|Web Design, 7e (In Easy Steps)
Author: Sean McManus
The first part of the book is all about web design - what makes a good looking web site that is easy to use. One of the first topics covered is the diversity of devices people could use to visit your website. Not content with computer, iPhone/cell phone, iPad/tablet device and games console Sean McManus extends the list to a screenreader to read web pages aloud to blind people and a refreshable Braille display which can be read by touch. This is followed by a discussion of how devices affect design and later on a section on accessibility principles for making a site easy to use. The section ends with steps for setting up a website - and these are expanded on in the following sections.
Planning is the first step and is the topic of Section 2 which starts by exploring the purpose of the website, identifying its existing competitors and considering its potential audience. The section also covers hosting the website and selecting a domain name and concludes with two pages on working with web designers - the alternative to designing the website for yourself.
Section 3 deals with creating content. The first couple of pages review some ideas for content, it then looks at how writing for the web differs from printed documentation followed by a page of sensible tips. It then moves on to images including photos. At a rather different level it then looks at compressing images and then changes tack again with adding a video and a Google map to your site.
Layout and Design is considered in the next section - mentioning the goals that website design needs to achieve starting with "inspire visitors to look around your site and spend time there", it goes on to discuss the problem of not knowing how large a user's the web browser will be. Then the discussion becomes more practical, introducing the technique of using a grid, presenting four steps for achieving good alignment and considering what to put above and below the fold, adopting another idea from the newspaper industry. Other topics in the section are color scheme, gradients, fonts and it concludes with a consideration of the look and feel of the site. Next comes a section on navigation and this seemed to be particularly useful and coherent. It concludes with 14 tips for effective links.
The remaining chapters are relatively short and each of them covers a topic which really requires many more pages. For example, we look Content Management Systems in 10 pages which is probably the way that most beginners should go in the first place - the CMS used is WordPress. Then testing and launching, promoting your site and measuring success with analytics. All important topics but far too briefly covered to do more than make the reader aware that these are aspects they will need to know about if they want to achieve a successful website.
This is typical and the overall verdict has to be that it tries to cover far too much ground in far too few pages. If you want a rapid overview then it might be a good place to start, but you will need another book, more realistically a number of books and be ready to learn.
|Last Updated ( Wednesday, 29 November 2023 )