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Homepage Usability: 50 Websites Deconstructed

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Homepage Usability: 50 Websites Deconstructed


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  • Visual Presentation—Demonstrates the importance of web site usability through easy-to-access visual critiques that show specifically what works and what doesn't in homepage design, rather than by simply discussing the concepts.
    • Allows students to see for themselves how the concepts work.

  • Actual Examples—Provides a full screen shot of each of the 50 homepages in the book as the basis for explaining each site's purpose and uncovering whether the homepage succeeds or fails at usability.
    • Provides students with a look at the website without having to go online.

  • Real-World Lessons—Based on the authors' own experiences designing a number of high-profile web sites, this book provides a concise and visually compelling learning tool on usability. It also features Jakob's web usability principles, culled from years of research.
    • Gives students advice from a well-known expert in the field.

  • Practical Applications—Presents a visual critique of each site as it relates to specific issues and practices of usability and offers detailed suggestions for improvement.
    • Provides hundreds of real-world examples that readers can incorporate into their own home pages.


  • Copyright 2002
  • Dimensions: Special (all other)
  • Pages: 336
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-7357-1102-X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-7357-1102-0

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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Table of Contents


The Role of the Homepage. The Organization of This Book. Your Action Items. The Companion Web Pages.

Homepage Guidelines.

What's Not in These Guidelines. The Guidelines. Communicating the Site's Purpose. Communicating Information About Your Company. Content Writing. Revealing Content Through Examples. Archives and Accessing Past Content. Links. Navigation. Search. Tools and Task Shortcuts. Graphics and Animation. Graphic Design. UI Widgets. Window Titles. URLs. News and Press Releases. Popup Windows and Staging Pages. Advertising. Welcomes. Communicating Technical Problems and Handling Emergencies. Credits. Page Reload and Refresh. Customization. Gathering Customer Data. Fostering Community. Dates and Times. Stock Quotes and Displaying Numbers. Homepage Design Conventions.

Homepage Design Statistics.

Download Time. Basic Page Layout. Page Width. Liquid Versus Frozen Layout. Page Length. Frames. Fundamental Page Design Elements. Logo. Search. Navigation. Footer Navigation. Site Map. Routing Pages. Splash Pages. Frequent Features. Sign In. About Us. Contact Info. Privacy Policy. Job Openings. Help. Graphics and Multimedia. Pictures. ALT Text. Music. Animation. Advertising. Typography. Body Text and Background Colors. Link Formatting. Recommended Homepage Design.


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