Design of Sites, The: Patterns for Creating Winning Web Sites

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  • Edition: 2nd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 1/1/2007
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall

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<>Praise for the second edition ofThe Design of Sites "In my worldwide IBM marketing role, I have the benefit of working with some of the finest international interactive agencies and internal Web teams. As I readThe Design of Sites,[I see] the insight from years of professional advice has been put to paper. Nowhere have I seen such a practical, effective, and easy-to-use book to solve and avoid Internet design issues. I keep a copy of the book handy to remind me of the things I forgot and to gain fresh perspectives. It never fails to deliver." -John Cilio, marketing manager, IBM System x & z Storage Synergy "The Design of Sitesartfully brings forward the original intent of Christopher Alexanderrs"s pattern language into the user experience design arena. It is a valuable and comprehensive reference." -George Hackman, Jr., senior director of User Experience for User Interface Guidelines, Patterns and Standards, Oracle Corporation "The Design of Sitesis one of the best tools I have in my usability toolbox. [These] Web UI design patterns make it easy for me to show my clients how to get the most usability bang for their buck." -Claudia Alden Case, usability consultant and interaction designer, Alden Case Enterprises, Inc. "If only biology class had been like this. Lucid text, bulletproof content, and a comprehensive taxonomy thatrs"s just as much a source of inspiration as it is a production tool. This is a really, really good book. If you build Web sites, read it." -Marc Campbell, author ofWeb Design Garage Praise for the first edition ofThe Design of Sites "Stop reinventing the wheel every time you design a Web site!The Design of Siteshelps you rethink your Web sites in terms of genres and patterns. Once you have identified the patterns and applied the best practices for those patterns as outlined in this book, you will reduce your design effort by 50 percent . . . at least!" -Pawan R. Vora, vice president, Information Architecture, Seurat Company "The content [inThe Design of Sites] could make a novice into a seasoned professional over a weekend. Many companies pay a fortune for the information contained in the bookrs"s primary chapters." -John Cilio, marketing manager, IBM System x & z Storage Synergy "This book has many handy checklists for what you should and should not do in creating a conventional Web site. Just following the authorsrs" suggestions would put your site in the top few percent for readability and usability." -Jef Raskin, creator of the Macintosh computer and author ofThe Humane Interface "Now thatThe Design of Siteshas made its appearance, we won't have to put up with those poorly designed Web pages. These authors have captured patterns from successful Web designers, including their own experience in consulting and teaching, and have made this information accessible to all of us. The book is readable yet full of worthwhile information--a valuable addition to any Web designerrs"s bookshelf." -Lin

Author Biography

Jason I. Hong is a computer science professor in the Human-Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University.

Table of Contents

Forewordp. xxix
Prefacep. xxxiii
Acknowledgmentsp. xli
Foundations of Web Site Designp. 1
Customer-Centered Web Design: More Than a Good Ideap. 31
The Evolution of Web Designp. 3
The Importance of Customer-Centered Designp. 6
Our First Steps toward Unifying Design, Usability, and Marketingp. 8
Why We Prefer Customer-Centered Designp. 9
Nine Myths of Customer-Centered Designp. 12
Applying Customer-Centered Designp. 15
Take-away Ideasp. 16
Making the Most of Web Design Patternsp. 19
What Are Patterns?p. 19
A Sample Patternp. 20
How to Read a Patternp. 23
How Much Do Patterns Change Over Time?p. 25
How to Use the Patternsp. 30
An Example of Using Patternsp. 31
Take-away Ideasp. 37
Knowing Your Customers: Principles and Techniquesp. 39
Principles for Knowing Your Customersp. 40
Techniques for Knowing Your Customersp. 50
Take-away Ideasp. 67
Involving Customers with Iterative Designp. 694
The Iterative Design Processp. 69
Reasons to Use Iterative Designp. 71
Designing with Goals and Principles in Mindp. 73
Rapid Prototypingp. 80
Evaluating Your Web Sitep. 90
Take-away Ideasp. 95
Processes for Developing Customer-Centered Sitesp. 5
Development Process Overviewp. 98
The Discovery Phasep. 100
The Exploration Phasep. 105
The Refinement Phasep. 106
The Production Phasep. 108
The Implementation Phasep. 110
The Launch Phasep. 113
The Maintenance Phasep. 113
Take-away Ideasp. 115
Patternsp. 117
Pattern Group A: Site Genres 119
Personal E-Commercep. 120
News Mosaicsp. 128
Community Conferencep. 136
Self-Service Governmentp. 148
Nonprofits as Networks of Helpp. 154
Grassroots Information Sitesp. 161
Valuable Company Sitesp. 167
Educational Forumsp. 174
Stimulating Arts and Entertainmentp. 182
Web Apps That Workp. 187
Enabling Intranetsp. 195
blogsp. 201
Pattern Group B: Creating a Navigation Frameworkp. 215
Multiple Ways to Navigatep. 216
Browsable Contentp. 221
Hierarchical Organizationp. 226
Task-Based Organizationp. 231
Alphabetical Organizationp. 235
Chronological Organizationp. 238
Popularity-Based Organizationp. 241
Category Pagesp. 247
Site Accessibilityp. 251
Pattern Group C: Creating a Powerful Homepagep. 267
Homepage Portalp. 268
Up-Front Value Propositionp. 277
Pattern Group D: Writing and Managing Contentp. 283
Page Templatesp. 284
Content Modulesp. 291
Headlines and Blurbsp. 297
Personalized Contentp. 303
Message Boardsp. 314
Writing for Search Enginesp. 324
Inverted-Pyramid Writing Stylep. 332
Printable Pagesp. 339
Distinctive HTML Titlesp. 343
Internationalized and Localized Contentp. 349
Style Sheetsp. 356
Pattern Group E: Building Trust and Credibilityp. 365
Site Brandingp. 366
E-Mail Subscriptionsp. 372
Fair Information Practicesp. 378
Privacy Policyp. 384
About Usp. 391
Secure Connectionsp. 398
E-Mail Notificationsp. 402
Privacy Preferencesp. 410
Preventing Phishing Scamsp. 418
Pattern Group F: Basic E-Commercep. 431
Quick-Flow Checkoutp. 432
Clean Product Detailsp. 439
Shopping Cartp. 449
Quick Address Selectionp. 458
Quick Shipping Method Selectionp. 464
Payment Methodp. 469
Order Summaryp. 475
Order Confirmation and Thank-Youp. 480
Easy Returnsp. 485
Pattern Group G: Advanced E-Commercep. 491
Featured Productsp. 492
Cross-Selling and Up-Sellingp. 500
Personalized Recommendationsp. 510
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.


