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The Unusually Useful Web Book Paperback – June 2, 2003

ISBN-13: 075-2064712060 ISBN-10: 0735712069 Edition: 1st

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The Unusually Useful Web Book + Above the Fold: Understanding the Principles of Successful Web Site Design
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 408 pages
  • Publisher: New Riders; 1 edition (June 2, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0735712069
  • ISBN-13: 978-0735712065
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 7.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #172,965 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

The Unusually Useful Web Book
When this proposal first came across my desk, I was really excited. And even now that we've poured every ounce of blood, sweat, and tears we have into this book, I still have plenty of energy to jump for joy and scream at the top of my lungs. It's just that good. The title, The Unusually Useful Web Book, promises a lot, but it's a book that actually carries through on its promise from start to finish.

I'm especially excited about all the special nuggets June included: down-to-earth interviews with experts, hilarious web cartoons by Alex Gregory, sidebars that quickly summarize key points, and worksheets that give you the guidance to immediately start making decisions and implementing changes. This informative, witty, and unusually useful book is one you'll want to have always nearby--along with a pad of sticky notes.

Jennifer Eberhardt, Sr. Development Editor

From the Back Cover

The Unusually Useful Web Book is the only book you need to find out everything you need to know about web sites. In fact, it's 2 books in 1. You can skim the sidebars and checklists for tips and techniques you can use right away. Or you can follow along with the main text for a detailed discussion of planning, designing, building, and maintaining your web site.

The Unusually Useful Web Book is jam-packed with:

* Do-it-yourself worksheets. 20 worksheets walk you through essential tasks such as increasing traffic, improving site speed, writing a product plan, and making your site cross-compatible.

* Behind-the-scenes info. 25 special Lessons from the Trenches show you how sites such as MSN and BabyCenter deal with day-to-day challenges such as naming site sections or sending effective emails.

* Advice from leading experts. More than 50 experts - from the father of the ad banner to the founder of BlackPlanet - openly share the lessons they've learned on everything from making money to working with engineers. Includes expert interviews with Adam Berliant (Group Manager at Microsoft), Greg Dotson (Chief Information Office for guru), Randi Shade (founder of CharityGift), Emily Simas (former product manager for BabyCenter), Srinija Srinivasan (VP and Editor in Chief of Yahoo!), and Evany Thomas (managing editor for Webmonkey).

* Jargon-free explanations. Step-by-step instructions-covering everything from acquiring a domain name to preparing images for the web-are written in language you can understand.

But don't just take our word for it. Read what others are saying about The Unusually Useful Web Book:

"This book definitely stands out. Most books of this nature are stuffed with irrelevant and non-substantive information that only add confusion to an already complex process. This book delivers an overwhelming amount of information but presents it in a way that is both approachable and useful. There was a lot of information that I could immediately apply to current projects."Garo Green, Director of Publications, lynda

"The coverage is practical and comprehensive. I'm not aware of other titles that take this comprehensive approach to web building, addressing the entire life cycle of web design and development as well as the roles required in each phase."Laura McCabe, co-author of Special Edition Using Flash MX

"Anyone that has a passion for web design, both novices and professionals, will enjoy this book. For the novice, it's an eye opener and the reader will probably be compelled to soak in all the material, cover to cover. For the professional, it's a strong reinforcement of things we often overlook and a great reference tool. I'm a professional and found it to be an up-to-date and refreshing read, and I plan on using it as a required textbook in the classroom for my students! They will truly benefit from this book and refer to it over and over again!"Rosanna Yeung, Multimedia & Web Design Instructor, The Art Institute of California

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Customer Reviews

This book is one of the first I grab when I need help and/or I'm frustrated/stuck.
The Unusually Useful Web Book could have been titled The Book You Must Read To Help You Plan, Design, Build, and Maintain A Successful Web Site.
John Wetherbie
This is a very well written book, I liked the way they have constructed the book - it is well organized and easy to follow.
A. Tynyshov

