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Designing Web Usability

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  1,160 ratings  ·  39 reviews
New approaches for crafting effective sites. This book is a tutorial and exposition of the principles of Web site design. It aids users in building web sites that stand out from the noise of the web and bring them to the content in an effective and efficient way. This four-color book gives substantial critiques of existing Web site designs.
Paperback, 432 pages
Published January 1st 2000 by New Riders Publishing
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Creating Web sites is easy. Creating sites that truly meet the needs and expectations of the wide range of online users is quite another story. In Designing Web Usability: The Practice of Simplicity, renowned Web usability guru Jakob Nielsen shares his insightful thoughts on the subject. Packed with annotated examples of actual Web sites, this book sets out many of the design precepts all Web developers should follow./ This guide segments discussions of Web usability into page, content, site, an ...more
Sep 06, 2008 rated it really liked it
If you have anything to do with creating web sites or screen interfaces you need to read this book. Though the specifics and examples are often dated (published in 2000) the concepts still hold true.

Even if you don't care much for the tech details, you might find it interesting to learn why it is that some sites frustrate you and are more difficult to use.

A lot of my opinions and perceptions about web sites were formed or confirmed in this book.

I ordered this with a bunch of other graphic design
Scott Harbine
May 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Nelly Dashyan
good book
Graham Herrli
May 21, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: design-related
Nielsen writes at the beginning of this book that he aims to express principles that endure, yet even so, much of the book is outdated by now (fourteen years later). Nevertheless, from a historical perspective, it's a reasonably interesting snapshot of the state of the field of usability in 1999.

There is one section (pages 350-2) where Nielsen makes a list of predictions about how the internet will impact the future world. It's a fascinating read because there are predictions that are spot-on al
Paul Sidwell
Sep 19, 2010 rated it liked it
A great read for anyone involved in website design. True, some of the stats are irrelevant now, mostly due to the prolific availability of broadband internet connections, but his points remain the same: Keep it simple, and design it for your user.

A great complimentary book to this one is "Don't Make Me Think", by Steve Krug. Read my blog post about it here:
DWRL Library
Dec 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
Despite its 1999 publication date, this is a still-applicable guide to designing usable websites. It examines numerous examples to highlight the most critical design issues at the page and site levels, showing how they can work together to create an effective design. Anyone interested in an introduction to the foundational principles of web usability will likely find this an accessible and worthwhile read.
Apr 18, 2016 added it
Shelves: ux
I'm sure this was a great book when it was written, and there are still several nuggets of wisdom that a UI person can get out of it. However, it's difficult to wade through of all of the dated material to get to them.

I honestly can't recommend this book at this time. Web technologies advance at such a rapid rate, and there are so many other books out there, that I just think it's in the reader's best interest to focus on something more current.
Jan 31, 2009 rated it really liked it
Great book, lots of good lessons on designing usable web interfaces, but the author's emphasis on spartan design seems a bit dated given the pervasive availability of broadband connections. The 1 second rule seems a good one, but I think that the kb limit for any one page could be revised upward.

Mar 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: digital-strategy
Usability gnome Nielsen is best known for this work. It's still taken a decade for the basic insights he had to be effected in web projects. For example only in very recent times has content been considered alongside and as part of design, instead of being decoupled at every opportunity. Still relevant and worthy. ...more
This was the textbook for a web design course I took back in 2001. The analysis of websites for good and bad, was very helpful in developing a critical eye for my own designs. I agree with other reviewers that it is now dated, however I still browse it now and then, for a historical perspective on web design.
Feb 03, 2013 rated it liked it
Good book, but if you've read some other material about general usability this book isn't going to tell you much more.

The most important thing to retrieve from this book is that you should always aim to a simple and efficient interface, reducing the clutter and stuff that may overload the short-memory of the web user.
Mar 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
I read it back in 1999 and it was a great way to see the perspective of the user when designing websites. Things have changed so much, and even though some of the ideas in here endured, this book is really like reading something from the past, to help remind you of how far things have come. It will still sit on my shelf and remind me to focus on usability in all design.
Cody Sharp
Jun 27, 2016 rated it it was ok
I believe this book is now too outdated. Web trends and standards have moved far beyond what is discussed in this book. If anything, this book functions more as a web design history lesson. I would recommend Don't Make Me Think (Revisited) by Steve Krug if you're learning about web usability and design. ...more
jonathan berger
Sep 02, 2008 rated it did not like it
I've been hearing about this "game-changing" book for years, and finally picked it up on a bargain rack. Its hard to judge its impact in the late 1990s, but it doesn't hold up well, and Nielsen's tone is pretty irritating. ...more
Mar 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: work-related, design
Wonderful! I love that recommendations are so thoroughly research-based ... not just what "looks" good but what is effective. Reminds you what is really important -- the user! While this has been around for awhile, I still see a lot of user-unfriendly sites out there. ...more
Aug 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I read this meany years ago. But it was very handy as a reference for when I was writing my Master's Thesis.

I especially appreciated the pictures of sites and how Jakob broke them down into parts for discussion.
Aug 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Usability is a separate animal from CRO and Neilsen has had this game on lock way before it was ubiquitous and popular. The book is old and less relevant and basic on page usability has become much more common, but still a decent over view of the big ideas behind it.
Alexander Panfilenok
Dec 29, 2013 rated it it was ok
This book was actual 15 years ago. It is still actual for you if you have no idea about how all this things work. The most valuable content for me was the set of the website screenshoots from the past =) All other things are pretty banal.
John Wargo
Read this thinking it would help me with my current project, but it's way too dated to be useful. Would be interesting to see this updated, especially for mobile, but I found that I already knew most of the stuff in here. ...more
Apr 10, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: design-related
my guru!!!!!!!!!!! everyone should learn how to make effective web from here.
Theresia Tre
Dec 02, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: have-read
the guru with his two cents
Jul 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Beau geste!!!
Kristi Thompson
Mar 05, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Designing Web Usability : The Practice of Simplicity by Jakob Nielsen (1999)
Aug 16, 2010 added it
First read this in Uni, it's a great read 2nd time around.

Jan 11, 2011 rated it liked it
standard text for usability and web design.
Leonard Houx
I find it astounding that this book was first written in 1997. So much is still so useful. I especially recommend this book for anyone working in e-learning.
Mar 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a standard work. I wish every web designer would have read it. This way we would be free of bad designed websites.
Eric Brown
Jan 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ux-and-usability
One of the books that brought usability to the forefront. A good book for it's time. Don't both buying it, the examples are outdated. Instead, visit Jakob's website and subscribe to his feed. ...more
Jun 06, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: computers
Should be mandatory reading for all website designers.
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Jakob Nielsen is a leading web usability consultant. He holds a Ph.D. in human-computer interaction from the Technical University of Denmark in Copenhagen. He is also the principal of the Nielsen Norman Group which he co-founded with Dr. Donald A. Norman (former VP of research at Apple Computer). Before starting NNG in 1998 he was a Sun Microsystems Distinguished Engineer.

Nielsen founded the "dis

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