The Non-Designer's Web Book, 3rd Edition

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9780321303370: The Non-Designer's Web Book, 3rd Edition

If you think web design is beyond your reach, or if you want your existing web site to look more professional, this thoroughly updated classic is the place to turn! In these pages, best-selling authors Robin Williams and John Tollett share the creative ideas, useful techniques, and basic design principles that are essential to great Web design-all in the context of the most current technology, software, and standards. Throughout, the authors' aim is to inspire you and spark your creativity rather than sedate you with pages and pages of code. To that end, you'll find loads of real-world examples, interesting illustrations, and the simple instructions you need to implement the techniques and concepts described in these pages.

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Review:

While the second edition of The Non-Designer's Web Book won't answer all of your technical questions about the inner workings of the Web, it explains most of what a beginning designer needs to know: what the Web is, how it gets to your computer, how to use it, and, most of all, how to design for it.

Any artist can tell you that you have to know how a medium works to get the most impact from working in it. A basic understanding of how the Web works enables the good designer to create the most effective sites. This book thoroughly discusses the different kinds of graphics that are used on the Web, when to use one over another, how to make the most of text styles, and how to design navigation systems.

The comparisons are the best stuff here--good design vs. bad design, why designing Web pages is different from designing printed pages, and why a site looks terrific on one monitor but terrible on another. Two chapters on properly preparing graphics and setting typography for use on a Web site describe how to avoid obvious mistakes that would make your work look amateurish.

Not limited to design, The Non-Designer's Web Book shows how to get a site up and running, register the domain name, and add it to search engines. After the design is finished and implemented, the site has to be uploaded and updated; this is explained, too.

If there is one fault with this book, it's the lack of information on specific authoring tools. The barest overview of the current crop of tools appears in chapter 3, "Just What Are Web Pages, Anyway?", but a discussion of why you should choose one package over another is absent.

Don't let that fault stop you from buying this book, however. Plenty of magazines regularly have Web authoring tool "shootouts." What the magazines don't do, and what The Non-Designer's Web Book excels at, is tell you how to make well-designed pages. If you're going to build Web sites, for either personal or professional use, but you have no clue where to begin, start with this book. It's easy to read, devoid of confusing jargon, and full of dos and don'ts to help you avoid common snags. --Mike Caputo

Review:

The Non-Designer's Web Book is a pretty, full-color guide for aspiring Web designers. The authors first explain how to browse and search the Web and then discuss how to plan and post a Web site. Then they get you into the real work of designing Web sites, whether for business or personal purposes. The authors teach you basic design principles--covering such areas as alignment, proximity, repetition, and contrast--and then discuss design issues that are specific to the Web: You learn about creating pages with careful attention to color, graphics, typography, tables, and more. Finally, you learn how to test, fix, upload, update, and register your site. The book isn't an HTML primer, but you do get a few tips on tweaking your pages by editing HTML code. The authors discuss a variety of Macintosh and Windows programs for creating Web pages, such as Adobe PageMill, Claris Home Page, and Microsoft FrontPage, and they also discuss image editors, such as Adobe Photoshop. At the end of each chapter there's a quiz for reviewing what you've learned.

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