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By "bishopknights" on June 27, 2003
Format: Paperback
By M. Todd Lassich
Bishop Eastern Sierra Macintosh User Group (beSMUG)
People spend months and even years learning and staying current with the technical aspects of web design. Armed with this vast knowledge--so vast it intimidates many from even taking these first steps--they head out in to cyberspace to set up shop, only to produce an ugly site with a clunky interface that no one visits.
If only they had started with the Unusually Useful Web Book. Indeed, if only I had. This is one book about web site creation, management and promotion that lives up to its name.
Unlike so many in this genre, this book takes you step-by-step through planning, creation and promotion and examines every known trick of of the world's most successful websites. This book is subtitled "Everything We've Learned About Why Sites Succeed!" and as such is less about the technical details of site design and maintenance as it is about the goals you should be shooting for, giving the aspiring webmaster a complete roadmap--prioritized--to the creation of a successful site.
I often spend a tremendous amount of time making sure the technical aspects of my designs work as planned. In so doing, it's easy to forget that the goal of designing a site is to attract visitors and hopefully, business. What I like most about this book is the way it makes me examine these priorities, and really helps on deciding whether adding this bell or that whistle to my designs is simply an effort to show off my skills, or whether they will be a useful, attractive enhancement that will encourage visitors to return.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By John Wetherbie on June 10, 2003
Format: Paperback
The Unusually Useful Web Book could have been titled The Book You Must Read To Help You Plan, Design, Build, and Maintain A Successful Web Site. Everyone who is on a team developing or maintaining a web site should read this book and then re-read it frequently to keep the information and lessons fresh. I will definitely use this book to help me with my future web projects.
This book provides an overview of the processes, the techniques, and the technologies that can (and should) be used to develop and maintain a successful web site. If you are looking for an in-depth technical book on HTML, CSS, or other specific tools this is not that book. Buy this book anyway! It will be worth it.
The book is divided into four major sections: Planning Your Site, Designing Your Site, Building Your Site, and Maintaining Your Site. There is also an appendix with short biographies of the experts that the author interviewed and some additional expert advice. Each section has good information that you can use right now whether you are starting to create a new site or are involved in the maintenance and upgrade of an existing site.
There are some great features to go along with the great information. The book has 19 worksheets (the back cover says 20 so maybe I missed one) to help you with tasks such as: determining the site's goals, determining the site's features, improving site speed, browser/platform compatibility, and how you will promote the site. There are one-to-two page "Lesson from the Trenches" sub-sections that present the experience of web development veterans. Three lessons that stand out in my mind are: You are not your user, Your site is not the center of the user's universe, and Why you should follow web standards.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Coleman Yee on April 23, 2004
Format: Paperback
I see this as an attempt to have an all-in-one quick reference book on issues relating to managing a commercial website. This book is packed tight with loads of very useful information and things to consider. It thus covers a lot of ground, from planning and design issues to technical issues (from file compression to XML) and usability and marketing issues. With so many areas covered, the material is necessarily brief, mostly in the form of summaries, points, and lists. A beginner may find some things hard to follow, since the book does not go into detailed explanations. However, it would still be useful for a beginner as it gives a good overview on most of the skills required to manage a website.
I would recommend this book to a wide audience, including
- beginners in web-related activities (great eye-opener and good introductory material to other important areas)
- students or fresh graduates (who think they know everything about HTML and other technology but are lacking in other issues)
- teachers who teach students web technology (and miss out the other issues)
- managers in charge of websites (who think think they know everything because they surf the internet)
A great well-rounded book which covers wider issues than almost any other web book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By G. T. Brown on February 23, 2005
Format: Paperback
I came across this book in my quest to build a web as a newbie. After slogging through how to books on dreamweaver, HTML,SQL and PHP this was certainly an easy read. If you want technical knowledge on the actual code to build a site, this isn't the place ( although all the basics are explained), but it is chocked full of interesting things to consider from the design angle and what works and what doesn't.

The book explains in clear terms the various components of how a web site works from aquiring a domain name, how pages are written, scripts,flash, which design elements have been proven to work, understanding user needs, designing for fast page loading, revenue models for making money, monitoring and measuring traffic, promoting your site, etc.

I would say this book is aimed at someone who wants to build or improve their site and hasn't needs a place to start that will explain the technical jargon and best practices based on real world situations. The beauty of this approach is that that its all covered - many of the other books Ive read simply assume prior knowledge. Its enough to give you a good understanding of the concepts with plenty of references to follow if you want to get into more detail on any certain topic.
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