This is an innovative and timely book that introduces the reader to the human component of Web site design. Readers will be able to do a much better job of writing front ends or other interactive software, as the book describes the creation of user-friendly Web sites. In the context of Human-Computer Interaction and Web design, this book covers such topics as user and task analysis, content organization, visual organization, navigation design, prototyping, and evaluation, as well as color, typography, multimedia, accessibility, globalization. For individuals interested in entering the field of Web page and site design, as well as industrial team workers in HCI and Web site development.
“This is the kind of book I’ve been searching for!” — Robert Renman, Augustana University College
“I used your textbook in draft form this past semester for my undergraduate HCI course. It was fantastic. The students loved it, I loved it, and we had a great time. I think they learned a lot.” — Mary Jane Wiltshire, School of Engineering, University of Portland
“I realty like the book and think that it would fit into the course I’m going to teach in the fall.” — John K. Estelt, Ohio Northern University
From the Back Cover
Here is a book that presents Web design as an application of key ideas of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI).
This text is the only one of its kind that addresses Human-Computer Interaction as it relates to website design. It stresses HCI principles, not just Web implementation techniques. The book provides a working knowledge of Web design. aimed at creating Web pages and sites that are attractive and user-friendly. while allowing students to become familiar with the concepts and terminology of Web design as a basis for further study.
Major themes include:
- Human Computer Interaction: Chapters 1-8 cover the importance of knowing your customer and the significance of visual and content organization of a website, as well as navigation design and the crucial issues of prototyping and user testing.
- Supporting Disciplines: The impact of color, typography, and multimedia are discussed in terms of website development.
- Major Web Issues: The significance of accessibility, globalization, and personalization are discussed in the context of a successful website.
Rich in pedagogy, the book contains more than 300 review questions, exercises, and projects. A full suite of instructor supplements is also available.
About the Author
Don McCracken is Professor of Computer Science at City College, CUNY, and the author of more than 20 textbooks in computer science. He is a past president of ACM and the 1992 recipient of the ACM SIGCSE Award for Outstanding Contributions to Computer Science Education.
Rosalee Wolf is Professor of Computer Science at the School of Computer Science, Telecommunications and Information Systems of DePaul University, where she was the first Director of the HCI program and was instrumental in creating the first bachelor’s program and the second master’s program in HCI in the United States. A -former NASA fellow, she leads the groundbreaking American Sign Language project at DePaul.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
This text combines an introduction to human-computer interaction (HCI) with an exposition of website development.
No one today needs convincing that the World Wide Web is a major phenomenon. Students are surely convinced, and they desire instruction in developing websites, but they usually see the subject in terms of writing HTML and of associated implementation tools. They often undervalue what the established field of HCI has to contribute to a good website.
This book is intended for such a student and for anyone else who wants to build effective interfaces between people and computers.
The goal of any course based on the book is to enable students to develop interfaces that are usable: they permit the user to find what he or she wants, find it quickly, and carry out any interaction effectively and efficiently. This goal has much broader applicability than the World Wide Web, of course. But with the Web being pervasive and of much interest to students, we chose to build our presentation around the Web.
Most of today’s software is interactive, and most of our graduates will be called upon to write front ends or other interactive software as part of their jobs. People who have mastered the material in this book will be able to do a much better job of interaction design than they could without that knowledge. They will also be better prepared to work with HCI and website development experts in an industrial team setting.
The order of presentation of the topics was given a great deal of thought, with revisions based on teaching experience. Details may be seen in the Table of Contents. Here is an overview:
- The first eight chapters build a solid foundation of HCI concepts and practice as outlined in the ACM SIGCHI’s Curricula for Human-Computer Interaction. Topics include human perception, user and task analysis, content organization, visual organization, navigation, prototyping, and evaluation.
- The next six chapters are devoted to issues specific to website development: color, typography, multimedia, accessibility, globalization, and trust.
- A generous appendix presents an expository introduction to XHTML and Cascading Style Sheets. All formatting, after a first few examples, is done with Cascading Style Sheets, which has numerous advantages that are explained in the text.
Support for Instructors
The many review questions and exercises are a major feature of the book. The review questions help a student master the principles. But, as with sports, playing a musical instrument, or software engineering, a student learns to apply HCI principles to website development by doing it. You can’t learn to swim simply by listening to lectures, and you can’t learn user-centered development that way either. The way to learn is to take an assigned design task, carry it through, then compare one’s work with that of other students under the guidance of the instructor. A model solution can be most helpful if presented after the students have tried to do it on their own.
This raises the always challenging issue of how an instructor should grade this type of project, especially if the instructor has limited experience in teaching the subject. Our response is an extensive Instructor’s Manual. It contains suggestions for applications, ranging from short assignments to term-long projects, plus model solutions in the form of some of the best student work we have encountered in our teaching. The Instructor’s Manual also contains tips for teaching and grading, sample syllabi, and sample exams.
The book has a companion website at http://www.prenhall.com/mccracken_wolfe . It contains links to illustrations in the text, URLs for simplicity in following links in the text, and other materials. A password-protected site contains the Instructors Manual and a set of PowerPoint slides for each chapter.
The bibliography for each chapter lists all literature cited in the text. These sources are both industrial and academic. Citations of relevant sources accompany design rules and guidelines as they appear in the text.
To practice what we preach, the book and supporting materials have been thoroughly use tested. Over a period of 18 months, several drafts of this book have been test-taught to approximately 1000 students at eight colleges and universities. Feedback from students and instructors has been instrumental in shaping the topic coverage and pedagogical strategy.
How to Use This Book
This organization permits great flexibility in how a course based on the text is structured. A prerequisite knowledge of Web-page authoring can be assumed or not. A prepublication version of this book has been taught successfully, using Web examples, both to students having no background in website development and to students who have extensive Web development experience.
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