PRODUCT SUPPORT ANNOUNCEMENT
Some videos and Web Editions may be returning errors on launch. Learn more.
<>Praise for the second edition of The 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 read The 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 Sites artfully brings forward the original intent of Christopher Alexander’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 Sites is 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 that’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 of Web Design Garage
Praise for the first edition of The Design of Sites
"Stop reinventing the wheel every time you design a Web site! The Design of Sites helps 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 [in The 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 book’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 authors’ suggestions would put your site in the top few percent for readability and usability."
-Jef Raskin, creator of the Macintosh computer and author of The Humane Interface
"Now that The Design of Sites has 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 designer’s bookshelf."
-Linda Rising, independent consultant and author of The Patterns Handbook, The Pattern Almanac 2000, and Design Patterns in Communications Software
"[The Design of Sites] bridges the gap from theory to practice and makes it possible for people in the Web-design space to use user-centered design principles in their work—without having to undertake extensive training."
-Maya Venkatraman, human interface engineer, Sun Microsystems
"The coverage [in The Design of Sites] is excellent--issues go beyond the traditional ‘design the best page’ focus and do a good job of showing the context. I haven’t seen any other book with the kind of breadth this has."
-Terry Winograd, professor of computer science, Stanford University, and editor of Bringing Design to Software
"With this book as a reference, you can benefit from what companies like Yahoo! have learned and apply it to your site, even if you don’t have a design and research team similarly sized and staffed."
From the foreword by Irene Au, director of User Experience, Google; former vice president of User Experience and Design, Yahoo!
The Design of Sites, Second Edition, is the definitive reference for the principles, patterns, methodologies, and best practices underlying exceptional Web design. If you are involved in the creation of dynamic Web sites, this book will give you all the necessary tools and techniques to create effortless end-user Web experiences, improve customer satisfaction, and achieve a balanced approach to Web design.
After a comprehensive tutorial covering the foundations of good Web site design, you will move on to discover the thirteen major Web design pattern groups. These patterns solve recurring design problems and help design teams avoid reinventing the wheel. Patterns range from creating a solid navigation framework and the all-important home page, to instilling trust and building credibility with your customers and improving site performance through better design.
The book features
Please visit the author's website at www.designofsites.com.
Download the Sample Chapter from this book.
1.1 The Evolution of Web Design 3
1.2 The Importance of Customer-Centered Design 6
1.3 Our First Steps toward Unifying Design, Usability, and Marketing 8
1.4 Why We Prefer Customer-Centered Design 9
1.5 Nine Myths of Customer-Centered Design 12
1.6 Applying Customer-Centered Design 15
1.7 Take-away Ideas 16
2.1 What Are Patterns? 19
2.2 A Sample Pattern 20
2.3 How to Read a Pattern 23
2.4 How Much Do Patterns Change Over Time? 25
2.5 How to Use the Patterns 30
2.6 An Example of Using Patterns 31
2.7 Take-away Ideas 37
3.1 Principles for Knowing Your Customers 40
3.2 Techniques for Knowing Your Customers 50
3.3 Take-away Ideas 67
4.1 The Iterative Design Process 69
4.2 Reasons to Use Iterative Design 71
4.3 Designing with Goals and Principles in Mind 73
4.4 Rapid Prototyping 80
4.5 Evaluating Your Web Site 90
4.6 Take-away Ideas 95
5.1 Development Process Overview 98
5.2 The Discovery Phase 100
5.3 The Exploration Phase 105
5.4 The Refinement Phase 106
5.5 The Production Phase 108
5.6 The Implementation Phase 110
5.7 The Launch Phase 113
5.8 The Maintenance Phase 113
5.9 Take-away Ideas 115
A1: Personal E-Commerce 120
A2: News Mosaics 128
A3: Community Conference 136
A4: Self-Service Government 148
A5: Nonprofits as Networks of Help 154
A6: Grassroots Information Sites 161
A7: Valuable Company Sites 167
A8: Educational Forums 174
A9: Stimulating Arts and Entertainment 182
A10: Web Apps That Work 187
A11: Enabling Intranets 195
A12: blogs 201
B1: Multiple Ways to Navigate 216
B2: Browsable Content 221
B3: Hierarchical Organization 226
B4: Task-Based Organization 231
B5: Alphabetical Organization 235
B6: Chronological Organization 238
B7: Popularity-Based Organization 241
B8: Category Pages 247
B9: Site Accessibility 251
C1: Homepage Portal 268
C2: Up-Front Value Proposition 277
D1: Page Templates 284
D2: Content Modules 291
D3: Headlines and Blurbs 297
D4: Personalized Content 303
D5: Message Boards 314
D6: Writing for Search Engines 324
D7: Inverted-Pyramid Writing Style 332
D8: Printable Pages 339
D9: Distinctive HTML Titles 343
D10: Internationalized and Localized Content 349
D11: Style Sheets 356
E1: Site Branding 366
E2: E-Mail Subscriptions 372
E3: Fair Information Practices 378
E5: About Us 391
E6: Secure Connections 398
E7: E-Mail Notifications 402
E8: Privacy Preferences 410
E9: Preventing Phishing Scams 418
F1: Quick-Flow Checkout 432
F2: Clean Product Details 439
F3: Shopping Cart 449
F4: Quick Address Selection 458
F5: Quick Shipping Method Selection 464
F6: Payment Method 469
F7: Order Summary 475
F8: Order Confirmation and Thank-You 480
F9: Easy Returns 485
G1: Featured Products 492
G2: Cross-Selling and Up-Selling 500
G3: Personalized Recommendations 510
G4: Recommendation Community 518
G5: Multiple Destinations 526
G6: Gift Giving 531
G7: Order Tracking and History 537
H1: Process Funnel 546
H2: Sign-in/New Account 552
H3: Guest Account 559
H4: Account Management 564
H5: Persistent Customer Sessions 570
H6: Floating Windows 576
