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Homepage Usability: 50 Websites Deconstructed: Real World Usability Deconstructed (Voices That Matter) [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Jakob Nielsen , Marie Tahir
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Kurzbeschreibung

5. November 2001 Voices That Matter
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.

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Produktinformation

  • Taschenbuch: 336 Seiten
  • Verlag: New Riders Publ (5. November 2001)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 073571102X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0735711020
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 25,2 x 25,3 x 1,8 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4.3 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (3 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 42.808 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
  • Komplettes Inhaltsverzeichnis ansehen

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Produktbeschreibungen

Amazon.de

While there is a plethora of books available that provide tips on Web design, most authors leave a significant gap between the theory and practice--a gap that is left up to the reader to fill. Homepage Usability: 50 Websites Deconstructed boldly steps into that gap with specific observations and suggestions backed with solid quantitative analysis. This book focuses only on home page design as the most important point of presence for any Web site.

This definitive work is coauthored by Jakob Nielsen--the accepted industry expert in Web usability--and Marie Tahir, an expert in user profiling. Their collaboration has produced a guide of such rare practical benefit that Web designers will likely wear out their first copy scouring the pages to savor every last morsel of wisdom.

The book begins with a chapter of precise guidelines that serve as a checklist of the features and functionality to include on your home page. The specifics found in categories such as "revealing content through examples" and "graphic design" will quickly hook you and whet your appetite for more. These guidelines are followed up with hard statistics and an examination of the ominous Jakob's Law: "Users spend most of their time on other sites than your site." Here you'll find some interesting statistics about how various conventions like search, privacy policies, and logos are used.

All this leads up to the showcase element of the book--a systematic deconstruction of 50 of the most popular home pages on the Web. The authors painstakingly pick apart each in an uncompromising autopsy of usability. Each site is graphically analyzed for its use of real estate and summarized with the frankness only found from true experts. Then each section of the home page is bulleted and analyzed for potential improvements.

It's a bold move to offer a critique of industry-standard Web sites such as Yahoo, CNET, and eBay, but the authors have done such a fine job that the designers of those sites will surely make reading this book a high priority. For the rest of us, this work will serve as an invaluable gospel. --Stephen W. Plain

Topics covered: Design guidelines, convention usage, screen real estate, navigation, content presentation, search facilities, links, graphics and animation, advertising, news, customization, and customer feedback.

Synopsis

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.

