Design book recommendation

Discussion in 'HTML' started by Csaba2000, Jul 16, 2003.

  1. Csaba2000

    Csaba2000 Guest

    Hi,
    I'm looking to buy a book on PRINCIPLES of design as it applies to web page layout/usage. I am a hardcore web
    programmer so I have no interest in reading all about the software the author loves, but no one has ever accused me
    of making a good layout, web or otherwise, so I'd at least like to get a basic understanding.

    By way of comparison, I bought Robin Williams' book, "The Non-Designer's Design Book", and it was an eye opener
    for me. The book essentially identifies four layout principles and she bolsters her arguments by example, and she
    also illustrates what happens when the principles are not followed. I look at layout on a paper differently now,
    with more appreciation. Based on this, I was going to get one of her books on the Web (The Non-Designer's Web Book),
    but there were a few reviews which said that much of the text is devoted to covering software.

    I specifically want to understand the principles because rules without principles are useless for me. As a
    general rule, I prefer somewhat opinionated authors that back up their opinions (that means I'd rather have a book
    that says "don't do X because such and such will be the result" as opposed to "you could try X or you could try Y or
    maybe even try Z"). My goal in this is to gain an understaning of layout/usage from the user's perspective. I'm not
    under the illusion that I'll turn into a great designer, but perhaps I can become a better critic.

    Thanks for your suggestions,
    Csaba
     
    Csaba2000, Jul 16, 2003
    #1
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  2. Csaba2000

    DU Guest

    Csaba2000 wrote:

    > Hi,
    > I'm looking to buy a book on PRINCIPLES of design as it applies to web page layout/usage. I am a hardcore web
    > programmer so I have no interest in reading all about the software the author loves, but no one has ever accused me
    > of making a good layout, web or otherwise, so I'd at least like to get a basic understanding.
    >
    > By way of comparison, I bought Robin Williams' book, "The Non-Designer's Design Book", and it was an eye opener
    > for me. The book essentially identifies four layout principles and she bolsters her arguments by example, and she
    > also illustrates what happens when the principles are not followed. I look at layout on a paper differently now,
    > with more appreciation. Based on this, I was going to get one of her books on the Web (The Non-Designer's Web Book),
    > but there were a few reviews which said that much of the text is devoted to covering software.
    >
    > I specifically want to understand the principles because rules without principles are useless for me. As a
    > general rule, I prefer somewhat opinionated authors that back up their opinions (that means I'd rather have a book
    > that says "don't do X because such and such will be the result" as opposed to "you could try X or you could try Y or
    > maybe even try Z"). My goal in this is to gain an understaning of layout/usage from the user's perspective. I'm not
    > under the illusion that I'll turn into a great designer, but perhaps I can become a better critic.
    >
    > Thanks for your suggestions,
    > Csaba
    >
    >


    Web site guide: excellent, a must read for beginners and even experts. I
    highly recommend this site. Full book, 8 chapters.
    WEB STYLE GUIDE, 2nd edition
    http://www.webstyleguide.com/index.html

    I assure you that this site will still be excellent and worthy in 1 year
    from now and in 5 years from now.

    Other worthy sites:
    Quality Assurance tutorials at W3C
    http://www.w3.org/2002/03/tutorials

    Using web standards in your page
    http://www.mozilla.org/docs/web-developer/upgrade_2.html

    Open source web design
    http://www.oswd.org/

    Jacok Nielsen usability site
    http://useit.com

    DU
    ---------------------------
    Javascript and Browser bugs:
    http://www10.brinkster.com/doctorunclear/
     
    DU, Jul 16, 2003
    #2
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  3. Csaba2000

    Csaba2000 Guest

    "Talc Ta Matt" <> wrote in message news:...
    > You are better off just looking at what's out there on the web. Popular design
    > styles tended to evolve once every 1.5 to 2 years or so, but in the last couple
    > years (especially the last year) this has been happening more than once a year.
    >

    Hey Matt,

    No offense, but that's exactly what I don't want. I'll try to explain why.
    It's sort of like learning how to dress stylishly. You can use the "extrovert"
    method of looking at what the latest fashion designers are hawking and
    seeing what everyone else is wearing and then go with something similar.
    Or you can use the "introvert" method and put on some assortment of
    clothes and if it doesn't contravene any set of clothes principles (like
    don't mix dots and stripes) declare it wearable. I'm always better at the
    "introvert" method in all arenas (not just clothes).
    Here's another analogy. One of the principles discussed in Robin
    Williams' book concerns the alignment of page elements - that page
    elements shouldn't be arbitrarily placed; there should be an alignment
    relationship between them. Even though what's considered hip may
    change, this principle still holds.

    My understanding of your post is that for me to design a web page
    that is stylish by current standards I'll have to actually see what's currently
    out there because styles change too frequently. I'm not in disagreement,
    but that's not what I'm looking for. Rather, I want to understand what
    principles are in operation when I and other people like the stylish new
    pages and the old favorites.

    Here's two 'for example's. What are the design implications of having site
    navigation based on a "pane" on the left vs. having a "pane" on the
    top vs. some alternate method (I use the word pane because I don't
    want to suggest underlying technology)? Or what are the implications
    of having a drop down menu system vs. the little +/- signs that
    expand/collapse? I don't want a "You should do this one" answer.
    I'm looking to be able to say, "I shouldn't do this one because of
    such and such."

    Csaba


    > Blame it on an increasing web design talent pool who are good with Photoshop,
    > and the luxury of being able to design for broadband users.
    >
    > Web design is also picking up a lot of print design styles too. Four years ago
    > there was a huge difference in web pages and something like magazine ad's. But
    > now many of them are quite similar. In fact, some magazines are also picking up
    > web design styles and actually putting them into their print pages.
    >
    > It's gotten to the point now where notepad and a very simple graphics program
    > are not enough to match current standards.
     
    Csaba2000, Jul 16, 2003
    #3
  4. Csaba2000

    BGW Guest

    <snip>
    > I specifically want to understand the principles because rules without principles are useless for me. As a
    > general rule, I prefer somewhat opinionated authors that back up their opinions (that means I'd rather have a book
    > that says "don't do X because such and such will be the result" as opposed to "you could try X or you could try Y or
    > maybe even try Z"). My goal in this is to gain an understaning of layout/usage from the user's perspective. I'm not
    > under the illusion that I'll turn into a great designer, but perhaps I can become a better critic.
    >
    > Thanks for your suggestions,
    > Csaba

    I highly recommend Steve Krug's "Don't Make Me Think! A Common Sense
    Approach to Web Usability." While he writes specifically aimed at
    large, commercial sites, his principles apply equally as well to small
    and/or personal sites. This book DOES NOT discuss actual construction
    - nary a mention of code, tags, or style sheets. He DOES express
    emphasis on usability, and he's funny as all hell. Published in 2000,
    I believe.
     
    BGW, Jul 16, 2003
    #4
  5. Csaba2000

    spaghetti Guest

    "Csaba2000" <> wrote in message
    news:bf26os$...
    > I'm looking to buy a book on PRINCIPLES of design as it applies to web

    page layout/usage.

    The grid: a modular system for the design and production of newspapers,
    magazines, and books by Allen Hurlburt
     
    spaghetti, Jul 17, 2003
    #5
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