Thoroughly rewritten for today's web environment, this bestselling book offers a fresh look at a fundamental topic of web site development: navigation design. Amid all the changes to the Web in the past decade, and all the hype about Web 2.0 and various "rich" interactive technologies, the basic problems of creating a good web navigation system remain. Designing Web Navigation demonstrates that good navigation is not about technology-it's about the ways people find information, and how you guide them.
Ideal for beginning to intermediate web designers, managers, other non-designers, and web development pros looking for another perspective, Designing Web Navigation offers basic design principles, development techniques and practical advice, with real-world examples and essential concepts seamlessly folded in. How does your web site serve your business objectives? How does it meet a user's needs? You'll learn that navigation design touches most other aspects of web site development. This book:
Provides the foundations of web navigation and offers a framework for navigation design
Paints a broad picture of web navigation and basic human information behavior
Demonstrates how navigation reflects brand and affects site credibility
Helps you understand the problem you're trying to solve before you set out to design
Thoroughly reviews the mechanisms and different types of navigation
Explores "information scent" and "information shape"
Explains "persuasive" architecture and other design concepts
Covers special contexts, such as navigation design for web applications
Includes an entire chapter on tagging
While Designing Web Navigation focuses on creating navigation systems for large, information-rich sites serving a business purpose, the principles and techniques in the book also apply to small sites. Well researched and cited, this book serves as an excellent reference on the topic, as well as a superb teaching guide. Each chapter ends with suggested reading and a set of questions that offer exercises for experiencing the concepts in action.
James Kalbach has a degree in library science from Rutgers University, as well as a master's in music theory and composition. He is currently a Human Factors Engineer with LexisNexis and previously served as head of information architecture with Razorfish Germany. He is an active speaker and author on information architecture and usability in Germany, where he helped co-found an IA community.
The animal on the cover of Designing Web Navigation is a margay cat (Leopardus wiedii). Native to Mexico, Panama, Colombia , Peru, and Paraguay, these smallish (9-20 pound) cats live in humid evergreen forests. They love to climb, and can rotate their hind legs 180 degress, which lets them run head-first down trees in a manner similar to squirrels. The margay is also able to hang from branches using only a hind foot.
The large eyes of a margay help them hunt at night; their diet consists of small mammals, birds, and fruit. Their pelts are prized by humans, and hunting, combined with destruction of their natural habitats, has led to their endangerment. Margays can live for up to 20 years, but do not have large litters of kittens and reproduce only once every two years. Once listed as vulnerable to extinction, preservation efforts have have helped increase the margay population throughout the world. Though they remain on the list of endangered species, the outlook for their survival is positive.
The cover image of Designing Web Navigation is from Wood's Animate Creation. The cover font is Adobe ITC Garamond. The text font is Hoefler Gotham.
This is really a fabulous book! It puts exactly under words what each designer tries to do every day. The screenshots are very nice and are a real enrichment of the content. Also nice to see is that new web applications are used, with all innovation that these applications tend to introduce. This makes the book a book of this time, reflecting not only the experiences of the past, but also the new techniques from the last years.
A real recommendation for everyone trying to build web navigation!
In the book "Designing Web Nagiation", James Kalbach explains what makes a website usable for Humans. In order to achieve this goal, he has separated the book in 3 parts. Pay attention to remember during the reading that the subject of the book is navigation and not the creation of websites.
Before having a brief view of the content of each part, you should understand that the navigation is the first mechanism that we face when we are surfing on websites. It is very important because it generates the first feelings that we will associate with the website. For example, if it is frustration, there are less chances that you will visit this website again.
In part I, we find a lot of interesting information on the theory of navigation. There are explanations on why people try to find information and how they do that. The beginning of the book is more theoretical than the end. I say so because there is a deep presentation of every navigation mechanism used on Internet. In conclusion, this part is really interesting to find arguments to criticize the navigation of websites.
In part II, we find a framework to construct the navigation mechanisms of a website. Each activity in the framework (analysis, architecture, layout) has an equivalent in software engineering (analysis of the domain, architecture, implementation). It is valuable for people that are used to the creation of softwares. There is also an interesting chapter on the presentation of the solution to people involved in the project (customers, graphical designers, etc). The main problem in this part is that there are different examples for different activities. The understanding of the framework and how to use it would have benefited from an unique example evolving through the activities. There is also a lack of links with the first part, which could be interesting as arguments for the presentation activity.
Part III is less important, navigation is presented in different contexts (web applications, social tagging systems).
A special attention was attached to issues related to people with visual disabilities.
The book is made from 400 pages in color and there are a lot of up-to-date examples. It is really impressive.
In conclusion, it is a nice book to read if you want to have a successful website. I had a lot of good ideas emerging from the reading of each parts. To avoid forgetting them, I advise you to have always a sheet of paper not too far from you.
As an application developer, I found the book extremely useful as it provides a vocabulary which one can use to discuss the User Experience on one's web site/application. The many examples (screen-shots) of web sites from around the world are extremely helpful as they demonstrate the design concepts discussed in the book.
The sections regarding Accessibility and Internationalization are indispensable. These two topics are critical for a successful web site or application.
I would have liked to see more content regarding web applications as used in the enterprise like Client Relationship Management. These applications aren't necessarily Rich Web Application (Web 2.0) as covered in chapter 13.
The full color print lends itself to the many screen-shots and diagrams, but the use of font type and color may be excessive (light gray on light blue doesn't really work, page 24).
The only upset I have is the page width; your eyes scan the text in an uncomfortable manner causing "eye fatigue".