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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
I am a professional web designer. It has been my day job for 4 years. I have shelves of books on code, design, communication and marketing. This is my first review of any of them.
Imagine needing some good advice. You go to your friend who is wise, gentle and has been where you are thinking about going. If you are looking at the Web, Jeffery Zeldman is that friend.
This book reveals the love affair a lot of us have with the web. For those of you using the web as a member of the audience this book explains what you see. If you are thinking about the web as a participant, this book explains how it's done and how to get it there. From text on the screen to code and color, dynamic media presentations to effective design this book provides you with a guide to the areas where the web presents it's greatest strengths and it's weakest links.
Taking Your Talent to the Web is not a book you just want, it is the first book you need.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on June 5, 2001
When I bought Zeldman's book I expected to get a clutch of juicy Crimean War Stories about web design. What I did get was a supremely practical guide to using web design painlessly and effectivly. This is a useful book which answers tough, intuitive questions that nobody else knows the answer to (and will never admit it). For instance, what is the best way to make your text look good on the internet if you are handling it from an "Illustrator-type" of image? Why does CorelDraw/Photopaint default to saving images for the web in 96 dpi? There IS a reason, read this book and find out what it is. Want to use CSS? What unit of measure is the best for text? Once you read this book you will KNOW. If you are a beginner or an intermediate web designer, this book is right up your alley. Don't miss Taking Your Talent To The Web--it is a classic from a wise man.-
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on September 17, 2002
I'm not a traditional designer and I'm not new to web design, so I likely wouldn't have ever purchased or read this book if I had not come into the possession of a complimentary copy.
But I do regularly check in with Zeldman's trio of important sites - A List Apart [alistapart.com], The Web Standards Project [webstandards.org], and of course his personal blog, Jeffrey Zeldman Presents... [zeldman.com] and have exchanged emails with the man - so my interest was more in how the author approached and presented the information, rather than the subject of the book itself.
I'm sure he would appreciate the "separation of style from content" approach I took to evaluating his book, which is something he stresses several times in this, as in myriad other of his writings on the web.
The book was enjoyable and I got more out of it than I thought I would (as it is aimed at those new to the field). Refreshing comparisons between the nature of print design and web design, as opposed to beginning with technical discussions of HTML syntax, and the friendly writing style make it stand out in a sea of good, but overly technical, reference books. It is also fun to read, and I often found myself surprised with how many pages I ended up going through in any given sitting.
The positives of the book were the honest discussion about how a designer really doesn't need to know JavaScript, just enough to know how to gank and adapt it to one's own needs; the acknowledgement of technical vs. artistic approaches to the medium; and the inevitable development of a methodology and client interaction inherent in being a web professional.
On the negative side, I would disagree with Zeldman's assertion that CSS is purely supposed to be the responsibility of the designer, not the "HTML technicians."
Additionally, I felt the code samples a bit inconsistent, tough to read interspersed as they were in the text in an orange variable-width font, and felt myself fighting the urge to "clean them up." I could chalk this up to my own personal preferences about coding style - 4 space indentation and uniform lowercasing of HTML and CSS - but I'm sure that, as founder and member of the WaSP, Zeldman himself looks back on his nearly 2 year old code and cringes at times. To his credit, he does have a mini-site dedicated to errata and bugs: [...]
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
This book opened my eyes to issues such as accesibilty, css and xhtml, I now have a site that is fast to load and easy to update. I found this book to be an easy read,[ I am neither a graphic designer nor a trained web designer] I really like Zeldman's writng style and will use some of his points in my classes web design for photographers. The mix of code and ideas was great and for once I just read the book rather than being tempted into turning on my computer and starting work.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on May 27, 2001
Zeldman tackles many of the issues facing today's Web designers with humor, intelligence and introspection. "Taking Your Talent to the Web" provides a clear, common sense path to insure successful site conceptualization, development, deployment and beyond. It is truly a must read for Web designers.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on June 6, 2001
Chances are, if you're looking at this book, you're familiar with Jeffrey Zeldman's writing on the web. That means that you would expect this book to be just as warm, witty, and informative as his previous work.
