Designing Web Usability

We are emerging from a lost decade of user interface design. From 1993 to 2002, the vast majority of new interface designs in the world were committed by people with no training in interaction design. The resulting productivity loss was staggering, especially on intranets. Public websites were often designed to be actively user-hostile and were dominated by self-serving messages and bloated fluff that made it very difficult for customers to finds the answers to their questions.

We may have won the battle to get usability accepted, but we have not won the billion skirmishes to make every single web page optimal for users’ needs. In every new design project, there is always the temptation of making things complex, introducing too many features, pouring on the bells and whistles, while spending more word count on the company’s own message than on answering customers’ questions. The guidelines in this book are as important as ever, because it’s not enough to believe in usability; you also have to implement it.

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