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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
  • Sample chapters at
  • The book at
  • The book at

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

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See also: Download time (2) 



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™ rated article! Abstract: Why do players of computer games seem to approach those applications without fear, eagerly exploring and learning as they go, whereas users of business applications will go out of their way to keep from using the tools? Why do business applications require volumes of documentation when the most complex games come with a brief tutorial and a strategy guide for exploration? Why can games teach pilots to fly multi-million-dollar jets better than books and classroom training? These questions have led us to ask another question: Why can't business applications be more like games? In this article, we attempt to lay the ground work for future research by defining seven design principles found in games that we believe contribute to the creation of more usable applications. Contents: INTRODUCTION: WHY STUDY GAMES? ATTRACT MODE CLEARLY STATED GOALS BRIEF INSTRUCTIONS TRANSPARENCY PERFORMANCE COACHING TRAINING WHEELS CONSISTENT FEEDBACK CONCLUSION REFERENCES


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

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
  • Review at Mantex
  • amazon UK book page (as you will see I do like this book)
  • it also stars on my mUdIa listmania page

ben hyde - January 31, 2003

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The Marketer's Common Sense Guide to E-metrics

This eBook by Bryan Eisenberg and Jim Novo takes web log analysis a step further than the "Gee, that's interesting" metrics. It explains the advantages of defining clear objectives about what you want with a site and how to measure success.

The book provides 22 metrics to measure content and commerce aspect of how a web site's visitors behave, and can be used as proof-of-concept for changes you need to make to design, copy, or navigation.

The book is a companion guide to the web site conversion calculators developed by Bryan Eisenberg, which has previously been posted at GUUUI.


Henrik Olsen - January 25, 2003

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See also: Web log analysis (7) 



Making the Web Work – Designing Effective Web Applications

As the web has matured, interaction designers have been faced with the challenge of designing complex web-based applications, which resemble desktop applications in functionality and complexity.

Bob Baxley is a practicing designer specialized in interface design for both web and desktop applications. In his book, he does a great job explaining how the page-based hypertext model of the web, compared to the task and action based model of desktop applications, present a variety of unique challenges for web interface design. In the book, you'll find a great amount of useful tips on how to exploit the limited interactive vocabulary of the web.

Unfortunately, the focus of the book is somewhat blurred. A large part of the book deals with general aspect of web site development, which isn't relevant in the context of web applications. I'm sure that if Baxley had focused more exclusively on web applications, he could have taught us much more in less space.


  • Sample chapter (PDF)
  • The book at
  • The book at
  • A more extensive review from Boxes and Arrows

Henrik Olsen - December 15, 2002

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See also: Web applications (2) 



Review of The Elements of User Experience

User experience design has grown into a complex field, with many disparate phases and blurred demarcations. Jesse James Garret's book, The Elements of User Experience, is an attempt to tidy up this messy business. In the book, Garret uncovers nature of the beast by splitting it into manageable pieces and putting it all together again.

Garret's book draws the big picture of web user experience design, systematically covering all established professions and recognized methods involved in the process from strategy to visual design. While some regard this as the book's major achievement, experienced professionals might see it as its weakness. Every stone is turned, but we are only given a glimpse of what's underneath them. The book is evidence that the field has grown into such a complex creature that 189 pages can only but scratch the surface, if everything has to fit in.


Henrik Olsen - November 25, 2002

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Information Architecture: Blueprints for the Web

In the introduction, Christina Wodtke claims that her book on IA isn't for people doing IA for a living – "most of it will probably be old hat." It might be true, that her book won't make a revolution for the IA field, but it is very enlightening to read about Wodtke's practical use of the techniques and principles of IA. And there's no armchair theory here. Everything is backed up by cases, examples, and practical advice on how to make everything work in the real world.

The book concentrates on traditional IA practices, such as:
- User research
- Organising content
- Card sorting
- Personas, scenarios and task analysis
- Site and flow diagramming
- Wireframing and storyboarding

At the end of the book, you'll also find some she-devil tricks on how to persuade you boss and co-workers to do things your way. Highly revealing - my girlfriend is never going to fool me again.


  • The book at
  • The book at

Henrik Olsen - November 14, 2002

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See also: Wireframing and prototyping (29)  Card sorting (8)  Site and flow diagramming (3)  Requirement Analysis (12)  Usability testing (28)  Personas (13)  The design process (14) 



The Design of Sites

Ever envied those programmers and their big fat reference books, from which they can get instant answers to all their problems. Envy no more. Douglas van Dyne, James Landay, and Jason Hong's book The Design of Sites is the reference guide for interaction designers and the like.

The book captures principles and best practices of web design and distils them into design patterns, saving you from reinventing the wheel every time you encounter a new design problem.

I'm very impressed by this book and I'm sure it will save me a lot of time looking for best solutions. This might turn out to be my number two favourite book about interaction design – right after "Don't Make Me Think".


Henrik Olsen - October 29, 2002

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