As a veteran user interface design practitioner and university instructor, I found Bob Baxley's book "Making the Web Work" a valuable addition to my personal reference library, and a practical resource tool for Web design courses.
He organizes the book around the elements of user interface design, which is structure, behavior, and presentation. Simultaneously, Bob leads the reader from conceptually organizing a Web-based user interface to interactive and layout issues. The numerous real-world examples within the book effectively illustrate the described design approaches and techniques, and many are applicable beyond the scope of Web-based user interfaces.
Overall the book is a very readable and comprehensive look at how to design better Web-based applications.
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