Usability: 55 Websites Deconstructed
Jakob Nielsen, Marie Tahir
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
The book begins with a briefing on Jakobs Web usability
principles, themselves culled from years of research.
The fifty sites fall under five categories of ten
each: media sites; entertainment sites; technology
sites; business sites; and etc. The content is simply
presented: fifty, two-page spreads, each dedicated
to a specific Web sites homepage. Only the homepage
of each site is analysed. On the left-hand page
is a large image of the homepage accompanied by
a brief summary of the sites context. On the right-hand
page are arrows pointing to each component of the
home page with Jakobs comments. There will also
be a summarising few paragraphs where Jakob explains
his analysis and offers suggestions for improving
the design for usability
Quick! You have 10 seconds to show your face to
the world! What does your homepage say? 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 good and not so good
first impressions. This book contains hundreds of
examples that you can employ on your own homepage.
Apply the best. Avoid the worst.
About the Author
Jakob Nielsen is known as the father of web usability.
His interviews frequently appear in media from academic
journals to Wall Street Journal and USA Today, as
well as television appearances. He is a principal
of the Nielsen/ Norman Group, which specialises
in consulting and research on usability and design
issues. Other books published by this author- 1.
Designing Web Usability (New Riders, 12/99) 2. Usability
Engineering (Morgan Kaufman, 1993).
Description by Amazon
Homepage Usability is a truly wonderful book. Not
only is it a great resource for anyone wanting to
learn about the strengths and weaknesses of homepage
web design, it is also an example of simplicity
and effective design in itself.
The reader is well advised to draw their own conclusions
from the example homepages that are dissected by
Jakob Nielsen and Marie Tahir. Nielsen may at times
appear dogmatic about the observations he makes
of web sites, however, his ideas always stimulate
self criticism, and this is were his work is most
valuable. By championing the cause of usability,
Nielsen challenges the web designer to re-evaluate
and improve their solutions. Of all Nielsen's books
this is by far his most generally accessible and
approachable work thus far.
Review by AbleStable®
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