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By Karen Morrill-McClure
February 2, 2005
February 3, 2005 1:04 AM
Karen says: “Even though it
February 3, 2005 6:58 AM
Considering the quote below, this is incorrect. Research does not bare this out. Perception of speed is what matters and that perception is based on how frustrated the visitor is or isn’t. That is if they are finding what they are looking for the site is percieved to be fast. If they aren’t it’s perceived to be slow. What that means is speed isn’t relevant, but knowing your user and building a site that works for them is. See UIE research.
February 3, 2005 7:32 AM
Chris: One could argue that it’s not actually the perception of speed but the system responce time in general. Not to be confused with page load time. HCI studies have shown that initial system responce time is how a user typically precieves the speed of a system. That is, how long it takes for the system to show any sign of responce from when a user clicks on something or preforms an action. This could be showing a “loading” status bar or a screen that says please wait… or even the initial visual cue that something is about to load up. So yes, you can call that precieved speed, but I call it system responce time because all of these studies were conducted in multiple mediums both online and offline.
February 3, 2005 8:07 AM
This is a great list. I consider Krug’s book to be the essential book to give to customers and new employees. Peterson’s book is one that not a lot of people know about, but is also a must read. There is one that I would add to the list which is Speed Up Your Site by Andy King. I guarentee that there is something in Andy’s book that is new for even the most experienced developer.
February 3, 2005 9:01 AM
This is nice and all, but it’s all about the business end, and accessibility/usability. What about actual design elements? Color schemes, gradients, font and icon usage, etc? Why is no one talking about that?
February 3, 2005 9:29 AM
Jimmy: I think because that is all subjective. There is no one way to design a site, it all depends on the context. A site for a rock band may be totally different than a site for a software company. Aside from that traditional design (as you are describing here) is pretty well covered in standard design books… see for yourself.
February 5, 2005 11:42 PM
I am missing Joe Clark’s “Building Accessible Websites” in this list. You should expand it to five books, or drop Zeldman’s X-hype book (with lot’s of errors and superficially writing).
Nevertheless, Steve Krug’s book is on my wishlist for years. It seems to be time to read it and the other two mentioned ones.
March 26, 2005 4:48 AM
In my opinion, Jeffrey Zeldman’s Designing With Web Standards is a questionable choice, so I need to agree with Lars – there are several errors in it, some essential points are completely missing, and the overall idea is only explained incompletely. No hard feelings, for some people it might be a good introduction though.
Alternatively, I suggest Edward Tufte‘s Envisioning Information and/or The Visual Display of Quantitative Information. Both are excellent books immediately showing what problems might come up when dealing with information visualization, and how graphics can clarify complex facts – or how they might deceive.
There are also several other great and “must read” books out there, be it Bringhurst’s The Elements of Typographic Style or Nielsen’s Designing Web Usability, only to mention two of them.
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