- Series: Interactive Technologies
- Paperback: 176 pages
- Publisher: Morgan Kaufmann; 1st edition (December 1, 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 155860569X
- ISBN-13: 978-1558605695
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.8 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 33 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,522,033 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Web Site Usability: A Designer's Guide (Interactive Technologies) Paperback – December 1, 1998
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From Library Journal
Spool and his buddies are usability engineers; they study how folks use computers. For the past couple of years, they have paid a lot of attention to how people use webbed interfaces for navigation and searching. Their research is counterintuitive to many design dictates, but it is well substantiated. Contrary to popular opinion, people do like information-dense sites, they do like long pages, and they will scroll forever as long as the page is designed to encourage scrolling. This is applied research at its best. Clearly written and well illustrated, the book allows users to put the findings to work for them. This book is required reading for anyone designing webbed interfaces for libraries and an essential purchase for all but the smallest public libraries. Additional information from the researchers can be found at (world.std.com/~uieweb).
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Without a doubt, the most important book I've read this year on Web design is Web Site Usability: A Designer's Guide. The book is easy to read and full of relevant information.--Bill Skeet Chief Designer, Knight-Ridder New Media
Even experienced Web designers should read these usability findings about 11 different site designs. Competitive usability testing is one of the most powerful ways of learning about design and this book will save you hours of lab time.----Dr. Jakob Nielsen, Nielsen Norman Group
This report challenges many of my assumptions about Web design, but that's a good thing. We're still babes in the woods, crawling along trying to distinguish the trees from the forest. Any sign posts are helpful, right now.--Mary Deaton, KNOWware -- Review
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None of the web sites that they used for their study look anything like what they did at the time of the study. In fact, they failed to get pictures of one of the web sites (from the 1996 Olympics) which was no longer available when they got around to writing this book. In most cases, the problems that were found at web sites were corrected long before the results of this research were produced which shows that this book may have been needed in 1996 but is useless today.
No information is given to us about the people who participated in the study. Were they novice users or well experienced in using the internet? We will never know. That information, however, can be critical when trying to design a web site. The study also examined one small part of usability of a web site. How easy was it for the participants in the study to find a particular piece of information at a particular web site? But is that really the only reason that we visit a web site? Is that the only aspect of usability? And does any of this mean anything when we don't know who the participants were?
In short, this book might have been somewhat useful had it been published in 1996 but it is useless and a complete waste of money in 1999.
I would dearly have liked to have known some demographic info about their sample of test subject - or even the sample size, which remains a complete mystery.
Other reviewers have pointed to the poor layout and design standards and I have to agree. It reads and looks like a corporate-commissioned report puffed up into a book-like object.
Notwithstanding all of the above reservations, I still rate this highly for its attempt, however flawed, to bring some numbers to bear on the mythology of web design and also for turning some conventions on their heads - even if we only end up admiring them better from that angle!
The book is a quick read and I took many notes, but the important thing that I gleaned from this book was how to make my site informational, easy to navigate through and what works and does not work as far as design and color are concerned. As a cruiser myself, I know what bores me, irritates me, frustrates ma and what appeals to me when I am on a mission to find information and when I want to find it fast. The information contained in this little was quite valuable in that regard.
This is NOT a book about design and the use of color, etc., but instead a book about making a site usable to the cruiser and then giving you, the reader, the information on how to attract users to your site, so that they wont get irritated or frustrated. Admit it, we all have been to those sites!!
I think one might be surprised when reading this book, that color, tons of pictures and graphics are not key elements in an informational website, and our preconceived notions will quickly be laid to rest!
Very good book for a newbie starting out on the road to web-design as well as seasoned designers.
"Web Site Usability" is excellent source of material for me when I'm trying to explain and/or justify differences in design approaches based on functional requirements. This book, which makes no pretense of being a comprehensive, academic review of theoretical methods instead presents a broad variety of *real world* attempts to solve web UI problems and then describes both the strong and weak points discovered. It is, if you will, a narrative approach to understanding the issues involved in usability design, and to a lesser extent, user interface design.
This narrative approach has proved far more helpful in dealing with the increasing numbers of non-technical folks who're being given the problem of creating interesting, usable, *and* attractive web sites than the typical academic approaches couched in jargon and steeped in rigid methodology.
Regardless of your degree of technical knowledge, reading this book will help you in establish a strong foundation for understanding usability in all its contexts.
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1. You are involved in designing a site that is solely information-oriented.