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Review Essays of Academic, Professional & Technical Books in the Humanities & Sciences


Internet Design 

Internet page design E-Commerce

Okay so we have opted for low-tech design to make the information contained at our site easily locatable and loadable. Even so there is much astir in E-Commerce and some of the better accounts deserve space.

Encyclopedia of E-commerce, E-government And Mobile Commerce edited by Mehdi Khosrow-Pour (Idea Group Publishing) The Encyclopedia of E-Commerce, E-Government, and Mobile Commerce provides the most inclusive and up-to-date coverage of the e-technologies field. This two-volume encyclopedia includes quality contributions, highlighting current concepts, trends, challenges, applications, and dot.com experiences in the field of e-commerce, e-government, and mobile commerce. With over 200 contributions from more than 300 experts and researchers worldwide, and extensive reference sections which list more than 4,400 additional research works, this encyclopedia stands as the most comprehensive, research-based encyclopedia in the ever-evolving field of e-commerce, e-government, and mobile commerce.

Key Features

  • Authoritative contributions by over 300 of the world's leading experts A single source for comprehensive information on an expansive field In-depth description of more than 1,400 key issues, terms, and concepts

  • More than 4,400 comprehensive references on existing literature and research on e-technologies

  • Organized by topic and indexed, making it a convenient method of reference for all IT/IS scholars and professionals

  • Cross-referencing of key terms, figures, and information pertinent to e-technologies

  • 175 tables and more than 300 figures with detailed illustrations

  • Topics Covered B2B e-commerce Cyber identity theft

  • Digital rights management

  • Dot.com businesses E-collaboration E-commerce advertising

  • E-commerce agents E-healthcare technologies

  • E-marketplaces Electronic voting End user security Mobile advertising Mobile agents

  • Mobile banking and payments

  • Mobile commerce applications and technologies

  • Online security and privacy

  • Personal privacy in e-services

  • Trust in e-commerce Virtual enterprises Web-based learning Web portals

  • Web services

  • Wireless systems

Excerpt: Since the early 1990s, the world has observed a technological revolution of similar magnitude to the industrial revolution of the early 20"' century. This modern revolution has provided organizations and societies worldwide with an innovative medium of communication entirely new to humankind. Researchers made the discovery that through the use of integrated computer-based telecommunication networks, information of all types and forms could be disseminated throughout the world, utilizing existing computer and communication technologies. As a result, to supplement the telephone, fax, and mail, a new medium of communication was born and is known today as the Internet.

This phenomena actually grew out of a project knows as ARPAN ET, funded by the U.S. Department of Defense. The primary objective of this project was to study how researchers could share research data in the case of nuclear attack. The project was later transferred to the National Science Foundation (NSF) and became known as the "Internet," initially to be used by university scholars and researchers. Subsequently, the invention of the Internet led itself to the World Wide Web (WWW), fueled by the technological advancement of computer and communication technologies combining to create a new set of technologies, better know today as Web-enabled technologies or e-technologies.

During the early days of the WWW, this medium was primarily utilized by both public and private organizations to disseminate information about the organizations' products, services, and news. As a result, organizations of all types and sizes worldwide began establishing their presence on the WWW by having their own Web sites filled with all kinds of information about their organizations. Consequently, many organizations began expanding their presence on the WWW by developing new technologies and applications to allow customers and suppliers to conduct business transactions. They discovered that through the use of this technology, customers could do business with the organization electronically, and this led to the birth of "electronic commerce," sometimes known as "e-commerce" or the abbreviated term of "EC." Then came the establishment of a new breed of e-commerce-based businesses, such as Amazon.com and eBay.com, as part of the more than one trillion dollars-a-year industry worldwide.

The innovations achieved through the use of EC during the early days of Web-enabled technologies led to the discovery of "electronic government," otherwise known as "e-government" or "eGov," where governmental organi­zations began using these technologies to develop various applications to serve and govern their constituencies in a fashion that was not possible a decade earlier. Today, e-government applications have allowed many government-based agencies around the globe to reach and serve their citizens in a much more timely, efficient and less costly manner.

