Designing Usable Web Interfaces

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9780130888549: Designing Usable Web Interfaces

For course in Introduction to Web Design and Development. Using simple and easy-to-understand language, analogies, actual web site examples, and a case study, this book explores the planning, conceptualizing, and designing of usable, high-quality, efficient, and effective web sites. Written from the practical perspective of web designers and developers, the focus of the book is helping readers develop the basic insights that will allow them to approach the task of web design with confidence.

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From the Back Cover:

A must read for all beginning web designers!

Designing Usable Web Interfaces provides

  • Overview of web site styles
  • Step-by-step outline of the development process
  • Personnel roles in web development
  • Critical web design decisions for information architecture, interface design, and writing
  • Various methods for establishing the success of a web site
  • Comprehensive case study containing development experiences and challenges at each stage, along with examples of the outputs
  • Guiding Questions and Exercises help the reader apply learning to practical issues

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

The contents of this book have twirled around in my head for several years, during which time I have been fortunate to experience the multimedia and the web industries in different contexts and in different parts of the world. I have had the opportunity to contribute to (and experiment with) the processes of the industry and observe the intricacies of the organizational and human interactions that impact these processes. My observations lead me to believe that a logical process, continuous evaluation, healthy team dynamics, and an ability to learn from our mistakes can make the industry much more efficient and effective. This book is an attempt to share some of these observations and thoughts.

I hope that this book will help web designers create comfortable, easy, pleasing, and meaningful experiences for their users. In addition, I hope that this book will not only provide answers to the questions of web design but will also help designers ask the right questions—to themselves, their team, their target audience, and their clients—the end result being the design of effective web-based communication.

Writing this book has been a challenging experience. However, I have had some of the most pleasant experiences as I interacted with artists, web designers, and organizations with a request to include their sites in this book. I have been amazed at how cordial, friendly, and receptive most of these people were. If the readers of this book find some value in it, a lot of that credit goes to the kind people who gave me permission to include their work in this book.

Raghu Reddy (whose illustrations you see in this book) has been a great friend and colleague to work with. We worked literally from halfway around the world (Singapore to the United States) to bring the text and the images together.

Christopher Altman, Sydney Aron, and Java Mehta worked on the Creations web site that is the basis for the case study in Chapter 9. Chris, with his ever-positive attitude, was a wonderful colleague to work with. Sydney carried out the critical stage of the usability study with extreme efficiency. Java was involved in the project for a short while but made significant contributions to the design of the site.

The Art Institute of Atlanta willingly agreed to be the "client" in the case study Kim Resnik and Chef Paul patiently answered questions and provided the information that was essential for the completion of the project.

The contribution of Jeremy King, Brian King, Dr. Mildred Cody, and Wendy Riley as participants in the usability study was invaluable. Their candid comments and insightful observations were most helpful in identifying usability issues of the web site.

Tina Miletich has proven that usability, efficiency, aesthetics, and good design can actually work together. I am grateful to her for writing the foreword to this book.

My colleagues at The Art Institute of Atlanta are a great bunch of people to work with. Discussions with them have helped me ask the right questions and develop a deeper appreciation for the skills and perspectives that go into creating "effective" communication design.

Judy Casillo, the managing editor of this book, always had an encouraging word and was always prompt in responding to my many queries. Bridget Lulay, project editor at Carlisle Communications, has been amazingly patient in addressing my many "concerns." I have learned so much about the print production process from her. Denise Brown, Senior Production Editor, quietly worked in the background and was meticulous in her review of the manuscript. I am sure to use some of these lessyns in my future web projects.

Dr. Vivian Beaty, Henry Ford Community College, and Deanne DelVecchio, Lake Tahoe Community College, provided excellent suggestions for improving the relevance of the book to students.

Jashoda Bothra provided valuable suggestions for improving the flow and consistency of this book. Thanks Jashoda for working against a tough deadline and for your support.

I would be naive if I believed that this was my project. The truth is that this project has become a reality with the help of all those mentioned here and of family and friends (especially, Priya, Surangiben, Kathy Ruma, Neepa, and Paddu) who have unceasingly provided direct and indirect personal support to me. I humbly thank you all.

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Jadav, Ameeta D.
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