2.1. Usability

By Rainer Hillebrand

Table of contents

2.1.1. What is usability?
2.1.2. Page design
2.1.3. Content design
2.1.4. Site design

Masses of books exist, that describe how to create web pages in HTML. However, a web page is almost always an interface to a human being, i.e. a user interface. Therefore, we would assume that a similar number of books exist about user interface design. However, the layout design of web pages is an often neglected subject. In order to provide web pages that are more than looking good but also intuitively usable, then usability should be considered in depth. The underlying techniques to implement the pages is not our main concern in this Chapter.

In the following sections, we discuss the usability guidelines from Jacob Nielsens's book "Designing Web Usability". The Ziff-Davis Network names him the smartest person of the Internet. The web guru preaches the clear and user friendly design of web pages. Nielsen's credo: "The user is always right". For an in depth study on user interface design, we also recommend to read his books: "Usability Engineering", "Multimedia, Hypertext and Internet", and the "The Practice of Simplicity".

Copyright © 2001-2003 by Rainer Hillebrand and Thomas Wierlemann