As telecommunication technologies further advanced, they introduced new mobile technologies, also known as wireless technologies, for the need of individuals and organizations to conduct electronic transactions and commu­nications through the use of Web-enabled technologies known as "mobile commerce," "m-commerce," or "MC." In recent years, consumers and organizations have benefited from many of the features of m-commerce technologies through numerous applications, such as conducting financial transactions, supply chain operations, advertising, portal access points, information and news services, entertainment and games, and education and training. As individuals and organizations become more mobile and virtual, it is expected that the number of m-commerce-related applications will increase significantly.

In less than two decades, Web-enabled technologies have provided organizations all over the world with tremendous new and innovative opportunities to expand their business horizons in ways that, until a decade ago, were unimaginable. Incredible cost savings have come from conducting operations electronically. Furthermore, these technologies have paved the way for the development of many other indirect applications and uses, such as the creation of virtual communities and enterprises, e-collaboration, distance learning, Web portals, and Web services. In addition, however, Web-enabled technologies have not been free of criticism and problematic issues, ranging from security, privacy, fraud, digital divide, cyber crime and terrorisms, and system incompatibilities.

To better understand the components, applications, and managerial and organizational issues of e-technologies for students, faculty, researchers, managers, public administrators and policy makers, editing an encyclopedia became an important and necessary goal. Therefore, the primary objective of the Encyclopedia of E-Commerce, E-Government, and M-Commerce is to provide the most inclusive and up-to-date coverage of e-technologies by compiling quality contributions that highlight current concepts, trends, challenges, applications, and experiences related to e-commerce, e-government, and mobile commerce technologies.

To provide the most comprehensive, in-depth, and up-to-date coverage of issues, technologies, and applications of e-commerce, e-government, and m-commerce, the many essential and important topics and aspects of these technologies were selected for this encyclopedia project, including: E-Collaboration Technologies and Applications, E-Commerce Technologies and Applications, E-Commerce Management and Social Issues, E-Government Technolo­gies and Applications, E-Government Management and Social Issues, E-Healthcare Technologies and Applications, E-learning Technologies and Applications, E-Technologies Security and Privacy, Mobile Commerce Technologies and Applications, Mobile Commerce Management and Social Issues, Virtual Communities and Enterprises, Web Portals and Services.

To present applied research and coverage, submissions for this encyclopedia were grouped into three categories:

Concepts, Trends, and Challenges: Entries under this category deal with the fundamental and emerging concepts related to e-commerce, e-government, and mobile commerce. Entries in this category provide coverage of current and emerging trends, challenges, problems, and solutions related to these technologies. Furthermore, the entries in this category include 7-10 technical and managerial key terms with full definitions.

Applications of E-Technologies: Entries under this category describe different applications of e-commerce, e-government, and mobile commerce in business or organizational settings. These entries describe how different e-technology-based applications have been developed in support of different business or organizational functions or activities.

Dot-Com Experiences: Entries under this category illustrate various dot-com businesses that either failed or succeeded. These entries describe how the dot-com entity started (history), what kind of services/products it offered (purpose), how it was directed (management), how it failed/succeeded (failure/success factor), and what lessons may be learned from these experiences.

Researchers from all over the world were invited to submit proposals describing their proposed coverage and the contribution of such coverage to the overall theme of the Encyclopedia of E-Commerce, E-Government, and Mobile Commerce. All proposals were carefully reviewed by the editor-in-chief in light of their suitability, researchers' knowledge on the proposed topic, and the quality of the submitted proposal. Authors of accepted proposals were notified regarding the acceptance of their proposals and were provided with a copy of the "Manuscript Organization and Submission Guidelines" for the authors to use in preparing their full submissions. Upon the receipt of full entry submissions, each submission was forwarded to at least three expert, external reviewers for a double-blind, peer review. In many cases, the review process was repeated for those manuscripts that were recommended for revision by reviewers. Only submissions with strong and favorable reviews were chosen as entries for the Encyclopedia of E-Commerce, E-Government, and Mobile Commerce.

