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Designing Web Usability  RSS feed

Johannes de Jong
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This book is widely regarded as a web usability classic. Not everyone loves it, though. Opinions range from "he is a genius" to "the book is obsolete". The book is bigger than it need be. Nielsen argues strongly that web sites should be concise, but that doesn't carry over into his writing. In several places a paragraph or two seemed very familiar, having already been used earlier. There are lots of colour screenshots of web pages, mostly to point out flaws.
I agree with most of what he says: Make things simple, easy and effective for users; make your pages download as fast as you can; provide a site search and so on. Where he lets himself down is in speculating about what the internet might be like five, ten or even twenty years from now. This is a complete waste; I got fed up wading through it. It's also too heavy on opinion and too light on practical detail for me. Nielsen claims he plans to write a "how to" book, but that's no use now. The section on internationalization, for example, tantalizingly mentions a few things (US switches go "up" for "ON", European ones go "down"; don't use baseball metaphors etc.) then leaves it up to the reader with very little help. Well worth absorbing, but I won't often dip into it again.
Unless you are a collector, borrow it rather than buying.
(Frank Carver - sheriff, June 2001)
More info at Amazon.com
More info at Amazon.co.uk
More info at FatBrain.com

[This message has been edited by Johannes de Jong (edited June 24, 2001).]
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