Site-seeing: A Visual Approach to Web Usability

by Luke Wroblewski - June 2002 (Wiley)

Usability has become the watchword of contemporary Web design, and with good reason. But until now, books on Web usability have focused chiefly on response times, compatibility, and other technical matters, providing only limited guidance on design issues. This book takes Web usability a step further-and shows how good visual design plays a critical role on the Web.

What you see on a Web page tells you what you might find within the site, how to get there, and why it might interest you. As a result, Web usability issues are communication issues and easy-to-use Web sites are those that communicate quickly and effectively. Using hundreds of real-world Web examples, interface expert Luke Wroblewski explains how to enhance usability by applying the principles of visual communications to Web site design.

Good visual design, he demonstrates, can make a site's organization crystal clear-and convey its personality in an instant. Offering lots of specific design recommendations for text, links, images, navigation, forms, home pages, dynamic content, and Web services, Site-Seeing delivers the insights and advice you need to boost a site's visual appeal-and take Web usability to the next level.


"There are plenty of books [about visual design for the Web], of course, all with pretty pictures, but most of them ignore the fact that humans ought to be able to use the pictures to achieve their goals in an interactive system. In contrast, this book actually talks about how visual design can help support the interaction design of a website." Jakob Nielsen PhD, principal of the Nielsen Norman Group "In Web usability, everybody talks about the importance of response times, accessibility, compatibility, and other technical considerations required to create good websites. But few stress the key role visual communication plays in the Web usability equation. The book presents both designers and developers with recommendations for taking Web usability to the next level." Communication Arts Design Interact review "An amazingly simple book. Seems to point out the obvious things that we all at times miss. Mine is littered with post-it-notes and ideas written in the columns after plowing through the 319 pages." Paul Scrivens co-founder, 9Rules "Site-Seeing is an absolute godsend for anyone serious about Web Design. There are so few good books bridging usability and design, and your book is by far the best in my opinion." Sam Wilson Site-seeing reader "By far, one of the most organized and accessible books on the subject I have seen to date." Ben Kaplan ACT3 Creative Development

Buy the Book

Paperback edition available at Amazon
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More by Luke Wroblewski

Mobile First
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Web Form Design: Filling in the Blanks
Forms make or break the most crucial online interactions: checkout (commerce), registration (community), data input (participation and sharing), and any task requiring information entry.