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Mobile Usability Paperback – October 20, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-0321884480 ISBN-10: 0321884485 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: New Riders; 1 edition (October 20, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321884485
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321884480
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.9 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #89,960 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jakob Nielsen, Ph.D., is a principal of Nielsen Norman Group and founder of the “discount usability engineering” movement, emphasizing fast and efficient methods for improving the quality of user interfaces. Dr. Nielsen has been called, “the world’s leading expert on Web usability” by U.S. News and World Report and “the next best thing to a true time machine” by USA Today. He is the author of numerous best-selling books, including Prioritizing Web Usability, Eyetracking Usability, and the groundbreaking Designing Web Usability, which has sold more than 250,000 copies and has been translated in 22 languages.

Raluca Budiu, Ph.D. is a user experience specialist with Nielsen Norman Group (NN/g). She consults for clients from a variety of industries and presents tutorials on mobile usability, usability of touch devices, cognitive psychology for designers, and principles of human computer interaction. She has authored several NN/g reports and published numerous articles on HCI topics.


More About the Author

Jakob Nielsen, Ph.D. is a principal of Nielsen Norman Group. He is the founder of the "discount usability engineering" movement, which emphasizes fast and efficient methods for improving the quality of user interfaces. Nielsen was noted as "the world's leading expert on Web usability" by U.S. News and World Report and "the next best thing to a true time machine" by USA Today. Nielsen's Alertbox column on Web usability has been published on the Internet since 1995 and currently has about 200,000 readers. From 1994 to 1998, Nielsen was a Sun Microsystems Distinguished Engineer. His previous affiliations include Bell Communications Research, the Technical University of Denmark, and the IBM User Interface Institute. See his biography page at useit.com for additional biographical information.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Bogdan Stancescu on December 3, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Whichever page you open this book at, you'll find common sense advice that you'd think anyone could come up with on their own. Unfortunately, reality has taught us that developers perform quite poorly at understanding how users want to interact with their applications (I'm a developer myself, and I know how true that is from first hand experience).

The book is quite good at explaining why some decisions (actual decisions, made by real people in real applications) are bad, and why others are good -- and when you see other developers' apps analyzed like that you can't help but agree with the authors. Of course, you might have a different perspective on things if you are one of the developers who performed poorly, but this is what this book is all about: helping us avoid mistakes we know we're inclined to make in the first place. And that's the whole point of reading it.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Nora Brown on March 31, 2013
Format: Paperback
This book, written by such an established figure in the field of web usability, did not come close to meeting my expectations. Early on, the authors, ignoring many important factors, assert that any company crafting a mobile presence should create native apps, not a mobile website. I'm not a hard-core HTML evangelist, and I agree that for some companies, native apps are (at least part of) the right solution. But to broadly assert this for any company that can afford it is misguided.

However, my biggest complaint is that the book fails to deliver concrete evaluations of the different ways designers are addressing the challenges of mobile usability. For example, there are myriad ways to present large menus and deep navigation on mobile -- it would be great to know which work best in which contexts, and what difficulties users have with them. Similarly, there are many different ways to organize text information on a page (tabs, one long page, dialogs, etc) -- what are the various advantages and disadvantages of each?

I also found the text poorly organized (especially Chapter 3 "Designing for the Small Screen" -- a central topic when discussing web usability), with misplaced, irrelevant topics and tangents.

The seminal book on mobile usability has yet to be written. You can read my full review at the Web Designers Review of Books dot com.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Anne-marie Armstrong on November 24, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Actual research on usability issues for mobile devices. Great resource for usability students. Gives info and details on testing and the results. Students can create own test plans following the experts.
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Jakob Nielsen has a long-established reputation for understanding how we use the internet, and admonishes us to design around the user's natural inclinations, not try to reengineer the user or guide her mouse-clicks. In an ever increasingly complex world, he has made a career teaching us to keep it simple.

He co-founded the Nielsen Norman group (NN/g) to preach and teach usability, and its staff are all rocket-scientist-caliber researchers who teach from facts and figures, solid research all.

In "Mobile Usability", he teams up with NN/g researcher Raluca Budiu to produce a wonderfully narrated, extensively illustrated and entertaining read, showing us by numerous examples why we must simplify our website designs for the mobile device. Screen real estate is the prime constraint, and most websites which work on the 20" desktop cannot function on the hand-held device, unless we strip away the unnecessary 'chrome', assure that our page links are easily 'discoverable', and each precious user click offers high 'affordance' - you get the content you want and expect when you click a link.

These simple guidelines are easily adopted by even novice web designers, and should be read by anyone designing mobile websites. A seventh grader can read and understand this book, and that's my definition for good writing.

The examples range from ordering a Pizza to browsing the news; the sites featured all are targets for improvement in usability. Martha Stewart's site emphasizes cutesy over discoverability - good luck figuring out what is a hyperlink.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Danelle on October 7, 2013
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Not a bad book, lots of research to support theories in this book. I personally felt some of the conclusions drawn from some of the research weren't accurate based on how they were presenting it or that they could have been concluded a different way from the same data, but overall great points to consider. The book seemed a bit dated and probably is.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Om Kailas on January 3, 2013
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Makes you realize we can never write for the web again without producing meaningful communication for mobile devices.Easy to read.
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Great book with simple and easy language, easy to read and understand. Very complete explanations. And it's funny too. Great!
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