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Homepage Usability: 50 Websites Deconstructedby Jakob Nielsen
Synopses & Reviews
The book begins with a briefing on Jakob's web usability principles, themselves culled from years of research. The 50 sites fall under such categories as Fortune 500 Sites, Highest-Traffic Sites, and E-Commerce Sites.
The content is simply presented: Four book pages are devoted to each homepage. The first page is a clean screenshot of the site's homepage (for readers to make their own, unbiased judgments), followed by a page that explains the site's purpose and summarizes its success--or failure--at usabilty. The third and fourth pages are devoted to crtiques, where Jakob and Marie present no-holds-barred commentary for specific usability practices, as well as suggestions for improvement. Although only the homepage of each site is analyzed, many of the critiques can be applied to overall website design.
Book News Annotation:
Nielson and Tahir (web usability experts) offer tips on how to design a web homepage that elicits a favorable first impression. First, they analyze guidelines and statistics on what makes a site attractive and usable. Next, reviews of 50 websites illustrate solutions to design challenges, emphasizing both what's wrong with certain designs, and what works well. Topics include general issues (links, navigation, search, graphic design, URLs, advertising, welcomes, customization, tools and task shortcuts, and others) and statistics (download time, basic page layout, fundamental page design elements, navigation, typography, graphics and multimedia, and advertising). Heavily illustrated in color. Oversize: 10x10<">.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Usability is a way of measuring the effectiveness of design. It is a critical factor in the success of a company's Website. This book shows what works and what doesn't in Web design. It contains easy to access visual critiques of Websites.
Quick! You have 10 seconds to show your face to the world! What does your homepage say? In a world of information overload and dying dot.coms, your homepage must grab the attention of visitors, tell them where they are, and let them know where they can go. Does your site pass the test? Homepage Usability is all about making that first impression. Is your tag line effective? Can visitors find your search box? How difficult is the page to navigate? What percentage of your homepage is devoted to actual content? By putting 50 of today's top sites to the test, web usability experts Jakob Nielsen and Marie Tahir show you what makes for goodmdand not so goodmdfirst impressions. This book contains hundreds of examples that you can employ on your own homepage. Apply the best. Avoid the worst.
Beginning with a briefing of Nielsen's Web usability principles, each of this book's two-page spreads is dedicated to a specific Web site's home page, where each is analyzed and the author explains his analysis and offers suggestions for improving the design for usability.
About the Author
Dr. Jakob Nielsen
Jakob is principal of Nielsen Norman Group; he was previously a Sun Microsystems Distinguished Engineer. Nielsen's Alertbox column about web usability has been published on the Internet since 1995 (http://www.useit.com). Nielsen has been called "the world's leading expert on web usability" (U.S. News & World Report), "the guru of Web page usability" (The New York Times), and he "knows more about what makes web sites work than anyone else on the planet" (Chicago Tribune).
Marie is Director of Strategy at Nielsen Norman Group, where she has focused on B2B and B2C user experience redesign. She previously managed the Human Factors group at Intuit, Inc., where she introduced and taught user centered design methodology and oversaw the user experience of the TurboTax, ProSeries, and QuickenLoans product lines. Prior to Intuit, Marie was at Lotus Development Corp., where she pioneered field research and user profiling methodology and was responsible for the usability of the SmartSuite product line. She is the co-author of "Bringing the Users' Work to Us: Usability Roundtables at Lotus Development" in Wixon and Ramey's Field Methods Casebook for Software Design.
Table of Contents
The Role of the Homepage. The Organization of This Book. Your Action Items. The Companion Web Pages.
What's Not in These Guidelines. The Guidelines. Communicating the Site's Purpose. Communicating Information About Your Company. Content Writing. Revealing Content Through Examples. Archives and Accessing Past Content. Links. Navigation. Search. Tools and Task Shortcuts. Graphics and Animation. Graphic Design. UI Widgets. Window Titles. URLs. News and Press Releases. Popup Windows and Staging Pages. Advertising. Welcomes. Communicating Technical Problems and Handling Emergencies. Credits. Page Reload and Refresh. Customization. Gathering Customer Data. Fostering Community. Dates and Times. Stock Quotes and Displaying Numbers. Homepage Design Conventions.
Homepage Design Statistics.
About http://www.about.com. Accenture http://www.accenture.com. Amazon http://www.amazon.com. The Art Institute of Chicago http://www.artic.edu. Asia Cuisine http://www.asiacuisine.com.sg. Barnes & Noble http://www.bn.com. BBC Online http://www.bbc.co.uk. Boeing http://www.boeing.com. CDNOW http://www.cdnow.com. Citigroup http://www.citigroup.com. CNET http://www.cnet.com. CNNfn cnnfn.cnn.com. Coles http://www.coles.com.au. DIRECTV http://www.directv.com. Disney http://www.disney.com. Drugstore http://www.drugstore.com. eBay http://www.ebay.com. eMagazineshop http://www.emagazineshop.com. ESPN http://www.espn.com. ExxonMobil http://www.exxon.mobil.com. FedEx http://www.fedex.com/us. Federal Highway Administration http://www.fhwa.dot.gov. Florida Department of Revenue http://www.sun6.dms.state.fl.us/dor. Ford Motor Company http://www.ford.com. Gateway http://www.gateway.com. General Electric http://www.ge.com. General Motors http://www.gm.com. Global Sources http://www.globalsources.com. IBM http://www.ibm.com. James Devaney Fuel Company http://www.jamesdevaneyfuel.com. JobMagic http://www.jobmagic.net. Learn2 http://www.learn2.com. Microsoft http://www.microsoft.com. MotherNature http://www.mothernature.com. MTV http://www.mtv.com. NewScientist http://www.newscientist.com. NewsNow http://www.newsnow.co.uk. PBS http://www.pbs.org. Petsmart http://www.petsmart.com. Philip Morris http://www.philipmorris.com. PlanetRx http://www.planetrx.com. Red Herring http://www.redherring.com. Slusser's Green Thumb http://www.slussers.com. Southwest http://www.southwest.com. Ticketmaster http://www.ticketmaster.com. Travelocity http://www.travelocity.com. USA Today http://www.usatoday.com. Victoria's Secret http://www.victoriassecret.com. Wal-Mart http://www.walmart.com. Yahoo! http://www.yahoo.com.
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