Authors: Jakob Nielsen & Hoa Loranger
Year of publication: 2006
Publisher: New Riders
This is a must have book for everyone who is seriously thinking about doing business on the World Wide Web, think about e-commerce sites that sell online and corporate sites that promote products that sell trough offline channels. However this book is not only about how to sell your products, it gives also great advice on how to gain more leads on your website (Attract both action and leads).
The book will guide you through different topics such as The User Web Experience, the measurements of success and how poor websites fails the productivity of a company. This is not only a good tool to understand how to do business on the web but also a guide trough the basics of web usability. Nielsen and Loranger take time to give us a better insight in different situations and give answer to important questions, such as:
How much is improved usability worth?
How to provide good product information?
How to avoid multimedia access?
How did users affect usability?
Below I will summarize the chapters I thought were most interesting
Chapter 1: Introduction
This part of the book explains why Nielsen and Loranger worked on this book and with what goals. It tells us how they did their study, what kind of research they did and how they collected the data and in short it teaches us the importance of user testing.
Chapter 2: The Web User Experience
This chapter state that a website has a timeframe of two minutes to communicate with a visitor the first time he or she visits the site. It explains how visitors use websites, what you should put on your homepage and what not, what search dominance is and how people use Search Engine Results Page (SERP).
Chapter 3: Prioritizing your Usability Problems
Usability can be the key to success or failure, Nielsen and Loranger guide you in this chapter trough interesting points such as what makes a problem severe (frequency, impact and persistence), what the scale of misery is and on what problems you should focus.
This is a relatively short chapter which is easy to read and very interesting for me as an upcoming marketer. Nielsen and Loranger make everything in this chapter sound very logical, after reading a lot of books for my studies I can say that that is not always the case.
Chapter 6: Navigation and information Architecture
Practically this chapter is full with tips. Some tips I thought were very helpful where why to use dropdown menus and why I should use multilevel menus. It answers questions that seem very simple but in practice are quite difficult to answers. Some of these questions are:
How to stay consistent?
How to match the site structure to user expectations?
How to reduce clutter?
Chapter 7: Typography
Chapter 8: Writing for the web
I consider these two chapters to be more for dummies; it explains the real basics of fonts and its accessibility. There are a lot of guidelines about basic stuff like how to write better online, why it is importance to know your audience (yepp, basics), and what the importance of colors is. I would recommend you to only read these chapters when you have no understanding whatsoever about the User Web Experience, A real dummy guide.
Chapter 9: Providing good product information
Very important and often done wrong: provide your audience with good product information. What does the audience want to know? Several items this chapter discusses are:
Where should you display your items?
How to win customer confidence?
Which information is key?
What are layer product pages and how do they work?
Who should read this book?
This book is really mend for people who have certain online business goals but aren’t sure how to make it all happen. It clearly explains all the way from the beginning to the end what people should do and what not, how to react to changes of the customer and how to stay consistent. This book can also be considered useful for people who already have an online business but who are in need for ideas or advice, for these two kinds of people Prioritizing Web Usability is very helpful.
About the authors:
Nielsen is a principal of Nielsen Norman Group and has been called ‘”the world’s leading expert on web usability” by U.S. news and World Report. Nielsen posts frequently columns on the inernet since 1995 and is the author of several books. (Source: Prioritizing Web Usability)
Loranger is a user-experience specialist at Nielsen Norman Group. She consults with well-known companies in different industries around the globe. She isn’t afraid to speak in public and has written a lot of reports on a variety of Web Usability Topics. (Source: Prioritizing Web Usability)