H7: Frequently Asked Questions 581
H8: Context-Sensitive Help 587
H9: Direct Manipulation 591
H10: Clear Forms 600
H11: Predictive Input 609
H12: Drill-down Options 615
H13: Progress Bar 622
I1: Grid Layout 632
I2: Above the Fold 637
I3: Clear First Reads 641
I4: Expanding Screen Width 646
I5: Fixed Screen Width 652
I6: Consistent Sidebars of Related Content 657
J1: Search Action Module 662
J2: Straightforward Search Forms 666
J3: Organized Search Results 669
K1: Unified Browsing Hierarchy 678
K2: Navigation Bar 682
K3: Tab Rows 686
K4: Action Buttons 691
K5: High-Visibility Action Buttons 695
K6: Location Bread Crumbs 698
K7: Embedded Links 701
K8: External Links 705
K9: Descriptive, Longer Link Names 709
K10: Obvious Links 714
K11: Familiar Language 719
K12: Preventing Errors 723
K13: Meaningful Error Messages 727
K14: Page Not Found 731
K15: Permalinks 734
K16: Jump Menus 744
K17: Site Map 752
L1: Low Number of Files 760
L2: Fast-Loading Images 764
L3: Separate Tables 772
L4: HTML Power 775
L5: Reusable Images 779
L6: Fast-Loading Content 782
M1: Mobile Screen Sizing 794
M2: Mobile Input Controls 805
M3: Location-Based Services 813
In 1979, Christopher Alexander wrote his seminal book, A Pattern Language, in which he introduced an innovative yet practical language for architecture, building, and planning. Since then the concept has been applied to other domains, from computer science to user interface design. The fact that what began as an architectural concept has been extended and is still in use today is a testament to its value and validity. Simply put, a design pattern is a generic solution to a commonly recurring problem, whether for software, buildings, landscaping, or Web design.
Design patterns are particularly relevant to Web design because they are so critical to usability. One of the tenets to building a usable product is to support users’ mental models for how things should work. Consistency reinforces and helps build ease of use into a product as users learn over time how to navigate the product and build a mental model for how to perform tasks. Design patterns are a means for capturing such best practices and provide a guide for implementing solutions in a consistent manner.
Design patterns can also help an organization scale as it grows. As former vice president of the User Experience and Design group at Yahoo!, I was faced with the challenge of creating effective designs for our ever-expanding suite of products and services with limited budget and head count. With the team growing rapidly and organized along separate product lines, designers increasingly worked independently of each other, and yet I found many to be solving the same design problems. Harvesting and implementing best practices became critical to Yahoo!’s ability to deliver quality design efficiently and consistently. Moreover, with Web design patterns established, the front-end engineers could create reusable, modular code, thereby improving quality and speeding up our development time as well as design time.
The authors of The Design of Sites often cite Yahoo! in their examples. These designs were based on extensive usability and ethnographic research, capturing the best practices identified. With Yahoo!’s broad product offering, the team has encountered almost every major consumer product and interface issue. With this book as a reference, you can benefit from what companies like Yahoo! have learned and apply them to your site, even if you don’t have a design and research team similarly sized and staffed.
User interactions on the Web are fluid and seamless. With a single click of the mouse, a user can be on a completely different site, which could have its own look and feel and interaction model. Thus, it is more important than ever that the design community understands, applies, and participates in the development of Web design patterns. The more widely common design patterns are used across the Web, the easier the Web will be for users. And that is a good thing for everyone.
To be sure, design patterns are no substitute for thoughtful design, which takes into consideration the constraints and context of its application. But design patterns should be the starting point for anyone designing Web sites and should be followed whenever possible. Designers can start with something known to work and modify or refine it as needed. Time saved from not having to reinvent the wheel frees up designers’ time to focus on product-specific issues and innovations. The Design of Sites forms the basis of how to think about design problems. It serves as a common language for designers to think about problems, develop solutions, and share ideas.
As vast as the Internet is, many Web design problems are repeated at varying levels. For example, at the architectural level, whether a Web site is content, community, communications, or commerce oriented, design patterns can help guide designers to identify problems and to make decisions critical to the success of the overall execution of the product’s strategy. At the user interface level, design patterns help build consistency in the interaction model for completing tasks, thus improving ease of use.
van Duyne, Landay, and Hong, recognizing the various levels at which design patterns can be applied, have captured a wide range of Web design related patterns, and organized them accordingly in this book. The patterns are cross-referenced and many patterns are used in combination with each other. Each pattern is illustrated with examples from a variety of well-known sites with clear descriptions for the rationale, appropriate uses, and pitfalls. As the language of Web design is still evolving, this edition has been updated with patterns that reflect the rapidly changing landscape of Web design. Given the increasing ubiquity of mobile devices and their uses, the authors have also added an entirely new section on mobile design patterns. This unique, comprehensive, and thoughtfully organized book is an invaluable resource for Web design professionals.
Irene Au, Director of User Experience, Google; Former Vice President of User Experience and Design, Yahoo!
Download the Index from this book.