Gift Guide

Webworks: e-commerce

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781564966612
  • Publisher: Rockport Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/1/2001
  • Series: Graphic Design/Computers Series
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.69 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 5
Introduction 8
Chapter 1 Consumer and Retail Sites 12 14 22 28 36 42 46 52 58 64 68
Chapter 2 Finance, Banking, and Business-to-Business Sites 74 76 82 88 94 100 104 108
Chapter 3 Intranet and Extranet Sites 112 114 118 124 128 134 138 146 150
Chapter 4 Other e-commerce Concepts 156 158 164 172 178 182
Directory 186
About the Author 188
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Introduction by Katherine Tasheff Carlton
The customer is king. The rule my great-grandfather upheld while operating a corner grocery store in the early 1900s still applies in the world of electronic commerce. Customers want to have their needs met as quickly and conveniently as possible. With an estimated 304 million people online worldwide and the average duration of a page view less than one minute, e-commerce customers are increasingly interested in the expedience the technology offers, not the technology itself. Most of the novelty of online transactions has worn off; people want to get online, make their purchases, and get on with other activities. Sites must immediately grab attention. If users are not intrigued or satisfied, they move on-quickly.
Repeatedly, the conversations I've had with site designers have boiled down to this: Simplicity is the key to e-commerce design. As most developers know, a design that appears simple is often the most complicated to create. With nearly one out of every three Internet users making online purchases, e-commerce site developers must tread a delicate line between utility and aesthetics. Beyond the retail-oriented sites, the corporate world has almost universally made the leap to online transactions. Pull-down menus, heavy back-end databases, secure servers, limited bandwidth, and brand marketing all must be taken into account while creating a visually pleasing, easy-to-use environment.
What does simplicity in design really mean? More often than not, ease of use is the bottom line. This means that the most important aspect of e-commerce design is understanding the company's business model and knowing how customers will accessthe site and what they will demand when they do.
Many designers try to do too much, loading sites with too many bells and whistles or presenting so much information on the home page that users are immediately lost. Occasionally, the original model was a good starting point, but through the rapid expansion possible in the interactive age, sites outgrow their systems, navigation, and basic design.
Sometimes simplicity in design means not changing the site around to accommodate every new advance in technology. As Rhonda Wells, director of a-commerce for Payless ShoeSource, says, 'How do you feel in this scenario? You're in the middle of cooking dinner for guests that evening when you realize you're out of an ingredient. (End of excerpt)
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