Subsequently, the two-volume Encyclopedia of E-Commerce, E-Government, and Mobile Commerce includes more than 200 entries highlighting current concepts, applications, technologies, opportunities, issues, challenges, solutions, and future trends. More than 1,400 technical and managerial key terms with 5-50-word definitions compliment these entries and provide the readers of this comprehensive reference publication with the basic definition and description of these key terms. Furthermore, a total of more than 475 tables and figures contribute to the comprehensiveness of this publication. In addition, this two-volume encyclopedia offers a thorough reference section with over 4,400 additional research sources for the further investigations of scholars, researchers, educators, students, managers, and adminis­trators.

To provide the best entry organization to assist readers in navigating and identifying entries in this publication, this two-volume encyclopedia is organized by listing all entries in alphabetical order by title throughout the publication, and by including the entries' titles and authors' names and affiliations in a regular "Table of Contents" in the beginning of each volume. All entries are also organized under their prospective topic area category in a second "Table of Contents by Topic," allowing readers to identify entries related to their research areas and interests. In addition, the first page of each entry consists of a labels describing the submission category. Furthermore, the first comprehensive and easy­to-navigate index of this encyclopedia assists readers in locating full descriptions and definitions of all technical and managerial terms included, and the second comprehensive index helps readers in identifying any key terms as identified by the authors.

To compliment the print version of the Encyclopedia of E-Commerce, E-Government, and Mobile Commerce, this publication will also be available in an online version with very easy-to-use search capabilities. As with all reference titles of Idea Group Reference, a complimentary unlimited access to the online version of this publication is provided to libraries that purchase a copy of the print version. However, for those libraries that are not interested in purchasing the print version, online subscriptions are available for a reduced price. Access to the online version will allow students, faculty, researchers, corporate managers, and public administrators to also have access to recently added entries to the first edition of this encyclopedia, allowing users to keep up with the latest coverage of emerging technologies and issues related to the coverage if this encyclopedia.

The world has witnessed fundamental change in the way people worldwide communicate with each other and share information. Alexander Graham Bell's invention of the telephone introduced a completely new means for people to communicate with each other. However, the introduction of the Internet, followed by subsequent, innovative e-technologies, has brought a completely new kind of revolution in the areas of communication and information dissemination. E-commerce, e-government, and mobile commerce technologies, in addition to a wide range of applications, have allowed the world to convert into electronic virtual communities where members may communicate, share information and knowledge, do business, obtain services, and conduct educational programs and even religious activities in ways totally unthinkable several years ago. Many researchers claim that e-technology innovations the world currently witnesses are just the beginning of a far more expansive digital revolution ahead of us, and that future generations will be the beneficiaries of these emerging technologies. It is my heartfelt hope that this encyclopedia, with its comprehensive coverage of e-technologies, will assist scholars, researchers, educators, students, managers, and administrators in learning about the current status of these technologies and also facilitate the discovery of future innovative technologies.

Under the Radar: Starting Your Internet Business without Venture Capital by Arnold Kling (Perseus Publishing) Forget everything you've ever read about starting an Internet business. Forget the moon-shot IPO's. Forget Silicon Valley and venture capital. Above all, forget about fundraising. "Fundraising is not for businesses. Fundraising is for charities," warns this tough-minded, eye-opening portrait of successful Internet entrepreneurship.

Under the Radar tells the story of Web companies that bear little resemblance to the cash-burning businesses that were the media darlings before the NASDAQ bubble burst. In this distinctive and timely book, Arnold Kling, an experienced "Netstrapper" who sold his Internet start-up for $85 million, introduces the reader to over two dozen business founders whose stories will inspire and instruct every aspiring and seasoned entrepreneur alike. You will meet Mike Covel, whose Homepharmacy.com earned profits while venture-backed competitors wasted millions of dollars; Michaela Conley, who used her knowledge of the health care promotions field to make hpcareer.net a successful niche employment site; Trevor Cornwell, whose Skyjet.com aggregated the fragmented charter jet industry into a virtual "on-demand" airline. These are some of the "millionaires next door" of the Internet industry. They did not hire public relations firms to concoct front-page stories for the business media. They did not waste time trying to woo venture capitalists, who have their eye on billion-dollar jackpots. Instead, they combined low-cost Internet technology with proven business strategies, and successfully launched grounded and profitable companies.

