50 Websites DeconstructedBook - 2002
A guide to designing for the Web critiques existing Web sites including Amazon.com, Yahoo.com, MTV.com, Drugstore.com, and NewsNow.co.uk, and suggests simple solutions for improving site usability.
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.
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)