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The Design of Sites: Principles, Processes and Patterns for Crafting a Customer-centered Web Experience [Paperback]

Douglas K. van Duyne , James A. Landay , Jason I. Hong
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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The Design of Sites: Patterns for Creating Winning Websites The Design of Sites: Patterns for Creating Winning Websites 5.0 out of 5 stars (1)
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Book Description

22 July 2002 020172149X 978-0201721492 1
Based upon extensive, ground-breaking research, The Design of Sites introduces a comprehensive, pattern-based approach to making web sites truly customer-centered. Using the 101 patterns presented here, Web and business professionals can learn from the industry's experience and best practices, and dramatically improve customer satisfaction and retention. The authors have chronicled visitors' behavior to find the patterns that emerge from experiences ranging from navigation to e-shopping, and to discover how individual site visits fit into users' larger goals of finding information and making purchasing decisions. Drawing on this research, The Design of Sites introduces proven principles, processes, and patterns for building customer-centered Web sites. Their patterns encompass virtually every key issue, including: creating powerful home pages; managing content; simplifying layouts and navigation; optimizing performance, and much more. For all Web designers, developers and decision-makers seeking to maximize the business value of their Web sites.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 816 pages
  • Publisher: Addison Wesley; 1 edition (22 July 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 020172149X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0201721492
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 18.9 x 3.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,058,935 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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From the Back Cover

“Stop reinventing the wheel every time you design a Web site! The Design of Sites helps you rethink your Web sites in terms of genres and patterns. Once you have identified the patterns and applied the best practices for those patterns as outlined in this book, you will reduce your design effort by 50 percent... at least!”

PAWAN R. VORA, Vice President, Information Architecture, Seurat Company

“The content in The Design of Sites could make a novice into a seasoned professional over a weekend. Many companies pay a fortune for the information contained in the book’s primary chapters.”

JOHN CILIO, Global marketing manager for the Web site of a leading international supplier of computer hardware, software, and services

“This book has many handy checklists for what you should and should not do in creating a conventional Web site. Just following the authors’ suggestions would put your site in the top few percent for readability and usability.”

JEF RASKIN, Creator of the Macintosh computer and author of The Humane Interface

“Now that The Design of Sites has made its appearance, we won’t have to put up with those poorly designed Web pages. These authors have captured patterns from successful Web designers, including their own experience in consulting and teaching, and have made this information accessible to all of us. The book is readable yet full of worthwhile information—a valuable addition to any Web designer’s bookshelf.”

LINDA RISING, Independent consultant and author of The Patterns Handbook, The Pattern Almanac 2000, and Design Patterns in Communications Software

“The Design of Sites bridges the gap from theory to practice and makes it possible for people in the Web-design space to use user-centered design principles in their work—without having to undertake extensive training.”

MAYA VENKATRAMAN, Human interface engineer, Sun Microsystems

“The coverage in The Design of Sites is excellent—issues go beyond the traditional ‘design the best page’ focus and do a good job of showing the context. I haven’t seen any other book with the kind of breadth this has.”

TERRY WINOGRAD, Professor of Computer Science, Stanford University, and editor of Bringing Design to Software

"Just following the authors' suggestions would put your site in the top few percent for readability and usability."

Jef Raskin, creator of the Macintosh computer and author of The Humane Interface

Creating a Web site is easy. Creating a well-crafted Web site that provides a winning experience for your audience and enhances your profitability is another matter. It takes research, skill, experience, and careful thought to build a site that maximizes retention and repeat visits.

The authors of The Design of Sites have done much of the research for you. Based on extensive investigation and analysis of more than a hundred high-quality Web sites, this book distills the principles and best practices that make sites enjoyable to visit and an asset to the organizations they serve. This comprehensive resource features a complete set of design patterns that offers proven solutions to common Web design problems. These patterns are applicable to a wide variety of site genres and address every aspect of Web site design, from navigation and content management to e-commerce and site performance. In addition to enhancing the usefulness and quality of your site, these patterns will shorten development cycles and reduce maintenance costs.

Whether you are involved in building a site for business, government, education, or entertainment, The Design of Sites will help you focus on the needs and expectations of your customers and give you the tools you need to create a satisfying and effective Web site.



About the Author

Douglas van Duyne is senior director of customer experience products and design at Keynote Systems, the worldwide leader in Web performance measurement and management systems. He was the cofounder, president, and CEO of NetRaker, a leader in customer experience management solutions, prior to NetRaker's acquisition by Keynote in April 2004. Doug has more than twenty years of entrepreneurial, management, and software design experience.

