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Web Style Guide: Basic Design Principles for Creating Web Sites Paperback – February 8, 1999

ISBN-13: 978-0300076752 ISBN-10: 0300076754 Edition: 6th

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press; 6 edition (February 8, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300076754
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300076752
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 0.4 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (106 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,182,297 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

In 160 pages of expert instruction, authors Patrick J. Lynch and Sarah Horton put the essence of the Yale University Center for Advanced Instructional Media's wonderful online site design guide into traditional print.

The book begins the presentation of its helpful and forward-looking advice with a discussion of the overall process of defining the objectives and users of your Web site, as well as the goals you will use to measure your progress. The authors then use time-tested, traditional print concepts to clearly illustrate how to make your site interface welcoming and efficient. High-quality illustrations show how to design for overall style and professional appeal. The sections on typography and editorial style set this manual apart from many Web style guides with attention to the fine details that separate the good sites from the great.

Multimedia elements and cascading style sheets (CSS) are covered, but within the overall context of building a fine site--not with the usual hype. Media compression and delivery are addressed at a high level with concrete suggestions on formats, frame rates, and image sizes for a well-balanced approach to multimedia.

One of the great things about using this guide is that the actual site it is based on is available. You can read about a thoughtfully-written topic and then go online to see the concepts in action. Web Style Guide delivers some of the most holistic coverage of site design you'll find. --Stephen W. Plain


"A style guide for the interface with real long-run value, showing us deep principles of design rather than simply fashion and technology." -- Edward R. Tufte, Yale University

"At last, a book on the design of Web sites with the viewer in mind....[It] intelligently and succinctly discusses all those topics so badly neglected by most Web sites." -- Donald A. Norman, author of The Design of Everyday Things and The Invisible Computer

"One of the few resources that discusses organizing information on the Web in ways that serve users. This guide addresses a critical need in a practical way." -- Craig Locatis, National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health

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Customer Reviews

This is a book purely about design features of a web site.
Alonzo Hosford
Of course, you can read all the chapters on the affiliated website, but if you want to have a book to hold in your hand, this one's a good choice.
Terrance H. Heath
Sometimes I'll find the diagram a few pages later and sometimes not at all!
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

106 of 109 people found the following review helpful By Tim Jacoby on October 15, 2002
Format: Paperback
It's disappointing to read all the negative reviews of what I think is a very good book. I think many reviewers lack the understanding of just what constitutes a style guide, so I am going to give my best definition of what a style guide is. Style guides, such as the Chicago Manual of Style, are more concerned with good journalistic practices than graphic design, covering such topics as how to treat page titles, the proper attributing of an author, how to construct footnotes, the importance of dating articles, consistent nomenclature, the consistent use of language, and other important but admittedly dry topics. In almost all cases these things will influence graphic design, and some *very* basic, but in my opinion very good, graphic design information is covered. Also covered, to a fairly high level of detail, is information on graphic format and web color, navigation, and basic usability issues. What this book does not cover, and what one should not expect from a style guide, are examples of cutting-edge design, or information on current design trends (or what many of us think of when we thing of "style"). I think all graphic designers would do well to head the advice in this book, and think that most good graphic designers already do, and are probably already familiar with the information presented here. Obviously designers that know the rules usually break them with better results than those that don't. I think most designers will appreciate this book. If you are looking for an example of really cool, award-winning Websites, try the magazine Communication Arts, especially their Interactive Annual. If you are looking for a great book to introduce you to the basics, I haven't found a better book than this.
To sum up:
"Style" means "cool" to most of us.
Read more ›
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107 of 114 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 2, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Let's get what this book is NOT out of the way: it is not a technical reference, nor is it a "killer graphic" how to. It is a style guide similar to The Chicago Manual of Style, and covers effective journalistic practices (the importance of dating material, article attributions, references, etc.)and sound layout and navigation strategies. Anyone with any experience in designing web sites will already have a working knowledge of most of what this book covers, but it is still an excellent reference for working professionals, and the best place to start for beginning designers I can think of.
Criticizing this book for hampering a designers "creativity" or use of technology seems silly to me. I've never met writers, editors or graphic designers that complained about The Chicago Manual of Style or Strunk and White. If you want to make sure your site has everything it might need to be useful to the user, buy this book. I also recommend "Designing Web Usability: The Practice of Simplicity " by Jakob Nielsen, as well as "Envisioning Information" and "Visual Explanations" by Edward Tufte.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By R. A. Miller on March 9, 2000
Format: Paperback
In the last forty years, our fast-paced, future-shocked society has made it harder to comprehend the idea that certain concepts are timeless and enduring. Believe it or not, some things do not have to "improve" every year or be replaced by the latest thing in vogue. That is why enlightened people still read Plato or listen to Beethoven. That is why I am giving this book 5 stars. What it teaches you are classic design concepts, only applied to the Web. Keep it clean and useful, keep it consistent, plan it out completely before you construct a single page. And most important, design it for the intended users, not for your own entertainment. If you are new to Web design especially, this book will get you off to a great start and give you much to think about.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Jeffajab on January 6, 2010
Format: Paperback
My impression after relying on 2nd edition to teach web design all these years is similar to the 2-star reviewer who wrote this version is laced with jargon and a difficult read. It seems this book has gone from a fundamental primer on basic web design principles that served as an excellent introduction to web design for novices to some kind of "introduction to large-scale web design" that throws newcomers off into the deep end of "analytics," "metrics," and "wireframes." I am seriously reconsidering if I can use this book in my beginning web design course anymore. I understand design tools have evolved and the Internet has become much more dynamic, and that it is certainly a challenge to know where to draw the line between "basic" and "advanced" web design concepts, but this 3rd edition seems to have over-corrected and gotten away from its core strengths. I may just stick with the 2nd edition as it seems to cover the basics much better without the addition of the new content in this 3rd edition...
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Anne M. on February 10, 2000
Format: Paperback
If you are just at the beginning stages of creating a web site - buy this book! It gives you a step by step plan to make sure you think about what you are doing before starting. As the books says "careful planning and a clear purpose are the keys to success in building web sites. . ."
This is not a technical manual or a book to teach design. It's a "think about what you want to accomplish" guide. If you want to feel confident you are getting off on the right foot with your web, whether you are designing it yourself or outsourcing, this book will help tremendously.
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