In Under the Radar, Kling shares with you their success stories. Along the way he provides practical coaching on every important aspect of launching a solid Internet enterprise-from evaluating business ideas to finding the most suitable partners and making the best use of technology. His step-by-step plan will help you to confront the most common challenges that you face and guide you to building solid Internet businesses of lasting value.


Education of an E-Designer by Steven Heller (Allworth Press) Here’s a powerful compass to teaching design in a digital environment! In this guide, more than 50 cutting-edge e-design experts discuss everything educators and students need to know on the road from traditional graphic design to e-design education. Conveniently organized in eight sections, Education of an E-Designer includes fourteen proven-successful syllabi covering everything from basic needs courses like web design and digital imaging to more specialized areas of study such as game design and motion graphics. Readers will find professional advice for incorporating digital technology requirements into the schedule, designing information for online use, becoming familiar with the digital work culture, and designing animation, to name just a few. With its expert guidance, this book is like having a manifesto, field guide, and teaching aide all in one place!

Design Educators Make Timely Response to the Digital Revolution/ Need for Educational Guidance Rises As Schools Embrace New Professional and Technological Developments

In Education of an E-Designer, fifty outstanding practitioners and policy makers in e-design present an educational framework for a discipline that has every design school across the country bustling with innovation. For design educators striving to integrate the new field and its professional perspectives into current graphic design programs, this valuable tool comes just at the right time.

Education of an E-Designer is the first roadmap to teaching e-design, design’s answer to the digital revolution that opens into such diverse and exotic career paths as game design, interactive media applications, motion graphics for film and TV, designing information kiosk displays, and shaping the user experience of e-commerce shoppers. In Education of an E-Designer, educators will find everything they need to turn today’s design students into versatile players in tomorrow’s e-design arena. Whether educators are confronted with the task of digitalizing their classrooms, re-defining the role of the educator (a mere “software trainer”?), teaching the ABC’s of e-commerce, or communicating the skills for such highly specific areas as motion design and information architecture, this unique collection of essays holds the answers.

Education of an E-Designer combines a highly resourceful mix of hands-on advice, philosophical thought, and personal experience with a comprehensive choice of carefully designed course syllabi. An indispensable read for educators and students of graphic design,

Education of an E-Designer will also prove useful to everybody on the design side of web publishing, computer arts, film design, digital motion technology, and many other areas of digital design.

The contributors of this pioneering work come from such diverse backgrounds as classical graphic design, telecommunications, cartoon design, and industrial machine design, and include Sean Adams, Eric Adigard, Bob Aufuldish, J.D. Biersdorfer, Andrew Blauvelt, Red Burns, Anne Bush, Denise Caruso, Cyle Cooper, Hillman Curtis, Meredith Davis, Hugh Dubberly, Geoffry Fried, Diane Gromala, Steven Hoskins, Marie Macmarek, Joanathan Lipkin, Carolyn McCarron, Katherine McCoy, Catherine Nelson, Nancy Nowacek, Melissa Niederhelman, Raymond Pirouz, Louise Sandhaus, Rachel Schreiber, Katie Salen, Loretta Staples, Dugald Stermer, Gunnar Swanson, Charles H. Traub, Tucker Viemeister, David Vogler, Lisa Waltuch, Bruce Wands, Linda Weinman, David Young, Natalie Zee, and Marina Zurkow.

