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Above the Fold: Understanding the Principles of Successful Web Site Design Paperback – March 11, 2011


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Above the Fold: Understanding the Principles of Successful Web Site Design + HTML and CSS: Design and Build Websites + Don't Make Me Think, Revisited: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability (3rd Edition) (Voices That Matter)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: HOW Books (March 11, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 144030842X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1440308420
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #380,063 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"Alas, I wish this book had existed when I began designing for the Web. It's some consolation to know that Above the Fold will become an essential part of Web design curricula for years to come. It's a must-read / must-have book for anyone studying Web design."
Charles Nix
Chairman, Type Directors Club
Professor, Parsons School of Design 


"Above the Fold is one of the few Web design books that goes past just the display of a Web site and dives into the entire process of unlocking the strategy to create a successful digital product."
Bryan Hamilton
User Experience Director, Razorfish


"Brian presents a rather well-rounded picture of the Web design process--from design and usability, to aspects of marketing and analysis--providing the reader with clear insights they can take away and apply. Nicely done."
Thomas Beeby
Principal, Chief Creative Officer, Beeby, Clark and Meyler


"Brian clearly articulates the symbiotic connection between 
the Web designer, client and end user. Above the Fold is one 
of the best books I've seen that treats the creative process as  a vital asset necessary for business success."
David Vogler
Creative Director, NBC Universal


"A great idea will never take off if it's not presented clearly. Above the Fold has the secret sauce to get your ideas the 
success they deserve."
Peter Knierim
Crispin, Porter + Bogusky

About the Author

Brian Miller is the owner and design director at the Brian Miller Design Group, a small design firm in Norwalk, CT that specializes in branding for the Web and print. Brian's client list includes GE, NBC Universal, SportsMD, Rockstar Games, 2K Games, GigMasters and Nat Nast. Brian is a lecturer at the Shintaro Akatsu School of Design, board member for the Type Directors Club and author of Above the Fold. Brian's work has been published in the Print Magazine Regional Design Annual, GD USA and The New York Festivals in addition to receiving numerous industry awards. Brian has a Masters degree from Pratt Institute in design management and a BFA in graphic design from the Hartford Art School. He lives in South Norwalk, Connecticut with his wife Bridgette, daughter Sarah and dog Shick. 

Customer Reviews

Very well done - I enjoy thumbing through this book.
Steffie583
Just do so knowing that, when you do eventually come back and read it, you'll probably kick yourself for not having read this one upfront ;-).
Steffan Antonas
This book offers a comprehensive overview of web design basics.
DesignerD

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Steffan Antonas on April 28, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Brian clearly put a lot of thought and careful consideration into the structure, content and flow of the book. It's well done. I've been building websites for 4 or 5 years now and this is the first book I've found that does a good job of walking the reader through the entire thought process of planning and creating a structured strategy for designing websites. If you're sold on the idea that smart thinking and great design thrive on a methodical approach, this book will delight you. That said, it's not a how-to book on building code or using tools like Photoshop, so if you're just getting into web design and you're itching to learn specific skills for building stuff, you'll probably want to hold off on buying this for now and come back to it later when you're ready to start doing professional projects. Just do so knowing that, when you do eventually come back and read it, you'll probably kick yourself for not having read this one upfront ;-).

For those of you interested in buying the book, here's a quick list of pros and cons:

PROS (many):

- There's zero fluff-factor. Brian did a solid job of explaining things simply and succinctly and moving on. Every page gets straight to the point. You'll get through it quickly without feeling like you wasted any time.

- It's easy on the eyes. There are plenty of visuals to support the content. If you surf though CSS galleries a lot looking for inspiration for your projects, you'll also get a lot of value just from flipping through the pages.

- It's an ideal start for aspiring design professionals because it provides a comprehensive, horizontal look at the design process end to end.
Read more ›
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Ted A. Dobbs on March 28, 2011
Format: Paperback
"Above the Fold" provides everything that you need to build a strong foundation for a successful web site. The book is broken into 3 sections that talk specifically about design, planning and marketing issues associated with web site design. From reviewing the basic principles of design from a web perspective to prototyping and search engine optimization, author Brian Miller does an excellent job of explaining the specifics of the medium without getting bogged down in markup languages. As a predominantly print-based graphic designer, "Above the Fold" gave me the knowledge and tools to design just as successfully and comfortably for the web.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By N. Wu on June 16, 2011
Format: Paperback
The best introductory book for print designers currently making the leap to web from a type design standpoint. It clearly explains every facet you need to know without complex jargon & assumptions, but with current examples that are relevant. Recommended and a keeper.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 3, 2012
Format: Paperback
First things first, if you're an aspiring web designer and you are looking for a book that'll help you learn about how to design and write for your site, buy this book and read it. Right now. Stop reading this review and go and read this book instead.

Okay, for a slightly longer recommendation, how about this: Miller has written here the perfect handbook for a student looking to learn more about web design or a small business owner trying to spice their site up an increase traffic. It's all here, discussions about the web itself, about how people use it and read different sorts of pages, discussions about the usability of a site and how that affects its design and vice-verse, a checklist of things to do before your site goes live and of things to have as it grows and thrives, everything you could need to know about web design.

The book might seem intimidating, but it's a brisk read at around 250 pages and a good portion of the page space is take up with large, full color and extremely helpful illustrations. Web design is inherently visual, so it's only logical that over half of this book would be examples of what to do and what not to do as seen in fully realized sites.

Miller's book is one of those essential books that should be read by anyone looking to learn more about web design, it's just that good.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By persimmonMuse on December 27, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are looking for a good read on guidelines for design and print this book is it! If you are just starting out to build a website from scratch it is filled with excellent easily understood information. Great book to understanding the layout flow of a website and grasp versatile CSS (Creative Style Sheet) codes. The book relates history of print ink layout and how it applies to web site design. It covers topics of white space and hierarchy of space along with readability, legibility and how that applies to font selection in order to create a user friendly enhanced web site. It goes on to help web site builders understand the importance of personal brand recognition through imagery applied for impact. The most important steps of research and discovery for your customer that includes a asset inventory and sitemap mock up along with prototype comps.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By J. Pannafino on June 29, 2013
Format: Paperback
Above the Fold is a great book for understanding the Web design process and an awesome text book for a college classroom. If you are professor that teaches web or interactive design this book is a must requirement. I have my students read every chapter and I truly feel that their outlook on web design has benefited greatly.

The book does a great job of balancing written content and visuals to create a very accessible but still intelligent resource. It is so refreshing to have a book that address "design" and not just code, but stills talks to technology restriction and design constraints.

Brian has done a great job with this book and I highly recommend it for anyone interested in learning about Web design. It is a great value at a very affordable price.
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