Jim Kalbach

Jim Kalbach

User Experience Design Expert

  • @JamesKalbach

Jersey City, New Jersey

Areas of Expertise:

  • Experience Design
  • Information Architecture
  • Usability
  • Interaction Design
  • consulting
  • speaking
  • training
  • writing
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 Principal UX Designer with Citrix. Prior to that, he was a User Experience Designer with LexisNexis and 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.

Designing Web Navigation Designing Web Navigation
by Jim Kalbach
August 2007
Print: $49.99
Ebook: $39.99

Jim blogs at:

UX Debt: Borrowing From Your Users

May 03 2014

In financial terms, “debt“ is money borrowed by one party from another. The borrower can spend money they currently don’t have with an obligation to pay it back later, usually with interest. So, the borrower is willing to trade off added cost (interest) for immediacy (spending money now). Debt allows… read more

Resources on UX Strategy

March 27 2014

Below is a list of resources I reference in my workshop on UX strategy. Because UX strategy must ultimately align with business strategy, understanding the business side of things is imperative. Consequently many items below represent some of my favorite sources on business strategy and strategy in general. This list is… read more

"This really should be on the reading list of anyone who designs websites that go more than one page deep. Not only will you design better sites, but your users will thank you. "
--Thomas Duff, Duffbert's Random Musings

"Designing Web Navigation is an excellent and highly recommended pick for any collection strong in web design fundamentals."
--James Cox, The California Bookwatch

"The book is published by O’Reilly, so there’s a certain expectation of quality from the start. That expectation is met through extensive visual reference throughout the full color volume. Styles used in the book are consistent throughout, and you’re able to pick up patterns in the text as you read along...This is a really great book on a topic which isn’t a primary focus very often. If you work on the Web (especially if you’re a designer) I would recommend you give this book a quick read over a weekend or two. There is some really great information provided which will definitely help you design better navigation systems for your websites."
--Jonathan Christopher, Monday by Noon

"Kalbach's book is well written, organized, and complete. He really drills down into the subject for you and leaves nothing to chance or guesswork...For the newbies out there, if web design is your dream or the casual hobby you want to turn into a career, make sure you have a sufficient background in HTML and CSS at the minimum before tackling this text. The book isn't going to hold your hand if you don't know the difference between a header tag and how to style font with CSS. Do your homework and succeed in mastering basic webpage design before moving on to this book. When you're ready to proceed though, you'll need it."
--James Pyles, Cert Forums

"This book was a definite treat for me, loads of information from an experienced interface developer, laid out in a clear and precise manner, lots of great and meaningful imagery throughout the full colour layout ... lovely. The target audience is anyone really, as this book is about design principles and not about programming. As the author says "When did 'web design' become equated with programming?" Web Design professionals, home enthusiasts, IT Managers, Managers in general, your 14 year old neice or nephew or your 80 year old grandparents could all read this book and gain some insightful knowledge about website navigation design. My favourite line? ... "even the coolest site will fail if the navigation is poor". A double thumbs up from me, it's a great book."
--Steve Cartwright, Cyber Aspect

"Author James Kalbach has done an outstanding job of writing a book that shows you how to analyze your business needs and translate them into a workable navigation system for your users...This most excellent book is not a coding book. Nevertheless, it does explain the types of navigation that can be used during the web design phase."
--John Vacca, Amazon.com

"Navigation is a part of every website yet not every website is able to implement a workable, efficient system. The purpose of site navigation is to inform the user as to where they are, what is available to see, and where they can go next. The author provides a well-formed framework for designing good site navigation. This full-color book is filled with examples of excellent navigation designs that can be used as guides for developing world-class websites wherein content becomes more easily accessible. Good navigation techniques help website visitors find the information that they are seeking, and therefore make the site a more valuable resource. (Reprinted with permission from The Kleper Report on Digital Publishing, copyright 2007, Graphic Dimensions, Lauderdale by the Sea, FL.)"
--Michael Kleper, The Kleper Report

"Kalbach’s book is very useful, especially when you are designing a huge site where there are a lot of considerations to be made, such as your navigation style, labeling, site architecture, layout, presentation and social tagging, among others. With so many new features on the web today, we can easily get lost on the things that we can do in our site for the sake of just having them. Kalbach’s book can help in keeping us objective and to base our decisions with the best interest of the user and owner in mind."
--Janette Toral, Sun.Star Cebu

"Just about anyone involved in creating a web site can benefit from the information in this book. At the very least they will be able to confirm that their current navigation system is working or not working."
--Stephen Chapman, Fegall

"After a flip through it I really want one. It looks to be quite exhaustive, well designed, and in color. It is a gem of a book."
--Thomas Vander Wal, Flickr

"This handsome volume will help web designers learn how to analyze their business needs and translate them into a workable navigation system for their users. Unlike some other design books, James Kalbach doesn’t shove his own design principals down the reader’s throat. Instead, he cites use cases and usability studies that will help readers figure out which design approach will best suit their needs."
--Susan Prosser, author of Filemaker Pro 9: The Missing Manual, Amazon.com

"This book is chock full of the right material that belongs on your shelf for when you need it, and you will. "
--Brett Merkey, Amazon.com