"Web Navigation", Jennifer Fleming, 1998, 1-56592-351-0,
%A Jennifer Fleming jennifer@...
%C 103 Morris Street, Suite A, Sebastopol, CA 95472
%I O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.
%O U$34.95/C$49.95 707-829-0515 fax: 707-829-0104 nuts@...
%P 288 p. + CD-ROM
%T "Web Navigation: Designing the User Experience"
Chapter one is supposed to address the definition of "navigation" for
the purpose of the book. Instead we have a very vague scolding of
site designers for not paying attention to user needs. While I am in
full agreement with the statement that Web design needs work, the
material here doesn't seem to help, or even start to point the way.
Most of the list of navigation principles, in chapter two, makes
sense. However, some get too involved in the latest cute technology,
and even fly in the face of one principle that is *not* included:
sites should not demand specific technologies. This point is tacitly
admitted in chapter three, where surveys of users note that demands to
However, the titular subject of designing for users seems to get a bit
lost. (There is also an odd reference to the "80/20 rule." Usually
this refers to the Pareto principle, but here it is used to suggest
that if 80 percent of your users are happy, that's good enough.) The
standard suggestions for site organization are given in chapter four.
Interaction design throws a few interesting conceptual ideas into
chapter five, but little useful advice. Chapter six uses a standard
planning cycle in a standard way.
The latter half of the book looks at example sites in six different
categories. Chapter seven reviews some retail sites, but in a very
limited manner. For example, a major concern is said to be security.
Reassuring a customer about security seems to be confined to stating
"our site is secure." Similarly, several questions are raised about
"community" Web sites but chapter eight's exemplar sites don't appear
to address those queries fully. It is difficult to say anything about
entertainment sites from chapter nine. I'm not even sure what chapter
ten refers to as "identity" sites, but they look a lot like simple
vanity pages. Perhaps the less said about education, in chapter
eleven, the better. Chapter twelve's look at "information" sites is
limited to the news media and more retail.
The first six chapters provide some directions for further reading.
There is also a "netography" in Appendix C.
This book is no worse than dozens of others on Web design, but it's no
copyright Robert M. Slade, 1998 BKWBNVGN.RVW 981017
rslade@... rslade@... robertslade@... p1@...
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