Web Resource 4:

Article: Suns's New Web Design

By: Jakob Nielson, Sun Microsystems Distinguished Engineer, Sun MicroSystems
URL: http://www.sun.com/980113/sunonnet/

Nature of the Content
Describes relaunch and redesign of the Sun's Microsystem Web Design with focus upon the enhancing the site particularly speed and navigation.

January 13, 1998. The issues of navigational layout and speed are very similar today. However with changes in technology especially user speeds, it is likely this site will become static.

Web Users, Sun Microsystem stakeholders,

Information is useful because it provides a practical commercial implementation of Web Usability through the rehaul of its website. It demonstrates that usability issues are not static but ever-changing due to the business changes in technology, methods and customer interaction. It highlights only two features that are prevalent in usability today that causes dissatisfaction - download times and navigation. The goals and techniques approached to develop speed and navigational consistency are highly applicable to many e-Commerce websites. However, the article only provides a narrow description of web usability due to its individual site focus and may not be appropriate for managers whose site considerations vary greatly due to its content type and customer needs.

Usability & Design
The site is well designed, with content organised into sections that are easily understood by any reader and loads quickly due to the minimal use of graphics. It's left menu probably requires slightly more spacing to separate it from the main text area of focus. Variation of same colour scheme - purple and mauve shades ensures that site consistency is maintained. Graphics used well - clarity and proporitional to text. Not too big. Different options to find information - Provision of search engine, contents in site menu, and drop down box. Minimal use of hypertext linking. Uses up most spaces. The remainder of the site really isn't any use if more information is required regarding Usability since it is a company site, however it illustrates the improved speed, flexibility and navigability that the article puts forth.

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Web Resources:

1. Global Study of Commercial Websites
2. Jakob Nielson's Paper & Essays
3. Usable Web
>>4. Sun's New Web Design
5. Factors and Principles affecting Usability
6. Designing an E-Commerce Site for Users
7. Usability Problems of Today
8. Information Architecture of the Shopping Cart
9. Web Usability, IHJCS
10. Stickiness in an E-tailing environment


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