10 Great Web Sites

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What makes a great Web site? BtoB maintains that a successful Web site has high-quality product and company information, presented in a compelling way. It must be easily navigated, leading visitors from one point to the next along a direct and logical path. It has a clean design that effectively reflects the company's brand. It enables customers to purchase online-or takes them as close as possible to that point. And last, a great Web site displays its power in seemingly small ways, for instance by showing a product from different angles, making contact information easy to find or giving visitors a chance to opt in to e-mail newsletters.

In the following pages, you'll find profiles of 10 Web sites-representing a variety of industries-that masterfully accomplish these tasks. You'll find basic information, such as how many people work on the site and when the last major redesign was. You'll also find comments from two prominent Web site usability and design experts.

Shane Ginsberg is a managing director of San Francisco-based AKQA, a global interactive marketing agency. Ginsberg has worked in new media and e-commerce for 10 years and has completed more than 100 interactive projects for clients including Microsoft Corp., McKinsey & Co., Cisco Systems, Genentech, Sun Microsystems and Avaya.

Jakob Nielsen is principal of the Nielsen Norman Group, a usability consulting firm based in Fremont, Calif. He holds 74 U.S. patents, the majority of which relate to ways of making the Internet easier to use. In addition, he has authored 10 books about related topics, including "Homepage Usability: 50 Websites Deconstructed."

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