The E-Commerce User Experience

July 9, 2006

Do you build e-commerce sites?

Do you own Jakob Nielsen‘s E-Commerce User Experience?

It’s one of the best books about building e-commerce sites. It provides a substantial amount of insight into how people interact with sites, what visual cues are most helpful, common stumbling points, and how to present product information. The book is based on a fairly rigorous survey of how people interact with 20 sites in 7 categories — clothing, department stores, flowers, food, furniture, music, and toys — and includes a detailed report on the methodology of the survey.

It’s solid stuff.

This book has been very valuable to me because I’ve seen how easy it is for designers, developers, and managers to slip into groupthink about the site they’re building. We all become comfortable with the sites we construct, and with comfort comes resistance to changing how things work or look. Every site becomes “intuitive” after spending a few hundred hours designing, building, and tweaking it … but it’s a very different story for Joe or Jane Internet User who finds your site for the first time.

E-Commerce User Experience has 389 pages, 207 tips, 221 screenshots, and covers categorization, product pages, shopping carts, checkout, registration, search, trust and credibility, and selling strategies. The book is more expensive than others of the same genre, but it’s certainly worth it.

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