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Shaping Web Usability: Interaction Design in Context 1st Edition

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ISBN-13: 978-0201729931
ISBN-10: 0201729938
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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

There is no shortage of material on web site usability (see Computer Media, LJ 3/1/02). Hot Text shines in its comprehensive coverage of online writing. One will find information on XML and writing for database-driven sites; creating FAQs, blogs and newsletters, and online r sum s; and becoming a web writer or editor. Although it does not break any new ground, Back to the User is a solid summary of current thought on the "user-centered" approach, covering both writing and design. It largely focuses on business sites, with additional information on e-commerce and branding. Both titles are appropriate for public libraries. Shaping Web Usability, while more academic, also addresses specific issues such as designing for older adults and handheld devices. Recommended for larger public and academic institutions.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From the Back Cover

"Al Badre's book is about an everlasting truth--a truth that many people, many companies, many organizations have learned the hard way. That is, when designing technological systems for people to use, one must take into account the characteristics of the users, and the nature of the task, and the knowledge, experience, biases, strengths, and weaknesses that the users bring to the task. In the case at hand, the task is using the World Wide Web."

--James D. Foley, coauthor of Computer Graphics: Principles and Practice

All successful computer applications have one thing in common: They are designed with the user in mind. Author Al Badre has for years contributed to the ideas and methods needed to make any computer application fully usable. In Shaping Web Usability, he adapts and applies this firmly rooted knowledge and practice specifically to the Web.

Badre recognizes that Web sites comprise a unique application, where designers face a host of complex issues, including dynamic content, a broad and diverse audience, multiple entry points, intolerance of steep learning curves, and one-click abandonment. And with the arrival of handheld devices, Web designers confront additional difficult issues. Offering a structured approach to Web usability, Shaping Web Usability describes several contexts in which each site must be viewed, from the genre to which it belongs to the individual page. The book then provides a concrete methodology for designing a site effectively for the convenience, practicality, and pleasure of its users.

Inside, Web designers will find useful information on such topics as:

  • Links, buttons, site maps, and indexes for smooth site navigation
  • Keywords and site search engines
  • Effective design of home, content, and transaction pages
  • Achieving a balance between Web usability and impressive graphics
  • Retrofitting Web pages for small-screen and mobile devices
  • Addressing users' information-processing limits
  • Designing Web sites for older adults
  • Addressing the international cultural context of the Web
  • Specific guidelines to support design excellence
  • Using an iterative design process with continuous testing to
  • maximize Web usability
  • Constructing storyboards and interactive prototypes
  • Conducting task analysis to discover the sequence of events visitors use to reach their goals

Numerous real-world examples illustrate the book's concepts, techniques, and guidelines. This one book puts decades of knowledge and experience into the hands of every Web designer.



0201729938B12172001

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 1 edition (February 2, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0201729938
  • ISBN-13: 978-0201729931
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 0.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,093,863 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By David Unsworth on September 14, 2002
Format: Paperback
This is a serious work on Web Usability that attempts to define in detail the user context and to construct a user-centred methodology based on that context.
There are so many books on web usability these days and most of them are about web pages first and people second. Doctor Badre's approach, though, is firmly grounded on the human side of HCI and some of the material in this book is outstanding.
The chapter on "Older Adults" is a great example. Badre is fastidious enough to consider the different cognitive needs of people in this group and to consider the implications of those needs for the designer. Elsewhere he considers personality variations, the role of affect (or emotion), and many other individual differences.
In contrast, however, Badre has a strong leaning toward standards and predictability, which seems to contradict his comments elsewhere. Having identified the myriad reasons the web audience is uniquely diverse he nevertheless finds traditional HCI evaluation techniques attractive, and sometimes fails to bite the bullet.
For example, Badre insists that "Testing conditions ... should approximate the actual situation in which ...visitors are likely to find themselves." Yet he does not display any distrust of laboratory testing, questionnaires and all the artificialities of user testing that would suggest a more ethnographic approach.
The material on the test methodology is therefore somewhat weaker, but does not detract in any way from the main part of the book, where Dr Badre's experience in Human Factors allows him to illustrate with considerable skill the way design features can be adjusted to meet the cognitive abilities of real human users. In this arena, Dr. Badre is a leading authority, and it is for this, the main body of the work, that I would strongly recommend this book to web and usability professionals alike.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J. Garbers on February 5, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Clear and rigorous, Dr. Badre's book is an essential resource for the serious Web practitioner. Going beyond the usual lists of do's and don'ts, he gives the reader a strong grounding in the field of usability and how its principles apply to the Web. Web designers and implementors who read Shaping Web Usability will not only know what to do, but why -- so they can respond successfully to new and complex design challenges.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 15, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book is unlike many other web usability books. It goes well beyond the cookie-cutter guidelines for fast web usability, and gets the reader thinking deeply about contexts of web usability. It focuses on the real important issues and concepts. However, it is not an abstract or theoretical book. The author illustrates the concepts and explanations with numerous real examples from the web. This book is a must read for web designers, information architects, and web usability engineers.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 14, 2002
Format: Paperback
Dr. Badre has written an interesting work which thoughtfully examines two important concepts: genre and cultural context. In addition to plenty of solid HCI theory and empirical data, Dr. Badre provides clear examples of how close attention to the genre of one's site and the cultural context in which it is most likely to be viewed will provide a more useful and pleasurable experience for the user. With these simple and powerful concepts, Dr. Badre provides some excellent guidance to new and experienced website designers.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Robert L. Todd on May 3, 2002
Format: Paperback
What use is a Web site if no one uses it? Too many Web design books and development tools provide cut-and-paste solutions to design problems without providing the developer with an understanding of fundamental principles.
This is where Dr. Badre's book enters the scene - in a big way. "Shaping Web Usability" does just what it promises, providing clear, cogent instruction in designing sites for people in all their needs and diversity. It promotes a robust methodology for Web design that can adapt to user requirements without sacrificing logic or cohesion. Badre's process also helps one communicate methodology and design issues to others. This book gave me the grounding I needed to explain to clients exactly why I had made a particular design decision and how it would benefit the site users.
If you are concerned about your site being used once it is published (and who isn't?), take a look at this book. It can't make your Web site for you, but it can help you identify and satisfy an online audience better than any other book on the shelves.
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