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Designing Web Navigation--New from O'Reilly: Understanding and Mastering Navigation Fundamentals

August 29, 2007

Sebastopol, CA--Reading news, looking for jobs, shopping for shoes, searching for old flames, mapping trips, and selling old gear are just some activities people do every day on the web. Yet even in today's dynamic Web 2.0 environment--characterized by user-generated content, collaboration, and broader participation--the issues of designing effective web navigation systems remain, and in many cases have become more complicated.

"A cool site with lots of interactivity and user participation will still be lousy if the navigation doesn't work," writes James Kalbach, the author of O'Reilly Media's latest release, Designing Web Design ($49.99 USD). And in his new book, Kalbach aims to give readers the tools they need to create elegant and user-friendly web navigation systems.

Packed with real-world examples and four-color illustrations, Designing Web Navigation details basic design principles, development techniques, and practical advice for creating optimal navigation systems, Well-researched and cited, it's an excellent reference and superb teaching guide, ideal for beginning to intermediate web designers, managers, other non-designers, and web development pros looking for a fresh perspective.

Throughout his timely new book, Kalbach illuminates how to design navigation systems for large, information-rich business sites. But the principles and techniques also apply to small sites as well. And review questions at the end of each chapter reinforce the skills learned.

To help users master navigation design fundamentals, this book discusses:

  • A framework for navigation design
  • A broad picture of web navigation and human information behavior
  • How navigation reflects brand and affects site credibility
  • How to understand the problem before you set out to design
  • Different types and mechanisms of navigation
  • "Information scent" and "information shape"
  • "Persuasive" architecture and other design concepts
  • Special contexts, such as navigation design for web applications
  • An entire chapter on tagging

Designing Web Navigation, helps new and seasoned Web designers move confidently from abstract concepts to concrete solutions, integrate navigation and search, create effective navigation systems for social classifications and tagging services, and develop navigation with rich web application.

Indeed, good web navigation is not about technology--it's about how navigation guides people to the information they need. "Web navigation design is a craft," write Kalbach. "As with any design practice, navigation design is about balance, trade-offs, and exploring alternatives."

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.

  • More information about the book, including table of contents, index, author bios, and cover graphic
  • Designing Web Design
    James Kalbach ISBN: 0-596-52810-8, $49.99 USD
    1-800-998-9938; 1-707-827-7000

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