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12 von 12 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Der Nutzer im Vordergrund 8. März 2002
Format:Taschenbuch
Jakob Nielsen ist eine Autorität in Sachen Web-Usability, der anhand zahlreicher Regeln aufzeigt, was dem Nutzer schon auf der Startseite vermittelt werden sollte und welche Fehler bei Navigation, Texten und Gestaltung ohne großen Aufwand verhindert werden können.
Das Buch dient mir, nachdem ich es durchgelesen habe, als Nachschlagewerk und Checkliste für Benutzerfreundlichkeit.
Man muß dem gelegentlich etwas pedantischen Jakob Nielsen allerdings nicht immer bedingungslos folgen.
Ein sehr praktisches Buch, das mit vielen Aha-Effekten aufwartet und den wichtigsten Faktor einer Website bedingungslos in den Vordergrund stellt: den Nutzer
War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Viele, viele Beispiele - vielleicht zu viele 17. Mai 2005
Format:Taschenbuch
Der Guru Nieslen nimmt hier Homepages auseinander. Gekonnt und mit spitzer Feder. Da kann jeder viel lernen, und hoffentlich besser machen. Zur regelmäßigen Lektüre als Anregung, Abschreckung und Anleitung empfohlen - zum Durchlesen wird die Auflistung aber auf Dauer ermüdend.
War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?
9 von 13 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen sehr gutes, anschaulich illustriertes Buch 16. Dezember 2001
Von Sidonie
Format:Taschenbuch
Das Buch zerlegt viele amerikanische Firmenpages und erklärt, wie es gemacht wurde, worauf es ankommt, was nicht optimal ist ....
Super Buch, dass man auch mal gemütlich im Bett lesen kann ohne vorm PC zu sitzen.
Man kann viele Tricks und Kniffe bei eigenen Projekten anwenden bzw. aus Fehlern lernen.
Tolle finde ich die großflächigen farbigen Bilder, die die komplette Homepage zeigen.
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Amazon.com: 3.7 von 5 Sternen  77 Rezensionen
37 von 37 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen 50 Web Site Deconstructed 30. Mai 2003
Von "sherzodr" - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
According to this book, users spend most of their time on other sites than your site... When a user visits your site, he/she will be bringing a large load of mental baggage accumulated from prior visits to thousands of other home pages. So by the time they reach your web site, users have accumulate a generic mental model of the way a homepages are supposed to work, based on their experience on these other sites.
It is a very interesting point. According to authors of the book, there are few large web sites that might count themselves among the first 10 to 20 sites visited by new users. And design of these web sites dictate the design conventions that a user will expect when he/she visits other web sites.
Example of some of these conventions mentioned in the book are:
upper-left corner is the best place for a site logo
upper-right corner are more generic locations for search widgets and "help" links
Navigation of the site is best usable either as a tab-style (such as in amazon.com) or as a column on left side of the page (such as in CNN.com)
Links should be blue-underlined, and visited links should be purple-underlined
footer navigation links should be only for "foot-note-related" content and should be limited to no more than 7 links
on and on it goes
So how do authors derive these conclusions? The process is actually very interesting. They conduct studies of top 50 chosen web sites and group their findings into conventions.
The book also "deconstructs" those 50 chosen Home Pages, and provides annotated analysis. You may find it interesting. Among those are such sites as About.com, Accenture.com, Yahoo.com, BBC Online, CNET, Disney, eBay, Microsoft, IBM and many more.
Although majority of the book is on annotating home pages, authors also give some generic tips on home page design. Some of those tips I recall are:
liquid page layout is preferred over fixed sized tables
the most optimal page width is 760 pixels (for fixed layout)
page length of the homepage should be around two full screens, but not more than four
frames suck big time
horizontal scrolling is the curse
"Guest Books" are not for pros
Do not use exclamation marks!
and on and on it goes
While reading homepage annotations, I felt very strong emphasis on the title of the homepages (the one between <title> and </title> tags). These tags are easily left un-noticed, one would think. But properly chosen titles make big difference while bookmarking your page. Try it yourself.
In other words, do not start your titles with "The" and "Welcome", because in person's favorites lists, it would be misplaced in the alphabetical order.
I strongly recommend this book to anyone venturing in Web Designs.
P.S. Although the book is on Home Page usability, the book itself doesn't seem "usable" at all. Size of the book is so clumsy that doesn't fit in a standard sized book shelf.
83 von 91 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
2.0 von 5 Sternen Bitterly disappointing and over-commercialized 16. Dezember 2001
Von Jeffrey Eisenberg - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
In the past Jakob Nielsen has written intelligent and cutting-edge commentary on the state of online usability. When it comes to software and web usability he has only a handful of equals. This book is a huge let-down following his excellent book, "Designing Web Usability" - that is a must read. Anything worth learning in "Homepage Usability" is already in "Designing Web Usability."
Jakob Nielsen goes well beyond usability here. He now either believes he is qualified to give sales, marketing, copywriting and advertising advice or, as the hefty price-tag for this book indicates, he may have just sold out. The latter may be truer. Evidence for this is how he recently sent out his widely-read newsletter with advertising suggestions for Google.com without disclosing the nature of his financial relationship to the company.
Deconstructing homepages is only a somewhat useful exercise anyway. Most user actions take place deeper within the site. The goal of the homepage is not just usability, but to persuade the visitor to click beyond. Nielsen misses this completely when he offers advice suggesting that navigational elements never be repeated. Does he believe every user studiously examines every navigational element before deciding what to do next?
Here are another couple of examples of how poorly thought-out, inconsistent and inaccurate his advice is:
+ Internal Search Engines - Advising that every homepage must have a search engine input box contradicts research that shows how inefficient search queries are for most users and how it compromises conversion
+ Copywriting - Dogmatically proclaiming that exclamation points don't belong on homepages is arrogance running headlong into ignorance. Good copywring is sensitive to context.
There are dozens of other examples as curious as these. It's possible to glean good usability advice from this book. However, how will the average reader separate the wheat from the chaff?
This is an attractively packaged - but not user-friendly - coffee table book. I'll be using it to stabilize the uneven leg of my coffee table.
25 von 25 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Definitely not scannable 28. Januar 2002
Von Marsha - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
The first 50 or so pages provide a good summary of the authors' advice on making web sites usable, and back some of it up with statistics. This is valuable information.
