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Make Me Think:
A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability
BY STEVE KRUG
Hands down, the best book on web usability in the market.
Unlike other texts on the subject, Krug's book is joy to read.
It's funny, self-deprecating and sometimes the humor hits
a little to close to home (see section "The Farmer and
the Cowman Should be Friends"). It's insightful and the
advice comes from someone who clearly has a breadth of experience
in the field.
Web Usability: The Practice of Simplicity
by Jakob Nielsen
You have to give Jakob his props. The man knows what he's
talking about, and he has the research to back it up. Although
some of the text (and screenshots) in this book are dated,
much of his sound advice still stands as undisputable axioms
of truth. Unfortunately, that won't always get you out of
a design jam. Check out his site, useit.com,
for his latest insights.
Architecture for the World Wide Web
BY LOUIS ROSENFELD, PETER MORVILLE
This is the definitive text on IA. In fact, just about anything
worthwile on IA every written originated from these two. If
you want to build a foundation of usability for your web site,
this book will show you how to do it. Get in touch with your
inner-librarian and get this text today. Jakob wrote the forward.
Related: Argus Center
BY RAY KRISTOF, AMY SATRAN
It's a bit puzzling and disheartening that this book is Out
of Print. A wonderful overview of the design process for interactive
digital projects. Short, easy-to-read. And although it was
written in the early days of web design (1995), it's still
one of the few texts that accurately understands the process
of web design.
Design of Everyday Things
BY DONALD A. NORMAN
Norman makes a compelling argument about how we are surrounded
by objects that don't work well. They were poorly conceived
and designed, but were polluted by good looks. He applies
cognitive psychology as the solution for bad design. Obviously,
this a must-read for web and interface designers, but it has
plenty of meat for print designers. Ironic that this book
is so poorly designed.