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Back to the User: Creating User-Focused Web Sites

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Back to the User: Creating User-Focused Web Sites


  • Sorry, this book is no longer in print.
Not for Sale


  • Copyright 2002
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-7357-1118-6
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-7357-1118-1

Back to the User integrates Web design, navigation and content considerations with effective branding and marketing guidelines. By teaching those that create websites how to think like the people who use them, this book enables web marketers and developers to create sites that people want to, and can successfully, use.

The authors offer their readers an approach to engaging target users in the development process early on and in a meaningful way so that the very premise of a site is driven by the needs and desires of its users. The book provides countless examples of common mistakes that even the best websites make and offers solutions that are geared to get everyone on a web development team, from CEO to programmer, viewing the site from the userß³ perspective.

This book is intended for:

  • Senior management of companies, large and small, who are about to build or rebuild a Website
  • Web designers, developers and information architects
  • Web marketers and consultants
  • Advertising agency creatives, planners and account executives
  • Anyone else in an organization who is involved in creating Websites

Sample Content

Online Sample Chapter

Your Homepage Is a 30-Second Window of Opportunity: Don't Be Shy!

Downloadable Sample Chapter

Click below for Sample Chapter related to this title:

Table of Contents



1. Why Your Web Site? For That Matter, Why Our Book?

How to Engage Target Users in the Development Process. Who Are We, Anyway? We Thought You Would Never Ask. How We Organized This Book.

2. Use Research, Make It Actionable, Then Act on It While It's Hot.

Why Do Research Anyway? The Benefits of Web Development Research “What's My ROI?” I've Bought into the Idea, Now Tell Me What I Need to Know to Make Research Pay for Itself.


3. Your Homepage Is a 30-Second Window of Opportunity: Don't Be Shy!

Show Them What You Have to Offer. Strut Your Credentials, Particularly Where They Matter. Don't Have Credentials? Beg and Borrow (But Don't Steal) 'Em! Use Your Real Estate Wisely. Make Sure Your Design Is in Service to Your Concept. Your Homepage Should Serve Your Strategic Goals. The More the Merrier Figure Out Who Your Customers Are and Welcome Them. Tell the Truth Up-Front Bad News Is Worse in the Check-Out Aisle!. A Few Hard Questions.

4. Understanding How Users “Bucket” Your Space Better Use Their Language, Because They Are Not There to Join Your Company.

And This Site Would Be About…? I Love Your Org Chart... Too Bad I'm Not Looking for a Job. What Fascinating Categories You Have! Each One a Mystery Unto Itself. I Know the Web Is a Creative Place, But You're Losing Me. From Russia with Love and the Limited "Role" Russian Dolls and Rollovers. I Don't Want to Put Myself in That Category Either, and Don't Call Me a Baby-Boomer! Confronting the Unfamiliar: Start by Looking Outside Your Organization. Just Because Every Department Wants a Button on the Homepage Doesn't Mean They Need One. And Don't Forget to Ask: “Are We Offering What Target Users Want and Expect?” The View from 30,000 Feet. A Few Hard Questions.

5. It's Okay to Be Different: Just Make Sure People Know What You Offer.

Loved the Show, But Save It for Broadway May I Please See My Checking Account Balance Now? Knock It Off, Picasso! Art Is for the Walls. Designers Work in Mysterious Ways Iconography Is Only Compelling in Church. Bells and Whistles Can Sink Your Anchors. Go Iconoclastic! But Navigate at Your Own Risk. Make Sure the Site Is in Sync with the Brand. The View from 30,000 Feet. A Few Hard Questions.

6. People Don't Read: Don't Make Them!

If They Want to Read a Novel, They'll Buy One. Let Your Pictures Do the Talking. Pictures Don't Have to Say a Thousand Words, But They Need to Say Something That Makes Sense. An Image Can Be Worth a Thousand Words... But Not If It Whispers. Images Often Work Harder Than Words. People Are Just as Literal with Words. First Things First Begin with Important Features. Tell People—Briefly—What You Want Them to Do. Save People from the Garden Path. If Your Mom Can't Read It, the Print's Too Small! The View from 30,000 Feet. A Few Hard Questions.

7. Just Because the Competition Does It That Way, Doesn't Mean It's Right.

Jump Off the Bandwagon! Model Online Processes After Offline People Design with Logic That Is Easy to Follow. Don't Reinvent the Wheel Online, Either!


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