Customer Review

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Improving web navigation, 6 Nov 2007
This review is from: Designing Web Navigation: Optimizing the User Experience (Paperback)
In the book "Designing Web Nagiation", James Kalbach explains what makes a website usable for Humans. In order to achieve this goal, he has separated the book in 3 parts. Pay attention to remember during the reading that the subject of the book is navigation and not the creation of websites.

Before having a brief view of the content of each part, you should understand that the navigation is the first mechanism that we face when we are surfing on websites. It is very important because it generates the first feelings that we will associate with the website. For example, if it is frustration, there are less chances that you will visit this website again.

In part I, we find a lot of interesting information on the theory of navigation. There are explanations on why people try to find information and how they do that. The beginning of the book is more theoretical than the end. I say so because there is a deep presentation of every navigation mechanism used on Internet. In conclusion, this part is really interesting to find arguments to criticize the navigation of websites.

In part II, we find a framework to construct the navigation mechanisms of a website. Each activity in the framework (analysis, architecture, layout) has an equivalent in software engineering (analysis of the domain, architecture, implementation). It is valuable for people that are used to the creation of softwares. There is also an interesting chapter on the presentation of the solution to people involved in the project (customers, graphical designers, etc). The main problem in this part is that there are different examples for different activities. The understanding of the framework and how to use it would have benefited from an unique example evolving through the activities. There is also a lack of links with the first part, which could be interesting as arguments for the presentation activity.

Part III is less important, navigation is presented in different contexts (web applications, social tagging systems).

A special attention was attached to issues related to people with visual disabilities.

The book is made from 400 pages in color and there are a lot of up-to-date examples. It is really impressive.

In conclusion, it is a nice book to read if you want to have a successful website. I had a lot of good ideas emerging from the reading of each parts. To avoid forgetting them, I advise you to have always a sheet of paper not too far from you.
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