Dreamweaver 4: The Missing Manual: The Book that Should have been in the Box by David Sawyer McFarland (Pogue Press/O’Reilly) As the Web's popularity continues to soar, so does that of Macromedia Dreamweaver, one of the most elegant and powerful web-page creation programs you can buy. Dreamweaver deploys a rich, well-designed, WISYWYG environment for building cross-platform, cross-browser web sites; but unlike most visual editors, it doesn't clutter up the underlying HTML code by inserting unnecessary tags that make large web sites difficult to manage. Dreamweaver is a favorite of multimedia designers, thanks to its smooth integration with other Macromedia applications like Flash and Shockwave.

Dreamweaver 4 extends Macromedia's lead in the web-design market. The new, more sophisticated Version 4 incorporates the latest developments in browser technologies--and the best way to get the full advantage of these improved features is with Dreamweaver 4: The Missing Manual, the ideal companion to this complex software. Under the guidance of Missing Manual series editor David Pogue, author Dave McFarland brings Dreamweaver 4 to life with clarity, authority, and good humor.

After orienting you with an anatomical tour of a web page, the book walks you through the entire process of creating and designing a complete web site. Along the way, a unique "live examples" approach lets you see and test, on the actual Internet, real web pages that follow the development progress of the book's chapters. Armed with this book, both first-time and experienced web designers can easily use Dreamweaver to bring stunning, interactive web sites to life.

Inside Dreamweaver 4 by Anne-Marie Yerks, John Pickett (New Riders) is a tutorial reference that combines knowledgeable explanation with insightful learning activities to engage readers. The end result is a more in-depth knowledge of the software and how it can provide solutions for the user in the work environment.

Inside Dreamweaver 4 assumes that readers have a basic understanding of the software and are looking for solutions to the problems they have incurred. As a result, this book will not dwell on information that is readily available in the software documentation. A brief section introduces Dreamweaver and HTML. After that, the authors present the new features of Dreamweaver 4 and discuss customizing the software before delving into such topics as: HTML Creation Fundamentals, Advanced Document Structuring, Site Management, Rich Media Usage, and Extensibility.

Dreamweaver 4 Magic edited by Al SparberCraig Foster, Murray Summers, Linda Rathgeber (New Rider) Macromedia Dreamweaver has long been considered the leading visual web design tool for professionals... and rightly so. But Dreamweaver also empowers casual users with the tools necessary to produce professional-looking web sites, quickly and easily, without having to write a single line of source code. Dreamweaver 4 builds on the industry's most powerful toolset with a host of usability and productivity enhancements that raise the bar to new heights. Travel along with us as we take you to the cutting edge of 21st Century web design with a little Dreamweaver 4 Magic.
Author Al Sparber has assembled a veritable Dream team. Sparber is a founding partner of Project VII Development, a leading world-wide resource for Dreamweaver learning tools, and home to a delicious assortment of Dreamweaver extensions. Contributing author Gerry Jacobsen (Al's partner at PVII) is a JavaScript wizard. Also contributing to Magic are Macromedia Evangelists Craig Foster, Murray Summers, and Linda Rathgeber... pillars of the Dreamweaver-Fireworks online communities.
The typical Dreamweaver Magic reader is someone who knows that Dreamweaver 4 is the ultimate visual web design tool and wants to explore the full breadth of its capabilities. We assume you are familiar with the Dreamweaver 4 interface and that you understand the basics; and that you are familiar with Dreamweaver's menus and panels; and that you know how to define a web site and install an extension. We also assume you are ready to take your web weaving to a new level!
If, however, you are a Dreamweaver newbie, don't despair. Dreamweaver 4 Magic is a groundbreaking book that comes with a Technical Support Forum. Whoa! We are quite serious about making Dreamweaver 4 Magic an immersive experience built around an unprecedented support community where you can interact with fellow readers, as well as this book's authors, on a daily basis.

