Shaping Web Usability: Interaction Design in Context, 1st edition

  • Albert N. Badre

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"Al Badre's book is about an everlasting truth--a truth that many people, many companies, many organizations have learned the hard way. That is, when designing technological systems for people to use, one must take into account the characteristics of the users, and the nature of the task, and the knowledge, experience, biases, strengths, and weaknesses that the users bring to the task. In the case at hand, the task is using the World Wide Web."

--James D. Foley, coauthor of Computer Graphics: Principles and Practice

All successful computer applications have one thing in common: They are designed with the user in mind. Author Al Badre has for years contributed to the ideas and methods needed to make any computer application fully usable. In Shaping Web Usability, he adapts and applies this firmly rooted knowledge and practice specifically to the Web.

Badre recognizes that Web sites comprise a unique application, where designers face a host of complex issues, including dynamic content, a broad and diverse audience, multiple entry points, intolerance of steep learning curves, and one-click abandonment. And with the arrival of handheld devices, Web designers confront additional difficult issues. Offering a structured approach to Web usability, Shaping Web Usability describes several contexts in which each site must be viewed, from the genre to which it belongs to the individual page. The book then provides a concrete methodology for designing a site effectively for the convenience, practicality, and pleasure of its users.

Inside, Web designers will find useful information on such topics as:

  • Links, buttons, site maps, and indexes for smooth site navigation
  • Keywords and site search engines
  • Effective design of home, content, and transaction pages
  • Achieving a balance between Web usability and impressive graphics
  • Retrofitting Web pages for small-screen and mobile devices
  • Addressing users' information-processing limits
  • Designing Web sites for older adults
  • Addressing the international cultural context of the Web
  • Specific guidelines to support design excellence
  • Using an iterative design process with continuous testing to
  • maximize Web usability
  • Constructing storyboards and interactive prototypes
  • Conducting task analysis to discover the sequence of events visitors use to reach their goals

Numerous real-world examples illustrate the book's concepts, techniques, and guidelines. This one book puts decades of knowledge and experience into the hands of every Web designer.


Table of contents




1. Human Computer Interaction for the Web.

From Human Factors to Usability: A Short History of HCI.


Focus on the User Interface.

User Interface Software.


Focusing on the Web.

HCI Principles for the Web.

User-Centered Design.

Early Human Factors Input.

Task Environment Analysis.

Iterative Design and Continuous Testing.

Web Usability.


Designing for Context.

Designing for the User Experience.

2. Web Usability Strategy.



The Userview Process.

Goals and Requirements.

User Culture.

Web Interface Guidelines Specialization.

Constructing Storyboards and Interactive Prototypes.

3. The Web Environment.

The User Environment.

The Physical Space.

The Cognitive Space.

The Site Environment.


Designing from Scenarios.

Simple versus Enriched Site Environments.

4. The Web User, Part 1: The Audience.

Understanding the Web User.

Defining an Audience.

Individual Differences.

Cognitive Processing Capabilities and Limits.

Generating an Audience Profile.

5. The Web User, Part 2: Older Adults.

Older Adults and the World Wide Web.

Characteristics of Older Users.

Movement Control.



Web Design Features to Avoid.

Design Guidelines.

Usability Testing with Older Adults.

6. Designing for Web Genres.

Genre Content.

Genre Expression.

Genre Form.

Genre Evolution.

Genre Mixing.

7. The Web Site.

Conceptualizing the Site with a Visitor-Centered Focus.

Positioning the Content.

Speeding Up the Response.

Smoothing the Navigation.


Buttons and Controls.

Site Maps, Content Lists, and Indexes.

Landmarks and History Trails.

Keywords and Site Search Engines.

Assuring Reasonable Confidence in the Site's Privacy and Security.

Making the Site Visible.

Maintaining Quality.

8. The Web Page.

General Page Design Issues.



Placement of Information.

Information Coding.


Text Clarity.

Home, Content, and Transaction Pages.

The Home Page.

The Content Page.

The Transaction Page.

9. The Aesthetic Factor.

Usability and Aesthetics.

Simplicity and Enrichment.

The Use of Graphics.

10. From Desktops to Handhelds.

The Technology of Wireless Devices.

The Usability of Wireless Devices.

The Role of Context.

Small-Size Effects.

Effective Functionality and Task Preferences.

Information Presentation.

Interaction and Navigation.

Designer's Palette: Guidelines for Hand Web Design.

11. The Cultural Context.

Cultural Usability.

Culture-Specific Designs.

Designing for the Localized Web.

Genre-Localized Attributes.

Behaviors and Practices.

Icons, Symbols, Pictorials, and Artifacts.

Conventions and Formats.

Intangible Values and Dimensions.

Preferred Content.

12. Evaluating Web Usability.

Traditional Usability Testing.

Usability Testing for the Web.

Web-Focused Issues and Testing.

Web-Specific Test Plan Issues.

Web-Specific Evaluation Issues.

The Process of Web Evaluation.

Usability Evaluation Goal Setting.

Early Paper Testing.

Storyboard Testing.

Interactive Prototype Testing.

Frequently Asked Questions about Usability Evaluation.


Index. 0201729938T01102002

Published by Addison-Wesley Professional (January 23rd 2002) - Copyright © 2002