Designing Web Usability was first published in 2000, and at the time the book was probably very cutting edge, unfortunately it could really do with an update as a lot of the content is old and talks about ‘in the future’ with dates such as 2005. It also talks a lot about dial up modems and the speed of the internet, and the size of monitors, a lot of which at time were 15 inch monitors, which now in 2006, broadband is widespread and monitor screen sizes have increased.
After you get past the introductory out dated areas there are some pleasant chapters on web usuability that will never date and that should always be adhered to. These include writing good link titles, writing scannable text and having good navigation. There are separate chapters on Page Design, Content Design and Site Design. All of the chapters have lots of full colour screen shots of web sites and the author discusses what is wrong and right about each one. Again a lot of the web sites discussed also show the type of now outdated web design that was widespread in the late nineties.
There is a good design chapter on intranets, something you do not see discussed a lot in web books. Designing Web Usability tells you how to design effectively for intranets and how the design should be different compared to internet websites.
The final two chapters of the book dedicate themselves to designing a website for users with disabilities and how to design your website for a global audience.
Designing Web Usability is a good book on web usability but is let down by its age. Designing Web Usability either needs to be updated, or have the areas that discuss the then current technology removed.
For an all round web usability book I can recommend checking out ‘Submit Now’ by Andrew Chak which is also published by New Riders.