Customer Review

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed, 17 Nov. 2009
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This review is from: The Non-Designer's Web Book: an Easy Guide to Creating, Designing, and Posting Your Own Web Site (Paperback)
Robin Williams' design and type books inspired me to change my life and I can't recommend them too highly. Likewise, her new book on presentations, though inevitably recycling some of the same material, adds the new dimensions of time and theatre as well. So I was looking forward to reading the Non Designer's Web Book with a view to passing it on to people who know a lot less about web design than I already do. But no, sadly I can't recommend this one of the otherwise excellent family of books.

I think there are two problems:
- the main problem is that it feels terribly dated. The internet is fast moving, and it has left a lot of the material in the book behind. People don't want basic web sites like this any more: there are read-made blogs, content management systems and online site builders for the simple stuff, which is about as far as this book goes; interactivity, AJAX, server applications, in short "Web 2.0", is beyond its scope. Two paragraphs about cross-browser design issues simply isn't enough, especially as it isn't (easily) possible to install multiple versions of Internet Explorer on the same computer. Four pages on CSS is nowhere near enough for someone new to the subject; we still seem to be living in the land of tables and image slicing to do layout. Though published in 2005, it feels more like 2000.
- it can't cover the technology in enough detail to be helpful to someone new, but on the other hand doesn't add enough to the aspects of design, appearance and interactivity that web pages throw up over paper design.

I think someone who wants a simple web site might do better to read William's "Non Designer's Design Book" for the more detailed design principles, Steve Krug's "Don't Make Me Think!: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability" for web-specific presentation, and something else appropriate for what you're working with for the technical aspects of web design - there's vast amounts of stuff online to help, and chances are you'll be starting with something off the shelf for a basic web site.
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D. Earl
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Location: UK

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