BookReview: Prioritizing Web Usability
by Jakob Nielsen, Hoa Loranger, New Riders Press, April 20, 2006, 978-0321350312
Jakob Nielsen and Hoa Loranger make their money helping large companies create better UIs. I commend them. This book is a rehash of Nielsen's earlier work on usability. He admits this clearly in that he presents it as a retrospective. However, there's nothing new, really. They are great suggestions, but we need more, e.g., it would be great if he gave us advice how UI consultants can get people who work in large companies to heed their advice. We know what it takes to make a good UI, and there are plenty of examples on the Web, yet big and small companies seem to create awful UIs as a matter of policy. Don't Make Me Think by Steve Krug at least takes a stab at this. It's sad that Nielsen doesn't share his vast experience in this area.
I find this a very strong statement for which the authors do not present data:
As Web sites improve, search engines will confiscate almost all the increased profits they gain from increased usability. In other words, search engines need do nothing but watch their incomes grow as mainstream Web sites do all the hard work of improving the Web. Is this fair? No. But the reality is that search engines drive much of the new traffic that a site can hope to attract.
Via Rob 8/25/2007
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