Four years ago, we began this book with a story of a man who discovers a talking dog. When asked what the dog said, the man replied, "Who cares? It's a talking dog!" For several years after its inception in the early 1990s, the Web was the talking dog, fascinating in its very existence. Then businesspeople discovered that they could sell things using the Web, without paying the huge production and distribution fees that print and television advertising required. Web sites became commercial ventures almost overnight, and a period of rapid evolution began for this new medium. As the Web evolved, the problems faced by its developers were the same ones faced by any industry as it matures: people started to care more about factors like value, convenience, and ease of use than about the novelty of the technology itself. A new term,customer-centered design,was coined in an attempt to deal with this change in priorities.For Douglas van Duyne, James Landay, and Jason Hong, customer-centered design wasn't always a hot topic for e-business. Eight years ago, when we were an entrepreneur with a software design background, a Berkeley computer science professor, and a doctoral graduate student, we had a vision to provide much-needed customer insights to businesses developing for the new medium of the Web. Although the vision eventually resulted in a thriving Web development business and this book, we had many questions to answer along the way. As part of our research into why most Web sites failed to meet customer expectations, we became very interested in how typical design agencies went about their work, and why companies hired outside Web site design firms instead of creating sites themselves.To help answer these questions, we sent researchers to interview Web designers and their clients. We learned that companies hired design agencies on the basis of their previous work building recognizable brands. At the time, Web designers distinguished themselves through awards and accolades, not by measured success with real customers. This pattern began to make sense only when we learned that most Web designers got into the business after working in print, film, or television, all noninteractive media. At that time, few tools existed to help designers understand the Web customer experience. In fact, when we studied a new client's site, we could see that the business was suffering, but now we knew it was because of the original designer's blindness to the distinctions of interaction design, along with a tradition that often put form over function.This scenario became clear in our daily work. We were brought in to assess tough site design problems and fix them. We saw client after client with site designs that were failing, even though all the essentials appeared to be in place. During one such project, when we were testing a client's large-scale e-commerce site, we asked typical site visitors to locate a specific product. Our client had designed the site internally and their designers knew how to find everything, so they were confident that customers could do the same. To the test subjects, however, the product descriptions were cryptic, the navigation controls were unclear, and trying to find a single product resulted in pages and pages of choices. Upon completion of the test, almost all the participants reported success, but in actuality, only a scant few had found the correct product. A site design that was clear to its designers was so confusing to the customers that they did not even know they had failed. As a result of our efforts, the client was able to see that the site had been designed in a vacuum. Only through iterative design and rigorous testing were we able to create a site that was as usable as it was attractive.Well, a funny thing has happened since those early years. Customer-centered design has risen from obscurity to the for

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