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Web Usability: A User-Centered Design Approach / Edition 1

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User Interface Design/Human Computer Interaction

Web Usability: A User-Centered Design Approach

Jonathan Lazar, Towson University

ISBN 0-321-32135-9


A Web site design that does not consider its user is a Web site that is destined to be a disappointing experience for the user. This new book by Jonathan Lazar provides readers with the concepts and tools needed to develop Web sites that maximize the user experience. It takes readers through the entire User-Centered Development Life Cycle, demonstrating practical skills and techniques that will help them for years to come.


The User-Centered Development Life Cycle ensures that the needs of a Web site’s users are the focus of the Web site’s design, from its inception through its implementation and management. Keeping this focus–while collecting requirements, designing pages, and performing usability testing–results in a more effective design and more satisfied users.

Real-world applications are highlighted in four Case Studies, which demonstrate how both commercial and noncommercial organizations designed user-centered Web sites:

• (Eastman Kodak)

• (National Football League site for children)

• (National Cancer Institute)

• (American Speech-Language Hearing Association)

“Jonathan Lazar’s unique combination of expertise–teaching, research, and practice of HCI, informatics, IT, and accessibility–is what really sets him apart from the other ‘Web experts’ publishing today. His text reflects the diversity that successful Web design requires by balancing user-centeredness with a solid understanding of technical and business issues.”

—ARNIE LUND, Director of Design and Usability,Microsoft Corporation

“This text is magic; it packs experience between the covers of a book. Lazar’s energetic style is filled with examples, focused lists, and Case Studies that walk readers through the Web design process and give them the confidence to do it themselves. He makes user-centered design seem easy by making sure that people matter. If every designer trained from this book, the World Wide Web would be a better place.”

—BEN SHNEIDERMAN, Professor of Computer Science, University of Maryland

For more information about Addison-Wesley Computing books visit

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780321321350
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley
  • Publication date: 9/2/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 450
  • Product dimensions: 7.30 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 - Introduction to Web Usability

Why focus on the user?

Information systems

Traditional Development of Information Systems

New challenges in Web development projects

The role of users

The User-Centered Web Development Life Cycle

Cost-justifying user involvement in development

Project management techniques

Chapter 2 - Defining the Mission and Target User Population

Mission of the Web site

Targeted user population

Diverse user populations

Considerations for Web site re-design

Chapter 3 - Requirements gathering-What Information is Needed?

General user demographic information

Domain knowledge

User computing experience

User computing environment

Task analysis and content


Additional considerations for Web site re-design

Chapter 4 - Requirements gathering with Users-How to do it?

Determining the access to users



Focus Groups

Participatory design

Summary of advantages and disadvantages of each method

Other user involvement activities for structuring information

Final thoughts

Chapter 5 - Information Architecture and Site Navigation

Web site content objects

Information architecture

Web navigation

Organizing and labeling navigation choices

Breadcrumbs navigation

Search engines for navigation

Location of navigation

Technical requirements for navigation

Chapter 6 - Page Design

Technical considerations

Layout considerations

Content considerations

Chapter 7 - Designing for Universal Usability

User diversity

Browser diversity

Chapter 8 - Physical Design

Coding by hand using a text editor

Web development applications

How to code navigation

Gathering content for pages

Functionality Testing: Does the code work?

Chapter 9 - Usability Testing

Expert-based reviews

User-based testing

Automated usability testing

Incorporating testing feedback

Chapter 10 - Implementation and Marketing

Housing the Web site

Bringing users to your Web site: Marketing

Using a search engine

Considerations for site re-design

Chapter 11 - Maintaining and Evaluating Web Sites



When to re-design a Web site

Case study: The Eastman Kodak Company

Case study: The National Cancer Institute Cancernet web site

Case study: National Football League web site for children

Case study: The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

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