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Head First Web Design Paperback – 2 Jan 2009

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Product details

  • Paperback: 500 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (2 Jan. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596520301
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596520304
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 2.9 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 394,737 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

About the Author

Ethan Watrall is a professor at Michigan State University where, among other things, he teaches user centered design, interactive design, interactive storytelling, game design, and game studies. He has also written several books on web and interactive design. His digital alter ego can be found at http://www.captainprimate.com

Jeff Siarto is a Web and User Experience designer living in Chicago. He is the founder of Siarto Labs, a small design company and co-founder of Loudpixel, a consultancy specializing in web development and online learning. Jeff was a student of the standards-based web design movement and writes articles and tutorials aimed at helping new web designers get started in the craft.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Icicle on 3 May 2009
Format: Paperback
I've been a huge fan of the "Head First" series of books since they were launched and have used them to prepare for several Java certifications. Their book on design patterns is the most readable book on the subject. Recently though it seems to me that they are rushing out books on every subject under the sun. That is painfully evident in this ill-thought-out book.

I don't know who the authors have in mind as being the typical audience for this book. On the one hand they assume you are conversant in HTML and CSS but then spend a couple of chapters telling you how to organise a navigation system and how to speak to the customer. A lot of it is common sense to anyone who has spent time browsing the web. It's probably safe to assume that anyone who has bothered to learn
HTML and CSS will have spent a fair amount of time online. Incidentally, anyone looking for a well-presented, visual, introduction to CSS could do worse than check out the CSS section of the "Head First" book on HTML&CSS.

There were things I liked about this book. The section on colour palettes contained some useful recommendations. The section on accessibility was excellent and is a subject often overlooked because it's not as much fun as playing around with colours and layouts. The section on the business angle was useful, though by no means comprehensive.

What disappointed me most about this book was the number of omissions. Despite emphasising accessibility and knowing your audience( ironic since the authors don't appear to as far as the book is concerned ) no advice is given about browser compatibility. While some might argue that this is a CSS implementation issue it is a consideration you make prior to writing the code therefore is a design issue in my book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Geek Wannabe on 31 Aug. 2009
Format: Paperback
I am a self taught web designer and this book puts everything I know into context and has helped me to produce better quality websites faster.

If you are already creating great websites or you have been on a web design course then this book may not be for you.

This book also helps you to provide better communication with your clients and how to organise yourself better by working methodically.

One of my biggest flaws in web designing was accessability to disabled user and this book really helped me.

I would recommend this book if you want to fine tune your web designing skills.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Do yourself a favour and don't make the same mistake I did with buying the paperback hard copy... it isn't printed in colour and as a 'design' book, it was much harder to get a grasp on contrasts and layout because it's all greyscale. Got hold of the ebook now which is all in colour and it's WAY better.

As for the content, it's great to have a web design book that isn't all about code or the UI of a creative program for mockups. It's thorough, goes into a lot of basic concepts without being condescending, and I've found it a valuable learning tool, as I have with other Head First books.
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By Jack on 20 Sept. 2011
Format: Paperback
Excellent book for beginners. Many good exampels with step by step guides. Explained in a "easy to understand" way. I strongly recommend this book for beginners.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 31 reviews
52 of 52 people found the following review helpful
Excellent - but watch the typos 7 April 2009
By M. Duffield - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
As a member of its target audience, I found this to be a tremendous book. It's perfect for web developers who know (X)HTML and CSS but are clueless when it comes to the design process itself. The only thing to beware of is the large number of errors that should have been caught in the editing process.

I do a decent amount of PHP/MySQL and Javascript/AJAX work, so I have to already know how HTML & CSS operate. I don't need to be told what a div element is, or what a style declaration looks like. I am the least creative person on the planet, though, and this book feels like it was written specifically for me. I can't think of higher praise than that. It takes you through the process of building a site - not just what a good webpage looks like, but how a whole site is structured and fits together and ways to make that come alive through design. I never felt confused, but never felt like the authors were moving too slowly, either.

This is my third book by Head First (I also have the HTML and AJAX books), so I already knew that I liked the Head First writing style - perhaps a little light on technical side, but the lessons get driven home. The reader simply retains material from these books, and that is tough to find in most technical books on the market.

Again, the only thing to watch out for is the sloppy editing; there were a few too many editing errors for my taste. I still gave the book five stars, though, because it was just that good.
31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
Finally A Web Design Book For The Entire Process 13 Feb. 2009
By Ira Laefsky - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Head First Web Design is a invaluable tool in planning and building web sites and follows the excellent pedagogical principles of other books
in the Head First series. It is also unique in teaching the entire life cycle of building a usable, information-rich, beautiful, navigable, and accessible web site, and not being confined to illustrating the graphical layout of beautiful web pages. It illustrates, the sketching, information design, navigation, and customer interaction issues involved in developing a sophisticated, content-filled web site and prepares the developer to perform a well-managed design and implementation process. The guide does assume that the prospective web designer have familiarity with HTML, XHTML, and CSS, but that is an entirely reasonable assumption for any web designer and is well served by the HTML/XHTML volume in the Head First Series. This is an excellent and most necessary book for the design of sophisticated information architectures, and usable beautiful web sites that serve both the user and the organization that commissioned them.
--Ira Laefsky
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
A solid addition to an already strong series of books 20 April 2009
By S. Wichmann - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Don't let the cover deter you... there's a wealth of knowledge beneath it. As a somewhat practiced web-developer, I found this book to be quite a fresh and at times rather humorous approach to a subject many of us tend to marginalize in our work: the design process. From devising color schemes to navigation and content hierarchies, the book covers a lot ground and contains some pretty good exercises (though none too technical) for both novice and experienced web designers/developers. Naturally, it does a great job of illustrating how implementing good design practices in your work will translate into (and improve) your coding. I particularly found the chapter on Accessibility to be rather useful, as it is another thing a lot of us tend to forget about when creating websites...On that count, I am guilty as charged.
22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Brain-friendly Web Design 101 28 Jan. 2009
By Franco Arda - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Head First brought us another a masterpiece in the usual brain-friendly way. After studying this book you'll 'master' pre-production, information architecture, navigation, color, and even accessibility.

WHO IS THIS BOOK FOR? If you can answer 'YES' to all of these;
1) you're comfortable with XHTML & CSS but don't have experience with web design.
2) do you consider yourself a web developer (PHP, Ruby on Rails, .NET) and want to become a better web designer?
3) do you need to understand web design for a course or your line of work?

TABLE OF CONTENTS (in brakets are my comments)
1 Building Beautiful Web Pages (know your audience, design for your users)
2 Pre-Production (start with paper, pencil, and a big fat pink eraser)
3 Organize Your Site
4 Layout and Design (some golden rules incl the Golden Ratio)
5 Desinging With Color (the color wheel & more ... excellent!)
6 Smart Navigation
7 Writing For The Web (...is different!)
8 Accesibility
9 Listen to Your Users
10 Evolutionary Design (keeping your site fresh/design updated)
11 The Business of Web Design (great basic stuff for those turning 'pro')
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Good Web Design Principles 31 May 2009
By konscept - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Overall this book gave good advice. It was centered in design principles you'll have in a systems design course and adopts many of the same principles that are in design books. Easily explained, assumes you already have knowledge of xhtml, css, javascript although none are required to understand content.
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