The remainder of the book is comprised of the home page reviews. On page 55 the authors state, "Some of our comments may seem picky; we have tried to comment on everything big and small. In terms of sheer volume, the smaller usability items dominate the reviews. Most of these minor problems will not prevent a determined user from using the site, so they are not true usability catastrophes like the ones we often find when we study people trying to complete an entire task on the web." This pretty much tells you what you will see in the remainder of the book.
Unfortunately, the reviews do not make it clear whether the authors consider each home page a usable home page or not. Positive comments and problems are both noted in the home page reviews, but not visually differentiated from each other. In addition, there is usually no indication as to whether a given comment represents a "minor problem" or a "usability catastrophe". Nor is there any indication as to which review findings are supported by research; many seem to be based purely on the personal opinions and preferences of the authors. I disagreed with many of these statements based not only on my own browsing experience, but also on my experience providing user support. These factors limited the usefulness of the reviews for me.
33 von 36 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Heuristic evaluation in a coffee-table book 12. Februar 2002
Von David Walker - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
Web site usability has come a long way. For proof, just consider the strange case of Dr Jakob Nielsen.
Back in 1995, Dr Nielsen was a Sun Microsystem Usability software usability expert with a string of published papers and books on topics such as "heuristic evaluation". Nielsen had spent a chunk of his career analysing the benefits of quick-and-dirty usability methods such as heuristic evaluation, where a group of experts rate a system's compliance with established usability norms. But such methods remained generally underappreciated, and Dr Nielsen's books and papers were read by a relatively small group of fellow specialists. In 1995, with Web sites becoming a popular new type of "software", Dr Nielsen started publishing his thoughts at his own Web site, useit.com.
Now move forward seven years, and here is Dr Nielsen again, peering out of the front of a book through neat glasses, wearing a red tie and perfectly mismatched greenish-blue shirt, with hair just long enough to mark him as a child of the 1960s. Except now Dr Nielsen is famous and runs sell-out executive lecture sessions on Web site usability. And the book out of which he is peering is not a scholarly tome but a big, glossy, full-colour 320-page compendium of heuristic evaluations on some of the world's best-known Web sites. It's called "Homepage Usability".
Yes, it's the world's first coffee-table usability book.
And if you can get over the price, "Homepage Usability" is both a useful contribution to the discipline, and more fun than you'd think. It's a set of design rules centred around an examination of the home pages for 50 major sites, including the highly-valued (Amazon, Yahoo, eBay, Google), the worthy (PBS, Art Institute of Chicago) and the famous (CNN, Google, BBC Online).
"Homepage Usability" is particularly useful because Nielsen and collaborator Marie Tahir use these 50 sites not just as a gimmick but also to help define the "standard" treatments of elements on a Web page. They do so in the belief that rather than learning a new interface on every site, users prefer your site to work the same way as the last dozen they were on.
Others, notably Michael Bernard from the Software Usability Research Laboratory at Wichita State University, have researched the placement of basics like navigation and search. Nielsen and Tahir analyse their 50 pages statistically and confirm and extend Bernard's work. For instance, their analysis of links to privacy information suggests that people will expect to see such a link on a site's home page (43 of the 50 had it there), and that it should be labelled "Privacy Policy" (20 of the 43 did this).
On top of the 15 pages of statistical analysis, Neilsen and Tahir also offer 25 pages of heuristics - rules - on eveything from displaying logos to communicating site problems. Many of these rules will be familiar to Web design veterans and to readers of Nielsen's last book, "Designing Web Usability".
Once the rules are finished with, Nielsen and Tahir take you into the instructive and oddly entertaining 240-page dissection of those 50 sites. They seek out and pull apart every misplaced button and vague label. The label "MTV news gallery" obscures the richness of the MTV site's feature articles. Drugstore.com probably thought the term "shopping bag" appropriate, but "shopping cart" has become an accepted term. And ExxonMobil might have thought their front page oil rig photo looked arty, but "oil companies would best avoid photos that show large shadows in the water next to their rigs". Heh, heh.
The home pages themselves are displayed at full-page size. Some of the comments verge on pedantry, but there's praise too - the informative headlines on CNN, the well-described sign-in at Amazon. And the sheer weight of commentary eventually starts pushing you to think more rigorously about how users see your own pages.
Many Web designers, especially the less pragmatic and those without formal training, hate Nielsen's approach. They can see it leaching the originality out of Web design. Neilsen makes no apologies for this; he believes the content should outshine the look, and he once wrote an essay entitled "The End Of Web Design".
Commercial operators may see a different reason for suspicion. The likes of Amazon and Yahoo have been around long enough, and have experimented enough, to know exactly what produces commercial results for them. Heuristic evaluations never ask what is working in a particular case; they just apply standards. As Graham Hamer notes in his review below: if Amazon wants to label a link "Friends and Favorites", it's probably because the link is known to provoke the desired book-buyer behaviour - regardless of what Jakob Nielsen thinks. Heuristic evaluation has its limits.
Within those limits, heuristics have real power. Usability commentators like Steve Krug, author of the excellent "Don't Make Me Think", argue that the average user is a myth and all Web use is essentially idiosyncratic, so the only way to design is to test. But the truth is that almost every designer uses heuristics at some point, adopting elements because they are familiar and because there isn't the time or the budget to test. They're too useful to resist. So is this book.
22 von 23 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Love JN or hate him, you have to read Homepage Usability 19. Dezember 2001
Von M. Bradley - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
A decent overview of the corporate homepage as first impression, with its own conventions and caveats.
Drawbacks: Each page -- all 50 of 'em -- is critiqued in unprioritized detail, the book's worst oversight. Most developers have mission-critical tasks, and some of JN's pronouncements are nothing but opinion, not proofs backed up by research. Minor proofing errors just aren't on the same level as critical path architectures, and the book doesn't differentiate this for readers.
Sheer volume does work in one area, however: the most interesting part of the book is the appendix, which offers side-by-side comparisons of all 50 sites that zoom in on particular aspects of design: page titles and taglines, screen real estate breakdowns, search features, and more. These comparisons reveal the homepage as a landscape with its own map, for good or ill.
The best reason for a web professional to read this book is that most decisionmakers for corporate websites will read this and declare expertise. It's good to be armed -- and love him or hate him, JN is quoted often enough that he can't be ignored. So read it, but make sure to pursue alternate points of view.
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