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Usability Expert Nielsen to Address IU Web Conference

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BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA - Web design expert Jakob Nielsen will deliver the keynote address at Indiana University's WebdevShare 2000, to be held in Bloomington Nov. 12-16. Called by The New York Times "the guru of Web page usability," Nielsen is regarded as one of the most influential people in Web interface design and an outspoken user advocate.

Since 1996, WebdevShare has attracted participants from more than 200 colleges and universities in North America to the Bloomington campus to share information on the development and delivery of Web-based administrative systems for higher education. Topics to be explored during WebdevShare 2000 include mobile agents, online transaction processing, e-commerce, virtual communities, Web portals, Web security, and Web user interface issues. More than 450 higher education professionals are expected to attend the conference.

Nielsen, a Sun Microsystems Distinguished Engineer until 1998, is co-founder of the Nielsen Norman Group with Donald A. Norman (former vice president for research at Apple Computer). Nielsen has published nine books on interface issues, including his most recent title, "Designing Web Usability: The Practice of Simplicity" (Indianapolis: New Riders Publishing, 2000). He also holds 48 U.S. patents and has been an invited speaker at many of the most important Web conferences and events worldwide. His Web site,, registers millions of hits each year, as does his bi-weekly column, "The Alertbox: Current Issues in Web Usability," available by e-mail subscription and on the Web.

Nielsen's participation in WebdevShare 2000 is especially timely, according to conference chair Vince Sheehan of IU's University Information Technology Services. "Web development tools have evolved a great deal since this conference started five years ago," said Sheehan. "It's especially important now to take stock and consider how applications on the Web in higher education can be designed to make life easier for the people we serve."