Productivity: Recommended Reading Page of Sonoff Consulting Services, Inc.'s Web Site

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Main Headings for Productivity: Recommended Reading Page of Sonoff Consulting Services, Inc.'s Web Site

Information is provided under three major headings on this Web page:

  1. Productivity-oriented Web Site Considerations: Design, Implementation, Accessibility, Usability, and Optimization
  2. General: Organization, project and time management, creativity and personal development topics
  3. Digital ways to read news and information


NOTE: Relevant hyperlinks are included within the associated paragraphs to make your browsing session productive and all the more enjoyable.

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Productivity-oriented Web Site Considerations: Design, Implementation, Accessibility, Usability, and Optimization

To focus on Web site-related productivity, Scsi recommends that you "read, mark, and inwardly digest" the contents of each of the following excellent reference books:


Access by Design: A Guide to Universal Usability for Web Designers

Authored by Sarah Horton and published by Newriders (an imprint of Peachpit, a division of Pearson Education), ©2006 by Sarah Horton, 264 pages: ISBN 0-321-31140-X. Sarah Horton covers in the thirteen chapters that comprise Access by Design's contents the three basic layers of Web design: function, interface, and content. The author clearly states that this book is organized around best-practice guidelines for universal usability. Each chapter begins with an overview and is followed by guidelines. The guidelines are, in turn, broken into sections, such as basic principles covering broad concerns, specific concerns, and a summary section marked "In a nutshell." Sections and guidelines are numbered for orientation and easy reference, and the Appendix contains a quick reference to all the guidelines and nutshells. Clear definitions and supporting graphics appear throughout the book, and Scsi found its contents to be highly supportive of the author's premise that to build sites that are universally usable, we must base our designs on a framework of solid functionality.

Sarah Horton's book certainly incorporates many of the Web universality factors contained in Scsi's World Class Level Web Site Best Practices for Web Usability and Web Accessibility, and Scsi encourages you to study and apply these very concepts in your Web site designs.

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Accessible Web Sites

Published by in 2002: ISBN 1-904151-00-0. This 415-page book consists of 13 chapters and three Appendices authored by Jim Thatcher, Paul Bohman, Michael Burks, Shawn Lawton Henry, Bob Regan, Sarah Swierenga, Mark D. Urban, and Cynthia D. Waddell. As the authors state in the Introduction, "This book not only contains a detailed discussion of technical issues surrounding web accessibility, but also covers legal and policy issues, as well as the practicalities of implementing web accessibility, and integrating this technology into an organization." Scsi recommends this as a must-read book for anyone who is serious about learning so many of the otherwise dispersed details regarding Web accessibility issues, including those related to several of the more popular Web development tools available just prior to its publication in 2002.

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Bulletproof Web Design: Improving flexibility and protecting against worst-case scenarios with XHTML and CSS

Authored by Dan Cederholm and published by Newriders (an imprint of Peachpit, a division of Pearson Education), ©2006 by Dan Cederholm, 270 pages: ISBN 0-321-34693-9. Dan Cederholm's book, Bulletproof Web Design, consists of nine chapters wherein the author first defines what he means by the bulletproof concept as applied to Web sites, then guides you through several strategies for bulletproofing Web sites: improving flexibility and preparing for worst-case scenarios. Dan covers not only the high-level concepts, but he also gets down to the details associated with the underlying source code -- both XHTML and CSS -- so that the reader is led naturally to learning how to harness the concepts to make them real.

The logical learning approach taken is to apply the clearly stated and explained concepts through learning-by-example approaches. Each design example always begins with addressing "why it's not bulletproof" followed by a section that covers "why it's bulletproof" -- as a consequence of "doing the correct things in the correct order" -- thereby leading you rather convincingly toward greater understanding and appreciation of what factors must collectively be taken into account to achieve bulletproof Web page designs. The final chapter is (naturally) entitled, "Putting It All Together" and culminates the prior chapters' explanations and examples by providing a finished product Web page that incorporates nearly all of the preceding bulletproofing concepts.

This is a refreshingly informative book that Scsi recommends you examine for yourself.

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Designing Web Usability

Authored by Jakob Nielsen and published by Newriders (2000), 419 pages: ISBN 1-56205-810-X; LCC #99-63014.

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Designing with Web Standards

Authored by Jeffrey Zeldman and published by Newriders (2003), 436 pages: ISBN 0-7357-1201-8; LCC #2001094556.

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Don't Make Me Think! A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, Second Edition

Authored by Steve Krug and published by Newriders. © 2006 Steve Krug, 201 pages: ISBN 0-321-34475-8. How does an author update a classic? Well, Steve Krug has carefully and quite effectively augmented what he detailed previously in his first edition of this highly popular book. How? The final three chapters (10, 11, and 12) now address what Steve categorizes as "Larger Concerns and Outside Influences" and the respective chapter titles are: Usability as common courtesy; Accessibility, Cascading Style Sheets and you; and Help! My boss wants me to ________.

