- Paperback: 216 pages
- Publisher: New Riders; 1 edition (October 20, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0321884485
- ISBN-13: 978-0321884480
- Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 0.4 x 6.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 16 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,265,229 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Mobile Usability 1st Edition
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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.
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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. Pizza Hut will starve you by the time you order dinner for carry-out on your cell phone (BTW this is still true; last night I tried to order a Pizza from my Android but got so frustrated I finally called the store to manually order). And so on. The examples are profoundly instructive.
For those who find this book pricey, know that the NN/g staff publishes a wealth of articles on their website for free. Their writers may be mostly Harvard PHD types, but you don't have to drop major coin or enroll in post-grad courses to benefit from their knowledge.
Yet, if you have the few bucks for a classic paperback you'll read over and again, this one sells for fifteen bucks for the Kindle, and new for half-retail. I actually bought mine for full list at the bookstore as an impulse buy, and it was worth every penny with the next site I designed.
Furthermore, I just saw that Nielsen's "Designing Web Usability" is selling used for one penny and up (plus shipping, for sure), and it is still the BIBLE for web authors. So if you endeavor to design websites that just plain work, order that one too...
Read, learn, write simply, educate others.
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.