What's in This Book:
Dreamweaver 4 Magic is a project-based book. Each project is an entity unto itself, so feel free to start in the middle, at the end, or in that least likely of spots… the beginning. Projects were picked using a very scientific method. We call it the ECYVF Test. Translated: Extremely Cool Yet Very Functional.
There's a lot of DHTML stuff inside. But it all meets the ECYVF test. No gratuitous fluff for us. All DHTML had to meet another, equally stringent test. It had to work in all version 4 and higher browsers including Netscape 6 and Opera 5. The pressure nearly killed us, but we did it. And you'll love it!
Each project is done with Dreamweaver visual tools. There is no manual coding required. If a technique required a special kind of javascript, we developed a Dreamweaver extension to automate the process. Project VII has created some very cool new Behaviors, Commands, and Objects to make this book's projects very special.
We've got dropdown menus. Flyout menus. Scrolling layers inside stationary widgets. Sliding presentations. Framesets that don't look like framesets. Form buttons that act like image buttons. Disjoint rollovers. Collapsible menus. Tree menus. A tabbed interface. A hierarchical jump menu. And a top secret CSS Themes Extension with an off-the-scale wow factor! But there's more...
You'll learn a whole lot about advanced CSS and how to properly use that most powerful of Dreamweaver features: The Dream Template.
We got so excited in writing the projects that we almost forgot the appendices. Rather than do a last minute emergency appendectomy, we cooked up some cool stuff for the back of the book. We've included a comprehensive list of Dreamweaver resources, a listing of our favorite extensions (with guest commentary from the developers), and a listing of really cool and inspirational sites made with Dreamweaver.

The CD
The CD you get is no ordinary CD. It is structured as a web server would be. As you begin a project, you simply copy the appropriate project folder to your hard drive and use Dreamweaver's Site Manager to define the folder as a proper Dreamweaver site. All the necessary files you'll need to complete a project are contained therein. As a bonus, we've also included the fully editable Fireworks 4 image source files so that you can easily customize a project to your heart's content. Project folders each contain finshed_project sub-folders that hold finished versions of each project. The CD interface has a special Projects Viewer section that lets you view the finished projects in the comfort of your own browser!
The CD also contains an Extensions folder with sub-folders for Actions, Commands, and Objects... all in Dreamweaver Exchange .MXP format for click-click easy installation. Most of the Extensions were developed specifically for the book's projects.
Also included, are 30-day trial versions of Dreamweaver 4 and Fireworks 4.
The Dreamweaver Community is a special place. Kind of like a small town that spans the globe. It's full of nice, friendly, helpful souls. We've been a part of that community for quite some time and it's helped us to formulate some educated assumptions about what would make for a successful Dreamweaver book.
You Want Cutting Edge Stuff that is also practical!
We've seen all the cutesy stuff in how-to books from a-z. We don't want you to burden your web sites with one single line of code unless it is a functional enhancement. Now if you want usable DHTML that works in all modern browsers and that works to make a visit to your site that much more enjoyable... then this is the book for you!
You Want Visually Striking Design
We were absolutely fanatical about the quality of the images used in our projects. Text and background contrast had to be just so. GIFs had to be perfectly blended into our pages. Clean and crisp was the order of the day, every day we worked on Dreamweaver Magic.
So we assume, after all is said and done, that you really want a book like Dreamweaver 4 Magic!
The Dreamweaver Magic Community: A Very special Place
The real value of Dreamweaver lay in its wonderful and supportive community evident in Macromedia's Dreamweaver Newsgroup, Project VII's Dreamweaver-Design Pack Newsgroup, various mailing lists, and now...
The PVII Webdev Forum. That's right! This is a software book that actually aims to provide world class technical support. See you later at forums.projectseven.com!

 The E-Commerce Book: Building the E-Empire (2nd Edition) by Steffano Korper & Juanita Ellis (Academic Press) Our goal is to provide audiences with the information required to take advantage of E-Commerce in their business. The E-Commerce Book is a guide to get readers up and running quickly in understanding the business and technology aspects of e-commerce. Think of this book as the E-Commerce Cookbook. You first need the right ingredients. Once you have the ingredients, you combine the right amounts of each item. And after you prepare the entrée, you focus on improving the appearance with garnishes. Well E-Commerce may not be as straightforward. However, there are those key ingredients that will help you well on your way.

