Website research

Websites - Jakob Nielsen’s usability website. - the World Wide Web Consortium’s site which sets the international standards for numerous aspects of the Web - Readability Tests - Website accessibility toolbar

Plain Language - The US Government website with a wealth of information on this topic.


Our star rating (one to three) indicates the book's suitability for non-technical people who are seeking practical advice about the Web that is easy to read and understand. One star means it is quite technical.

Writing for the Web

Lynch, Patrick J. and Horton, Sarah. Web Style Guide **
Yale University Press, USA, 1999

This book covers the basic design principles for creating websites. It is included in this section because, although old in Web years, it deals with many cognitive principles and editorial principles that don't date and are essential to understanding how people learn and process information from a screen.

Strunk, William Jr. and White, E. B. Illustrated by Kalman, Maria. The Elements of Style ***
Penguin Books: USA, 2000

THE essential guide on writing. It is not specifically about the Web, but everyone writing for the Web should have it beside them, continually dipping into it to learn about effective writing.

Redish, Janice. Letting go of the Words - Writing Web content that works ***
Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, USA, 2007

This book offers strategy, process and tactics for creating or revising content for the Web. It presents practical checklists, step-by-step processes and plenty of very good advice about how best to present content on the Web.

Jeney, Cynthia. Writing for the Web - a practical guide
Prentice Hall, USA, 2008 *

This book covers some of the basic elements of writing for the Web. It is has some useful hints and tips for those writing websites for the first time or who want to improve their writing online.

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Books about the Web

Design and usability

Nielsen, Jakob and Loranger, Hoa. Prioritizing Web Usability ***
New Riders: USA, 2006

This is a must read. This book prioritises the crucial Web usability principles that concern all people who work with the Web.

Nielsen, Jakob. Designing Web Usability: The Practice of Simplicity ***
New Riders Publishing: USA, 2000

This book critically evaluates the Web from the user’s perspective. ‘The web is the ultimate environment for empowerment, and he or she who clicks the mouse decides everything.’

Krug, Steve, Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability ***
New Riders: USA, 2000

‘It’s a fact: People won’t use your Web site if they can’t find their way around it.’ This book contains observations and practical solutions to crucial Internet design issues and has great tips about conducting website evaluations including focus groups.

Tidwell, Jennifer. Designing Interfaces: Patterns for Effective Interaction Design**
O’Reilly Media: USA, 2006

A great learning tool for those wanting a usable and attractive website.

Garrett, Jesse James. The Elements of User Experience: User-Centric Design for the Web *
New Riders: USA, 2003

This book addresses the complexity of the user experience by looking at all aspects of usability, ‘from strategy and requirements to information architecture and visual design.’

Horton, Sarah. Access by Design: A Guide to Usability for Web Designers **
New Riders: USA, 2006

Provides designers with clear and established best practices for essential Website features.

Rubin, J. and Chisnell, D. Handbook of Usability Testing **
Wiley Publishing, USA, 2008

This is a general handbook providing step-by-step guidelines to help test a product for usability. It is not specifically for the Web but its principles and methodologies are very applicable to website testing.

Marketing and the Web

Sterne, Jim. World Wide Web Marketing: Integrating the Web into Your Marketing Strategy
John Wiley & Sons: Canada, 3rd Edition, 2001

This is a comprehensive guide to marketing on the Web. It is entertaining, practical and a must for marketing people.

Veloso, Maria. Web Cop That Sells
Amacom: USA, 2nd Edition, 2009

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Managing website and strategy

Smith, Steven. Living Websites, United Focus: Adelaide, 2003 ***

A practical guide to understanding the life cycle of websites. It examines the five central themes of the life cycle: managing, planning, building, sustaining and improving.

Brown, Dan M.  Communicating Design: Developing Web Site Documentation for Design and Planning *
New Riders: USA, 2007

Addresses the need for communication between Web developers and their clients and the importance that the documentation plays in the development process.

Negroponte, Nicholas. Being Digital *
Hodder & Stoughton: Australia, 1995

One of the first and most original thinkers about the Web and how it will affect our lives. A memorable quote from the book, "It's not fiber optic to the home we're waiting for, it's imagination."

Mitchell, Ben. Website Planner: A Practical Guide to Planning Your Web Presence *
Prentice Hall: Australia, 2002

This book focuses on the importance of creating a website and what design elements work by providing a practical guide of the development process.

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