And you'd be right - because it is all that and so much more.
Zeldman manages to give neophytes the cold, hard facts without being cold and hard about it. If you're new to the web, this book will be a godsend, giving practical advice not only on technique, but more importantly on the kind of attitude to have when you go to work every morning. But this book isn't just for neophytes. Web-designers from all skill-levels can take something away from this book [and I don't mean papercuts]. There's a reason that there are quotations from Josh Davis and Jeffrey Veen on the back cover - even designers of their skill know that this book has something to teach them.
Professionals should note this one, all important feature that makes it a must have: this book shows you how to get things done. Zeldman knows all the problems in the industry, but he doesn't whine about them; instead he tells the reader what is being done to fix them, and how to work around those problems in the meantime - so that you, the professional [or dare I say it, even the independent content creator] can do your job with less headaches.
Simply put, I cannot recommend this book highly enough.
There's this cute bit on page 185 where, after a particulalry useful bit of information, Zeldman writes, "We figure these tips alone justify the cost of buying this book, and we expect you to dog-ear this page and fondle it quietly when you think no one is watching." I think that not only am I going to do just that [watch out, dog ears!], I'm also going to agree with the bit about Zeldman's tips being worth the cost of the book - for the information he gives, it's worth more than the cost of this book. This book will pay for itself a dozen times over throughout your career.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on August 22, 2001
As a follower of Big Z I was not surprised by the humour or the style of his writing, both of which I found enjoyable and comforting for some pretty 'dry' sections as he called them.
Content wise I cannot explain just how good it is, as a web developer, I was hoping to find some of the secrets that zeldman is famed for, but I found much better. You get to understand the why, as well as the how to do things - (or at least where to look to find the how to). Explaining that tables are old hat, but then demonstrating why we must still use them for now is one example of his real life problems and solutions.
I say to anyone who this book really is aimed at - the transitional designer - buy it, read it, eat it, sleep it - what we have here is a MUST have book for anyone building websites - new, old, ginger or bald ....
BIG Z has spoken!
WHY CANT WE GIVE 6 out of 5, like this deserves....
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 13, 2002
I wonder how can a writer be so penetratingly expressive! Jeffery Zeldman has primarily written this book for people who have been in the print/graphic design industry and want to take their talent to the field of web (as the name also implies), where interactivity is the name of the game. Let me tell you this book is a prefect classic and is a must-have item for people who would like to get web skills under their belt in addition to any existing print, graphic or broadcast design experience or even for present day web designers looking for word of wisdom on across-the-board aspects of web-design industry. You will not only find crisp information but will also get sound advice that even today's experienced web designers might need. Even after reading the things over and over again, the magical expression of Zeldman draws you yet again to read those words of wisdom. I'm stuck to this book since I got it in my hands and just wish I had this book two years back which would have been a great help and inspiration. Anyway, Zeldman has been a beacon all along; courtesy Adobe.com. A straight 5-Stars!!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on June 1, 2001
Taking your Talent... is a great book for those just entering into Web design and development as well as a great reference for those with years of experience. The book is written in a conversational manner that makes its use a pleasure. Building and designing for the Web has many frustrations and limitations, Zeldman offers reasoning and explanations for why things are the way they are on the Web and how to work around them (where possible). Knowing the limitations is one of the most helpful components of learning to build for the Web. This book offers great code samples to get one started on their way to building the common components that are used around the Web.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on June 9, 2001
This book actually appeals to many different audiences. It will help the designer understand the left-brain information that a web programmer uses when wading through a thicket of acronyms. Programmers who read this book will understand why the designer tells them that a font or color has to be "just so." Information about project management helps both the designer and programmer understand what the managers are going through to get them all to work together to bring a project in on time and under budget.
The writing flows nicely; the book is enjoyable to read. The humor and conversational style support the material quite well.
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