Doug's management experience includes positions at GO Corporation, an early portable computing developer, and software product design at KidSoft, a pioneering e-commerce company before the advent of Web-based shopping. As principal of Dune Design Group, Inc., he consulted on major Web site design projects for Intel, Safeway, Cooking.com, and healthshop.com.

Doug studied computer science, physics, visual arts, and music at the University of California, Berkeley, and he has a B. S. in computer science.

James A. Landay is a professor of computer science at the University of California, Berkeley, where he teaches courses in human-computer interaction. He is also the CTO and cofounder of NetRaker.

Jason I. Hong is a researcher at the University of California, Berkeley. He has worked at IBM Research, Fuji Xerox Palo Alto Laboratories, and Xerox Research, and is a consultant for eDealFinder.com.




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Customer Reviews

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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
This book sits on my desk at work and I am always referencing it. Its great for help when submitting tenders for designing websites - the writers anticipate what I want to say to a client, and checking back with the book helps me to structure my thoughts quickly and stay to the point.
The book has a clever referencing system, using colours, numbers and shapes, so that I can skip from one section to the next, following a logical trail. For example, Section F3 (Shopping Cart) references E1 (site branding), K4 (action buttons) and H1 (process funnel), so I know to check these areas before continuing.
This is a truly useful book, whether to teach new skills, to put clarity and focus on the tasks that come up again and again when designing sites, or set an example of structured thinking when tackling a completely new problem.
I recommend it for anyone who designs content managed sites.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An encyclopedia of best practices! 22 Aug 2003
Format:Paperback
This book is a must-have for all web designers! For novices it is a perfect introduction to designing a customer-centered user experience and for professionals it is a thorough 'reference manual'. During any web project you do, you'll find useful and practical information in this book. It's a book I wish I had written myself.
The book it literally packed with examples of best practices in many area's of web design and all of them are explained in easily understandable wordings. If you are looking for practical help, and not theoretical stuff, during a web design project, you'll find all you need in this book.
The only criticism I have is that it is such a thick book. But on the other hand, I am waiting for 'Design of Sites: Part II'......
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely essential book for web designers 9 Jan 2007
Format:Paperback
Whatever role you may have in the design, maintenance or construction of websites, this book is essential. While there are other books that are 'must haves', the Jakob Nielsen books and 'Don't Make Me Think' by Steve Krug, this book stands out in terms of the sheer quantity of essential information. Buy this book !
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
A book that proactively helps you in building your winning stories in e-business. It presents best success practices in an exceptionally reader-friendly manner to all e-business projects stakeholders (Analysts, proejct managers, team leaders, developers and quality assurance). It is a real time and fanincial saver; since common e-business functionallty is captured and correspondent solutions are presented as patterns. I think the next edition aught to have a section about ROI from web usability.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  33 reviews
51 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally! A design book for the rest of us 24 Aug 2002
By Mike Tarrani - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Nearly every book on user interface and site design I've read is aimed at the professional designer who understands the nuances of color, fonts and graphics elements, as well as aesthetics in general. Many of the subtle points are lost on the non professional.
The book begins with a short chapter on the foundations of good design, which provides principles, dispels myths, and stays focused on customer-centric goals. The heart of the book is Part II, which consists of 12 different design patterns based on real life examples. It leads you through each example, showing you how a particular design or design concept works and why. This is akin to the Rosetta Stone for the non-professional designer because the authors do not assume any talent of skills in design, and subtle points are highlighted and clearly explained. Because of this approach I finally understood concepts that had eluded me in the past. In addition to the clear explanations that distill design into patterns, the book is lavishly illustrated, using copious full color examples and a structured format that gives the background, frames the problem and provides a solution to each of the 12 design goals.
Material in the appendices is also invaluable, including advice on running usability evaluation, and associated plan outlines and forms. For a development group this is an extra bonus that will make it easier to incorporate the principles in this book into a quality process that gives customer-focused usability the same weight as technical quality criteria.

