The Web Design Wow! Book

"A Visually Stimulating Book"

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Type of Book
Title: The Web Design Wow! Book
Author: Jack Davis and Susan Merritt
Publisher: Peachpit Press
Publication Date: 1998
Pages: 219 with 1 CD
ISBN: 0-201-88678-2
Price: $39.95

The Web Design Wow! Book is a full-color guide that teaches you how to apply design principles to the creation of on-screen interactive media--primarily Web sites and, to a lesser extent, CD-ROMs and floppy-disk presentations. Instead of providing click-and-drag recipes to prepare a Web site, this book focuses on designing the interface so the bells and whistles of the technology always complement the communication goals of the site. It includes over 50 case studies and more than 600 full-color examples of successful and creative interfaces. It was designed as a tool for problem-solving and inspiration, and is meant to be used with a "flip and focus" approach: with your design problem in mind, flip through the pages until you see a solution that catches your eye, and then stop and read about it. There's very little emphasis on the tools you need to accomplish the design of your site. But, where such information is relevant, the authors mention the Windows and Macintosh products designers used to create a special graphic or effect, or products frequently used in general. The included CD-ROM comes with demonstration versions of WYSIWYG and standard HTML editors and full versions of Netscape Communicator 4, Internet Explorer 4, Macromedia Shockwave and Flash, RealPlayer, and GIF and other Web utilities.
User Level    
Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced Web site developers. This is a book on design tips, so just about anyone--whether beginning designer, creative director, production manager, or marketing professional could learn what's important in planning, designing, finalizing, and updating good sites. Beginners can start by learning the conceptual foundation of good design, tailored for interactive media. Intermediate and Advanced readers can jump right into the case studies of real-world design solutions.
The content of The Web Design Wow! Book is organized into ten chapters. The first three focus on the design and development process. You will find reminders about design fundamentals and designer-client-producer interactions, extended and particularized for the interface design process and Web site development.

In Chapters 4 through 10 you'll find case studies of interface design projects, grouped according to communication goals, with chapters on marketing, entertainment, tools and applications, education and training, publishing, portfolios and presentations, and sales. Each case study presents the concepts behind the design, examples of screen layouts, a map of screen organization, insights and strategies from the creators, and a brief listing of the human resources, hardware, and software used to carry out the project.

At the end of each chapter is a Gallery section with additional inspiring examples of screen design. At the back of the book is the Appendix, with credits and contact information for the interfaces included in the opening chapters, case studies, and Galleries.

Chapter 1: An Overview of the Production Process--this chapter presents an overview of what you need to consider when creating a Web site or any other multimedia project. The authors discuss production methods and teach you how to define your purpose and audience; decide on your project's organization, content, and navigation; and assemble, test, and market your final product.
Wow Sight + Sign
Chapter 2: An Interface Checklist--learn about various interface elements you need to consider, such as buttons, backgrounds, typography, animation, images, video, and audio, and the trends in each areas, such as the decreasing popularity of beveled buttons and the increasing popularity of 3-D graphics. Interactive help and user feedback are also discussed.

Chapter 3: Five Design Reminders--discusses the five basic tenets of good design, including clarity, consistency, and contrast.
Chapter 4: Marketing--Adobe Systems; Landor; Interstate Consolidation; J. Walter Thompson; Lynx Golf Inc.; Nissan Interactive; San Diego Gas & Electric; Sundance Channel; and Toyota.

Chapter 5: Entertainment--The Journeyman Project 2: Buried in Time; Discovery Channel; Hybrid CD-i Interactive Television Project; The Journeyman Project: Pegasus Prime; Quattro Formaggi; and Xplora.

Chapter 6: Tools and Applications
--The Program; Bryce 2; Art Dabbler; CyberMom; On-Screen TV Program Guide; and Making It Macintosh.

Chapter 7: Education and Training--Adobe Photoshop 3.0 Deluxe CD-ROM; WayKing Cobrapoint 1; The Cartoon History of the Universe; Fantastic Forest; How Your Body Works; King Cobra; Interactive Roundtable; Leave It to SEEMIS; Lost & Found; MegaMorf Monster Lab; and Computer Curriculum Corporation.

Chapter 8: Publishing--Microsoft Encarta 97 Deluxe Encyclopedia; EnviroLink Network; CondeNet, Inc.; Interact: The American Center for Design Journal; Just Think; Testing the Human Spirit; Surfer Publications; and Verbum Interactive.
Chapter 9: Portfolios and Presentations--Echo Images, Inc.; The Mackerel Stack; Mackerel Interactive Media; Pinch; Qaswa Communications; The Speared Peanut Design Studio; and Wow Sight + Sound.

Chapter 10: Sales--CSA Archive Sampler; Studio Archetype, Inc.; Image Club Graphics; NucleusOne Guide; and Worldview Systems Corporation.
Personal Comments
The Web Design Wow! Book is a great visual inspirational resource for anyone. Not all Web sites need to be as elaborate as some of the examples in the book, but it gives you an abundance of design ideas to incorporate into your own work.

Graphics: CorelDraw & Adobe Photoshop
Web Page Editor: Symantec Visual Page
Scanner: Hewlett Packard ScanJet 6250C Professional Series