In our second edition, we still focus on the main requirements needed to build a web presence. Topics such as marketing and sales, vendor selection and security are covered. However, we now have data to work. When we first starting working with companies to get on-line, it was all new. The main goal was to get up and running before the competition hit. Now, through experience we know what worked and did not work in this industry. Back to the idea "If You Build It, They Will Come" has proven not to work in this market. We see companies that were successful in the first wave, go down hill because they neglected standard business practices such as great customer service, strong fulfillment channels and target marketing to the right customers. So, in this book we have expanded on areas such as customer service, fulfillment channels and methods to keep your customers coming back for more products. Currently we are seeing only a handful of successful companies that have flourished in doing business on t he Web. These companies include large corporations such as Dell Computers and Cisco and web based companies such as e-Bay and Amazon. The question is what made these companies leaders and what drove them to their success.

What makes this book different? We know there are so many books on e-commerce. Most of these books focus on one area such as sales and marketing, customer service, supply chain management, e-commerce technology, etc. However, most individuals still need to gain an overall understanding of the topic. Once you understand the basics, you can then start focusing on specifics such as customer service or sales and marketing. In addition, even the businessperson should understand the e-commerce technology lingo. This book provides the information required for the non-techie to quickly understand e-commerce jargon without having to be a programmer or system developer. Furthermore, the is one of the first e-commerce books on the market in it's second edition. We have been able to take our experience over the last two years and bring it to the reader.

This Book is for anyone in Business:
* Entrepreneurs
* Sales and Marketing
* Business Owners
* Corporate Management
* General Business Book
* University Students
* Short Courses in E-Commerce

Webworks: E-Commerce by Katherine Tasheff Carlton (Rockport) With nearly one out of every three Internet users making on-line purchases, e-commerce site designers must tread a fine line between utility and aesthetic. Pull-down menus, back-end databases; secure servers, limited bandwidth, and brand marketing all must be taken into accounts while developing a visually pleasing;: easy-to­-use website explores, and, illuminates the balancing act e-commerce designers face when working with, often-restrictive technology, in a highly competitive marketplace.

 The customer is king. The rule my great-grandfather upheld while operating a corner grocery store in the early 1900s still applies in the world of elec­tronic commerce. Customers want to have their needs met as quickly and conveniently as possible. With an estimated 304 million people online worldwide and the average duration of a page view less than one minute, e-commerce customers are increasingly interested in the expedience the technology offers, not the technology itself. Most of the novelty of online transactions has worn off; people want to get online, make their purchases, and get on with other activities. Sites must immediately grab attention. If users are not intrigued or satisfied, they move on-quickly.

Repeatedly, the conversations I've had with site designers have boiled down to this Simplicity is the key to e-commerce design. As most developers know, a design that appears simple is often the mast complicated to create With nearly one out of every three Internet users making online purchases, e-commerce site developers must tread a delicate line between utility and aesthetics. Beyond the retail-oriented sites, the corporate world has almost universally made the leap to online transactions. Pull-down menus, heavy back-end databases, secure servers, limited bandwidth, and brand marketing all must be taken into account while creating a visually pleasing, easy-to-use environment.

What does simplicity in design really mean? More often than not, ease of use is the bottom line. This means that the most important aspect of e-commerce design is understanding the company's business model and knowing how customers will access the site and what they will demand when they do.

Many designers try to do too much, loading sites with too many bells and whistles or presenting so much information on the home page that users are immediately lost. Occasionally, the original model was a good starting point, but through the rapid expansion possible in the interactive age, sites outgrow their systems, navigation, and basic design.

Sometimes simplicity in design means not changing the site around to accommodate every new advance in technology. As Rhonda Wells, director of e-commerce for Payless ShoeSource, says, "How do you feel in this scenario? You're in the middle of cooking dinner for guests that evening when you realize you're out of an ingredient. Time is of the essence, so you drive to the grocery store you frequent once a week and double park knowing you'll only be five minutes maximum. Once inside, you run to the middle of the aisle on the left-hand side where the ingredient is always stocked, but it's not there-in fact, nothing that belongs there is there. The store has changed and you're not happy-you're frustrated. Then you're even more frustrated when the store manager explains that the change was made to enhance your shopping experience." Customers must be able to appreciate the improvement in the site; otherwise, you may lose their business.

