Designing Usable Electronic Text

Authored by
Andrew Dillon

Published by CRC Press
2nd edition, 2004
1st edition, 1994
ISBN 0-4152-4059-X
Order at CRC Press:

From the cover

With the growth of the World Wide Web, information is increasingly being presented to readers in large quantities and in forms that can be rapidly searched to suit their needs. Poor design and a failure to consider the user often act against effectiveness in communication. With a new emphasis on the Web and hypertext design and their impact, The Second Edition of Designing Usable Electronic Text explores the human issues underlying information usage, and stresses that usability (or the lack of it), a major quality of the user experience of technology, remains a barrier to the digital medium's campaign to gain mass acceptance.

Readership: Graduate students and professionals in the media and information sectors, information architecture and human-computer interaction


  • Chapter 1: Reading, books and electronic text
  • Chapter 2: Electronic documents as usable artifacts
  • Chapter 3: So what do we know? An overview of the empirical literature on reading from screens
  • Chapter 4: Describing the reading process at an appropriate level
  • Chapter 5: Classifying information into types: the context of use
  • Chapter 6: Capturing process data on reading: just what are readers doing?
  • Chapter 7: Shape: information as a structured space
  • Chapter 8: TIME: a framework for the design and evaluation of digital documents
  • Chapter 9: Applying the TIME framework
  • Chapter 10: Conclusions and prospects

What the reviewers said:
2nd Edition

"(The new edition) is without question an important resource to all professionals involved in the human-computer interaction field and user interface designs."
HCI International News

1st Edition

"(Provides) an instrument which will clarify the design of both empirical studies of reading and the implementation of electronic text"
Journal of Documentation

"(P)rovides an excellent coverage of the human factors issues associated with electronic documentation and will be useful both to those assessing the use of such systems in their own organisation as well as system designers and providers..... a recommended source for students of IT and HCI"
Ergonomics Abstracts

"The underlying strength of Dillon's analysis is his sophisticated view of the complex of activities associated with the act of reading"
College and Research Libraries

"This book would be most useful for an advanced graduate course in HCI"
International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics