The book begins with a briefing on Jakob's web usability principles, themselves culled from years of research. The 50 sites fall under such categories as Fortune 500 Sites, Highest-Traffic Sites, and E-Commerce Sites.
The content is simply presented: Four book pages are devoted to each homepage. The first page is a clean screenshot of the site's homepage (for readers to make their own, unbiased judgments), followed by a page that explains the site's purpose and summarizes its success--or failure--at usabilty. The third and fourth pages are devoted to crtiques, where Jakob and Marie present no-holds-barred commentary for specific usability practices, as well as suggestions for improvement. Although only the homepage of each site is analyzed, many of the critiques can be applied to overall website design.
Dr. Jakob Nielsen Jakob is principal of Nielsen Norman Group; he was previously a Sun Microsystems Distinguished Engineer. Nielsen's Alertbox column about web usability has been published on the Internet since 1995 (http: //www.useit.com). Nielsen has been called "the world's leading expert on web usability" (U.S. News & World Report), "the guru of Web page usability" (The New York Times), and he "knows more about what makes web sites work than anyone else on the planet" (Chicago Tribune). Marie Tahir Marie is Director of Strategy at Nielsen Norman Group, where she has focused on B2B and B2C user experience redesign. She previously managed the Human Factors group at Intuit, Inc., where she introduced and taught user centered design methodology and oversaw the user experience of the TurboTax, ProSeries, and QuickenLoans product lines. Prior to Intuit, Marie was at Lotus Development Corp., where she pioneered field research and user profiling methodology and was responsible for the usability of the SmartSuite product line. She is the co-author of "Bringing the Users' Work to Us: Usability Roundtables at Lotus Development" in Wixon and Ramey's Field Methods Casebook for Software Design.