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Institutionalization of Usability: A Step-by-Step Guide

This book by Eric Schaffer (Founder & CEO of Human Factors International) answers the question: "How do I make usability routine in my business?" ... and provides the case for corporate commitment.

Usability must be institutionalized as a sustained, routine, and necessary part of the business process.

Executives, managers, and practitioners need a mature usability engineering capability with infrastructure, standards, training, and proper staffing.


Pieter-Jan Pruuost - June 10, 2004

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See also: Implementing user-centred design (9) 



Defensive Design for the Web (By 37signals)

How To Improve Error Messages, Help, Forms, and Other Crisis Points.

Learn 40 guidelines to prevent errors and rescue customers if a breakdown occurs. See hundreds of real-world examples from companies like Amazon, Google, and Yahoo that show the right (and wrong) ways to handle crisis points. Evaluate your own site's defensive design with an easy-to-perform test and find out how to improve it over the long term.

This is the first book from the innovative 37signals web design and usability experts Jason Fried and Matthew Linderman.

Their publication is praised by other web design and usability authorities such as Jeffrey Zeldman, Mark Hurst, and Steve Krug.


  • The book description at (Option to buy there) Open link in new window

Pieter-Jan Pruuost - March 17, 2004

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See also: Error handling (7) 



Dive Into Accessibility

Mark Pilgrim's online book Dive Into Accessibility answers the why and how of website accessibility. It starts out with a presentation of five fictitious internet users with different kinds of disabilities and presents 25 tips on how to make their online life less tedious.

The book is focused on how to make popular weblogging tools more accessible, but the tips apply to all types of websites.


  • The online book Dive Into Accessibility Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - January 04, 2004

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See also: Accessibility (13) 



Building Accessible Websites

With his book Building Accessible Websites, Joe Clark has done an amazing job in explaining how disabled people experience the web and how we can improve their online life. The book is a thorough, practical and pragmatic guide, with a mission to teach us to do accessibility the right way - opposed to the "correct" way.

Clark's book is engaging, informative, amusing, frequently provocative and available online for free. But you should consider buying it, since Clark deserves every penny he gets from it.


  • The book at Open link in new window
  • The book at Open link in new window
  • The book at Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - December 20, 2003

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See also: Accessibility (13) 



Web design and usability guidelines

Department of Health and Human Services's National Institutes of Health in partnership with the National Cancer Institute has published the book Research-Based Web Design & Usability Guidelines. It provides guidelines for improving web design, navigation, and functionality. Each guideline is rated by "Strength of Evidence", based on findings from web design and usability studies.

The book is based on the guidelines, which has been available at for some years. It can be downloaded for free in PDF format.


  • Downloadable version of the book Research-Based Web Design & Usability Guidelines Open link in new window
  • The web design and usability guidelines at Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - November 01, 2003 - via WebReference Update Newsletter

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See also: Guidelines and Standards (15) 



Speed Up Your Site

Jennifer Alvin from Digital Web Magazine reviews Andrew King's book Speed Up Your Site: Web Site Optimization:

"Andrew King offers a variety of ways to trim the fat in common design elements, as well as tips for increasing server performance. No other book I've seen covers so many types of optimization in one place with such a thorough investigation of why the tricks work. The extensive technical explanations alone are worth the list price, and each is backed up with a step-by-step approach to making your site a speedy champion."


  • The review at Digital Web Magazine Open link in new window
  • Sample chapters at Open link in new window
  • The book at Open link in new window
  • The book at Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - August 17, 2003 - via Digital Web Magazine's newsletter

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See also: Download time (5) 



Jakob Nielsen on B. J. Fogg's Persuasive Technology

Jakob Nielsen reviews B. J. Fogg's book on persuasive technology:

"It is a rare book that defines a new discipline or fundamentally changes how we think about technology and our jobs. Dr. B. J. Fogg's new book, Persuasive Technology: Using Computers to Change What We Think and Do, does all of this. I highly recommend that you read it for two reasons:

- The book's indispensable design advice will grow your business.
- You must teach your children to recognize this new class of manipulation."


Henrik Olsen - March 03, 2003

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Learning from Games: Seven Principles of Effective Design

A hy~lee


  • The Article (requires free registration) - also avail. as pdf Open link in new window
  • The EServer Tech. Comm. Library: Articles > Information Design Open link in new window

ben hyde - February 21, 2003

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Submit Now - Designing Persuasive Web Sites

Andrew Chak's book on persuasive design takes its starting point in customer behaviour theory, which describes customer decisions as a sequence of steps from recognizing a need to product choice. In order to design persuasive sites, we have to support and move the customers along this decision cycle.

Chak brings the decision-making process to life with his four types of users, which represent people's different needs at each stage in the process. In the book, he shows us how to accommodate each user's needs and motivate them to move along.

Chak has done a pretty good job in explaining the essence of customer behaviour theory in a clear and simple way, and extends the theory gracefully to interaction design and usability. He masters the art of bringing things down to earth - much like Steve Krug in Don't Make Me Think.

I highly recommend the book to everyone who wants to know what this talk about persuasive design is all about.


Henrik Olsen - February 18, 2003

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dust or magic

This is a great book about multimedia design. It provides an insightful history of this field and provides real world examples of what works, and more importantly, why.
The book is also a great source of examples of successful multimedia - including 'Ceremony of Innocence' and 'The Book of Lulu'. Bob's site also name checks Peter Small whose lingo books have been pretty influential.
Bob Hughes started out as a calligrapher, was previously a creative director and having developed various multimedia applications is now a consultant who is also involved in the MA Electronic Media course at Oxford Brookes in the UK.


  • Bob Hughes' site Open link in new window
  • Review at Mantex Open link in new window
  • amazon UK book page (as you will see I do like this book) Open link in new window
  • it also stars on my mUdIa listmania page Open link in new window

ben hyde - January 31, 2003

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