Everyone should acknowledge as well as learn to appreciate the author's continued attempts to promote Web accessibility and Web usability principles. In particular, however, if you are a Web site developer, Scsi recommends that you acquire this book, apply its "doing the right thing" and "build clarity" into your Web site(s), and keep a copy within arm's reach for easy retrieval of its many nuggets of useful information.

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Homepage Usability: 50 Websites Deconstructed

Authored by Jakob Nielsen and Marie Tahir and published by Newriders, (2001), 315 pages: ISBN 0-7357-1102-X; LCC #00-111648.

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Search Engine Marketing, Inc.: Driving Search Traffic to Your Company's Web Site

Two Web sites -- and Global Strategies International -- are those of Mike Moran and Bill Hunt, co-authors of the highly informative book entitled, Search Engine Marketing, Inc.: Driving Search Traffic to Your Company's Web Site. ISBN: 0-13-185292-2, IBM Press. This is a no-nonsense book -- crammed with ideas, tips, details, and hard-earned expertise about developing and implementing a search marketing program, including guidelines on putting together that would show the benefits for your business, be it small, medium, or enterprise in size and complexity.

Scsi was particularly impressed by the friendly, conversational tone of the authors -- more or less of a "here's what we have learned, why it is important for us to tell you, and how you will benefit from the logically organized specifics that we are spelling out for you in this book" -- coupled with both the depth and completeness of coverage in each and every one of the sixteen chapters of this (560 pages in the 4th printing, January 2006) book. If you were to focus on what is contained in any one chapter, the book would most certainly pay for itself many times over, so buy it, apply its principles to your company's Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) programs, and come to realize that your Web site(s) will be substantially improved as a result.

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Speed Up Your Site: Web Site Optimization

Authored by Andrew B. King and published by Newriders (2003), 496 pages: ISBN 0-7357-1324-3; LCC #00-2002110031.

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The Design of Sites: Patterns, Principles, and Processes for Crafting a Customer-Centered Web Experience

Authored by Douglas K. Van Duyne, James A. Landay, and Jason I. Hong and published by Addison-Wesley, (2003), 761 pages: ISBN 0-201-72149-X.

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The Unusually Useful Web Book

Authored by June Cohen and published by Newriders, (2003), 388 pages: ISBN 0-7357-1206-9; LCC #2001095011. June Cohen convincingly proves that she knows what constitutes essential Web site usability factors and effectively pulls information from many expert resources. Scsi recommends this book as "must reading" for anyone who wants to quickly learn about Web usability-related matters, as well as to apply her twelve steps for achieving Web site success. How good are her suggestions? Interestingly enough, essentially all of the critical elements which she describes so clearly and logically in her book are manifested and demonstrable for all to see in Scsi's "Perfect 10" Standard. See for yourself.

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Web Design: The Complete Reference

Authored by Thomas A. Powell and published by Osborne/McGraw-Hill, CA, (2000), 872 pages: ISBN 0-07-212297-8. Powell provides his readers with a thorough treatment of Web site planning, design theory, and real world development practices.

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General: Organization, Creativity, Project and Time Management Books

Here is just a sampling of some of Scsi's favorites:

  • "A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge" - Project Management Institute Standards Committee
  • "Creating" - Robert Fritz
  • "Empowering Innovative People" - Karl F. Gretz and Steven R. Drozdeck
  • "Organizing from the Inside Out" and "Time Management from the Inside Out" - Julie Morgenstern
  • "Memory & Attention: An Introduction to Human Information Processing" - Donald A. Norman, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. (1969). LCC #68-54912.
  • "The Inmates are Running the Asylum" - Alan Cooper
  • "The Persona Principle™" - Derek Lee Armstrong and Kam Wai Yu, (1996), Simon & Schuster Inc., New York, 240 pages: ISBN 0-684-80268-6.
  • "The Power of Design For Six Sigma" - Subir Chowdhury, (2003), Dearborn Trade Publishing, 148 pages: ISBN 0-7931-6060-X (hardcover).
  • "The Time Trap" - Alec Mackenzie


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Digital ways to read news and information

Scsi subscribes to numerous newsletters. One format that proves particularly appealing is that offered by Zinio with its Delivery Manager software program. You not only get the feel that you are able to 'turn the pages' of whatever magazine you have subscribed to just as if it were a hardcopy document, but the availability of hyperlinks, for example, to Web sites or to specific pages listed in the Table of Contents, greatly enhances one's reading experience and overall productivity. Try it out for yourself to see more of what it offers.

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This Productivity: Recommended Reading Page of the Sonoff Consulting Services, Inc.'s Web Site was last updated, validated -- to assure full conformance to W3C's HTML5, CSS3, and WCAG Accessibility (Priorities 1, 2, and 3, inclusive) recommendations -- and uploaded on Monday, February 29, 2016 at 9:35 a.m. ET by Raymond Sonoff, President of 271 Saxony Drive, Crestview Hills, KY 41017-2294 USA: Telephone: (859) 261-5908.

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