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Designing Web Usability

Book Description

Users experience the usability of a web site before they have committed to using it and before making any purchase decisions. The web is the ultimate environment for empowerment, and he or she who clicks the mouse decides everything. Designing Web Usability is the definitive guide to usability from Jakob Nielsen, the world's leading authority. Over 250,000 Internet professionals around the world have turned to this landmark book, in which Nielsen shares the full weight of his wisdom and experience. From content and page design to designing for ease of navigation and users with disabilities, he delivers complete direction on how to connect with any web user, in any situation. Nielsen has arrived at a series of principles that work in support of his findings: 1. That web users want to find what they're after quickly; 2. If they don't know what they're after, they nevertheless want to browse quickly and access information they come across in a logical manner. This book is a must-have for anyone who thinks seriously about the web.

Table of Contents

  1. Copyright
  2. About the Author
  3. Author’s Acknowledgments
    1. Publisher’s Acknowledgements
  4. A Message from New Riders
    1. How to Contact Us
      1. Visit Our Website: www.newriders.com
      2. Email Us from Our Website
      3. Call Us
  5. Preface
    1. Guide to This Book
    2. Preface to the 7th Printing
  6. 1. Introduction: Why Web Usability?
    1. Art Versus Engineering
    2. A Call for Action
    3. What This Book Is Not
    4. Why Everybody Designs Websites Incorrectly
  7. 2. Page Design
    1. Screen Real Estate
    2. Cross-Platform Design
      1. Where Are Users Coming From?
      2. Resolution-Independent Design
      3. Using Non-Standard Content
      4. Installation Inertia
      5. When Is It Safe to Upgrade?
    3. Separating Meaning and Presentation
    4. Response Times
      1. Predictable Response Times
      2. Speedy Downloads, Speedy Connections
      3. Glimpsing the First Screenful
      4. Taking Advantage of HTTP Keep-Alive
    5. Linking
      1. Link Descriptions
      2. Link Titles
        1. Guidelines for Link Titles
      3. Coloring Your Links
      4. Link Expectations
      5. Outbound Links
      6. Incoming Links
      7. Linking to Subscriptions and Registrations
      8. Advertising Links
    6. Style Sheets
      1. Standardizing Design Through Style Sheets
      2. Making Sure Style Sheets Work
    7. Frames
      1. Is It Ever OK to Use Frames?
    8. Credibility
    9. Printing
    10. Conclusion
  8. 3. Content Design
    1. Writing for the Web
      1. Keep Your Texts Short
      2. Copy Editing
      3. Scannability
      4. Plain Language
      5. Page Chunking
    2. Page Titles
    3. Writing Headlines
    4. Legibility
    5. Online Documentation
    6. Multimedia
    7. Response Time
    8. Images and Photographs
      1. Image Reduction
    9. Animation
      1. Showing Continuity in Transitions
      2. Indicating Dimensionality in Transitions
      3. Illustrating Change over Time
      4. Multiplexing the Display
      5. Enriching Graphical Representations
      6. Visualizing Three-Dimensional Structures
      7. Attracting Attention
    10. Video
      1. Streaming Video Versus Downloadable Video
    11. Audio
    12. Enabling Users with Disabilities to Use Multimedia Content
    13. Three-Dimensional Graphics
      1. Bad Use of 3D
      2. When to Use 3D
    14. Conclusion
  9. 4. Site Design
    1. The Home Page
    2. How Wide Should the Page Be?
      1. Home Page Width
    3. Splash Screens Must Die
    4. The Home Page Versus Interior Pages
      1. Deep Linking
    5. Metaphor
      1. Shopping Carts as Interface Standard
    6. Navigation
      1. Where Am I?
      2. Where Have I Been?
      3. Where Can I Go?
      4. Site Structure
      5. Breadth Versus Depth
    7. The User Controls Navigation
      1. Help Users Manage Large Amounts of Information
      2. Reducing Navigational Clutter
    8. Subsites
    9. Search Capabilities
      1. Advanced Search
      2. The Search Results Page
      3. Page Descriptions and Keywords
      4. Search Destination Design
    10. URL Design
      1. Archival URLs
      2. Advertising a URL
      3. Supporting Old URLs
    11. User-Contributed Content
    12. Applet Navigation
      1. Slow Operations
    13. Conclusion
  10. 5. Intranet Design
    1. Differentiating Intranet Design from Internet Design
    2. Extranet Design
    3. Improving the Bottom Line Through Employee Productivity
    4. Intranet Portals: The Corporate Information Infrastructure
      1. Intranet Maintenance
      2. The Big Three Infrastructure Components: Directory, Search, and News
    5. Intranet Design Standards
      1. Guidelines for Standards
      2. Outsourcing Your Intranet Design
    6. Managing Employees’ Web Access
      1. Hardware Standards
      2. Browser Defaults
      3. Search Engine Defaults
    7. Intranet User Testing
      1. Field Studies
    8. Conclusion
  11. 6. Accessibility for Users with Disabilities
    1. Web Accessibility Initiative
    2. Visual Disabilities
      1. ALT Attributes
    3. Auditory Disabilities
    4. Speech Disabilities
    5. Motor Disabilities
    6. Cognitive Disabilities
    7. Conclusion: Pragmatic Accessibility
  12. 7. International Use: Serving a Global Audience
    1. Internationalization Versus Localization
    2. Designing for Internationalization
    3. International Inspection
    4. Translated and Multilingual Sites
      1. Language Choice
      2. Multilingual Search
    5. Regional Differences
    6. International User Testing
      1. Overcoming the Language Gap
      2. How Many Countries Should You Test?
      3. Thanking Your Participants
    7. Methods of Testing
      1. Travel Yourself
      2. Remote User Testing
      3. Usability Labs for International Testing
    8. Self-Administered Tests
    9. Conclusion
  13. 8. Future Predictions: The Only Web Constant Is Change
    1. Long-Term Trends
    2. Information Appliances
      1. WebTV
    3. Death of Web Browsers
    4. Slowly Increasing Bandwidth
    5. Metaphors for the Web
      1. The Telephone
      2. The Television
    6. Restructuring Media Space: Good-Bye, Newspapers
    7. Conclusion
  14. 9. Conclusion: Simplicity in Web Design
    1. Home-Run Websites
    2. Best of Times or Worst of Times?
  15. Recommended Readings
    1. Books
      1. Usability
      2. Hypertext
      3. Web Technology
    2. Read My Next Book
  16. Colophon