Rating: 4/5

Jakob Nielsen & Kara Pernice, Eyetracking Web Usability (Berkeley, CA: New Riders, 2010).

If you’re a web designer, then you really owe it to yourself to at least check this book out from the local library and read it once. The list price of $70+ dollars is a little more than I would want to spend, but if you can find a good deal, I think it’s worth it. Eyetracking research is very hard to do yourself. This book reports the results of a sizeable professional eyetracking study done regarding web usability. The book starts by explaining what eyetracking is, how the study was done, and then goes into specifics like page layout, navigation, web design elements, images, advertisements, and viewing behaviours.

The general take-away message is to keep your designs clean and consistent with lots of whitespace and minimal clutter. Make it as easy as possible for your user to accomplish their goal. The book gives some very clear and concrete suggestions and examples. It has certainly helped reinforce design principles I had already adopted and also helped me see where I can make some improvements. I highly recommend this book to anybody who manages a business website.