I'm so enthusiastic about this book that I've recommended to the company for which I work that a copy of this book be provided to each of our developers who are programming wizards, but who stumble when it comes to the user interface.
41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Invaluable resource 1 July 2003
By Stephen Parker - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is the first computer related book that I have bought and thought - "Perfect, just what I needed." What I like most about this book is that it spends so little time explaining why building user centered web sites is a good idea, and tells you exactly what techniques are used to create them. You can open the book up to almost any page, read a paragraph and get something out of it. It is clear that the authors spend alot of time laying out the book to make information retrieval easy.
Dont let "look inside" pictures that amazon has posted fool you - they are probably the only boring sections of the book. In part 2 (about page 100), the book gets really really good. For the next 500 pages they cover almost every area of of web design imaginable and present the areas in a problem - solution format. Many books dont offer concrete techniques, just tell you - "design for the user", "users hate poorly designed pages" etc etc. Each problem/solution is about 2 pages long, and they are web techniques that can be applied to almost every web site. They literally say to solve X problem do Y solution. Very specific, very useful.
The book also is good from cover to cover. I have found that alot of books are good for the first chapter and then loose quality. They present each "nugget of information" with the perfect amount of description - enough to explain why its useful, but not too much to drag on.
They also use these hand drawn pictures that I liked to show how a generic web page would function, instead of only pictures of pre-existing web pages ( which they also have ample examples) So you can actually apply it to your project instead of saying, I understand why hotmail looks the way it does. I would recommend this book to anyone, hands down.
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Substance over flash, usability over 'pop' 23 Sep 2002
By Matthew Tarpy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I admit it; I'm a sucker for web design books. Whenever a book comes out on the subject, I tend to rush to buy it, hoping it can show me how to improve my craft, and make the designs I create better and more effective. Most of the time I'm disappointed because the book is simply a paean to whatever the latest and 'greatest' is in the world of hip and hot design.
I don't want to know how to make what's hip and hot...I can figure that out for myself. What I want is to see how I can implement proven strategies that help users (my users) get things done as they use the product. And that's the true strength of this book; it's what it's all about. With almost 100 'patterns' of website design, this book breaks it down in simple, easy-to-get terms, that I, a technical usability specialist can understand and then turn around and reproduce. It's almost like a cookbook, in the sense that the book shows me:
1) What the patterns is, how it's used in the real world, and different flavors of it
2) Why the pattern is good, how it's been successful, and in some cases how it's been refined.
3) How the pattern works, what are it's components, and what does it need to be successful
4) And finally, what other patterns it's like, and how by incorporating parts of other patterns, I can strengthen my users' experience.
I want this...I don't have time to be reinventing the wheel every time my employer or a client wants a site. I need to be able to pick up a reference book and see exactly what a `community' site (or one of a hundred other types of sites) is like, so I have a good starting place to work from as I delve into what the project sponsor wants. This book helps me by already doing the leg-work of research into best practices, common features, and pitfalls. By giving me that already, I don't have to spend time doing figuring that stuff already out, and rather can spend time doing what's important...listening to my client, employer, and user base to figure out how to meet their specific needs, and make them all happy.
That's easily worth the price of admission.
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is a "Page Returner" 11 Mar 2003
By Gary W. Wheeler - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Have you ever wondered why you return time and time again to certain web sites yet there are others you wish not to return again?

One of the measurements of site success is customer retention. In order to retain your customers, you must know and understand them. Not all web sites have the same customer requirements but they do share some of the same principles. Van Duyne, Landay, and Hong provide the guidance to explain the differentiation of site categories, what they have in common and what customers expect out of them. They reveal how the top benchmark sites are developed from the customer viewpoint. They explain how a customer should know where they are on a site and to navigate, even if they enter the site 5 layers down.

The authors define eleven site genres and then discuss the various patterns that best fit specific type of site or general to multiple types of sites. There have been many books written on web usability and design ... but this book provides the reading experience that can be applied to any site.

Have you ever wondered why you return time and time again to certain books yet there are others you wish not to return again? This book is a "Page Returner."

This book is highly recommended.
32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Rare Book 26 Aug 2003
By Craig L. Howe - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It is a rare privilege to spend time with masters of their profession. It is rarer still to read a book written by them.
The Design of Sites: Patterns, Principles and Processes for Crafting a Customer-Centered Web Experience. Creating a website is easy. Creating a website that connects with your audience is not so easy. It takes planning, experience, an intuitive understanding of your audience and skill.
The authors have done much of the work. They have taken the time to reduce their knowledge to writing. Their book distills the practices that result in sites that draw repeat visitors to simple patterns, principles and processes. The book is comprehensive and easy to use. It can be read front-to-back. It can be read in snippets. It provides design solutions to common web design problems. Follow the patterns and you will shorten your development cycles and reduce your maintenance costs.
If you are in the Web Development or Design business, buy the book. I promise it will be dog-eared from use in a short period of time.
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