No hard-and-fast rules exist on the Internet; things change too quickly for rules. But over the past few months, I've been able to identify guidelines that every e-commerce designer should take into consideration:

• Know what technology you need to deliver what your customers want. If you're fulfilling customers' orders via e­mail, you don't need a comprehensive e-commerce environment. But if you have 20,000 items in inventory, spend the time to develop a system and interface that really work. Skimping will mean slow site operation and customers who can't find what they're looking for.

• Do the research. The coolest Flash introduction in the world is a complete waste of time, energy, and money if most of your customers are connecting through their local libraries or around the world at significantly slower rates than here in the States. Even high-speed customers may not want to wait.

• Balance navigation and information carefully. This is a tough one. People want their information as quickly as possible, but too much content at once leaves the customer feeling confused and stranded. Even FAD Schwarz doesn't display all their merchandise at one time.

• Don't try to do too much. When we work with this technology all day long, there's a tendency, almost a driving need, to utilize new technologies to make a site more interesting. Unfortunately, most customers aren't impressed and often are actually turned off. The technology should be transparent; the user experience should be seamless.

Electronic commerce is more than buying widgets online. In fact, some people define e-commerce broadly enough to include the use of fax

machines to place orders. For the purposes of this publication, I've defined electronic commerce as the use of the Internet for initiating, conducting, or fulfilling the requirements of a business transaction. I've tried to cover an extremely broad range of e-commerce businesses, from the big online retailers like drugstore.com and Nordstrom to electronic marketplaces like bSource and subscription sites like The Wall Street Journal. By the time this book is published, I'm sure many new technologies will enable still more types of e-commerce sites. But in the spectrum of enterprises included here, I hope that designers and entrepreneurs will find design approaches, innovative uses of technology, and navigational concepts that will help them in building their own sites.

 Color Harmony for the Web: A Guidebook for Creating Great Color Schemes On-Line by Cailin Boyle (Rockport) Choosing the Right Color palette can Create a world of meaning for any on-line project. Color Harmony for the Web is a wonderful tool created for Web designers and desktop publishers. It provides you with the building blocks to ensure that you make the most effective color choices for every Web project-every time. This handy reference offers hundreds of color combinations organized by style and mood, and is all you need to help you wade through the thousands of color schemes available within the range of Web­safe colors. Color Harmony for the Web provides you with the inspiration and know-how to make your Web colors sing. 

Design on the web has grown with its use. In 1992 there were only about 5o web sites. The latest statistics track the number of web sites at 3.6 million, with additional sites coming online at a rate of 4,400 per day! Whether or not you love the web, there's no denying its growing importance: The U.S. Department of Commerce's Census Bureau recently released its first set of e-commerce numbers, reporting that online retail sales were $5.3 billion for the fourth quarter of 1999.

The number of actual web pages has also reached epidemic proportions. NEC Research estimates that there are around 1.5 billion web pages, with the number expected to reach 8 billion in the year 2002, exceeding the world's population.

The number of potential web sites also continues to grow. Registrar Network Solutions registered 4.7 million new domain names in 1999.That's more than double their registrations in 1998, for a total of about 8.1 million registered names.

However, amid this breadth of choice, research indicates that 8o percent of users only visit 15,000 sites, or just 0.4 percent of all pages available. Therefore to keep and attract attention, web sites need to focus their efforts. Along with effective site architecture and content, the design and use of color are key to attracting and branding a site, building mindshare with users and the number of all-important return visitors.

In this book we'll explore the aspects of color, from its psychological effects to its limitations when designing for the web. We'll also review several web sites that successfully use color, and we'll explore why the colors work and what inspired the creative directors and designers when creating the site.

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