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Web Style Guide: Basic Design Principles for Creating Web Sites 3rd Edition

112 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0300137378
ISBN-10: 0300137370
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Web Style Guide: Basic Design Principles for Creating Web Sites + 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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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Just as many writers reserve a space on their book shelves for the thin but essential work of William Strunk and E.B. White, a similar space should be hallowed out for The Web Style Guide."—John Mello, HR Today
(John Mello HR Today)

"[Lynch and Horton] concentrate on the application of fundamental design principles that create a useful, educational, Web experience."—Sam McMillan, Communication Arts
(Sam McMillan Communication Arts)

"Lynch and Horton offer an informative book for Web designers who want to go beyond HTML to consider specific information architecture issues. The discussion on the use of tables for creating editorial layouts is particularly well written and important."—Choice
(Choice)

"This is one of the best design books that I've seen, catering specifically to information-oriented sites. . . . The Web would be an easier world to navigate if all Web designers read this book."—Deborah Lynne Wiley, Online
(Deborah Lynne Wiley Online)

“[A]n excellent, practical handbook. . . . [T]he book can be unreservedly recommended.”—Tom Wilson, Information Research
(Tom Wilson Information Research)

". . . It condenses common sense about what Web masters should think about before writing their first HTML tag. . . . [Lynch and Horton's] concision and practicality seem sturdy enough to keep abreast of the Web's velocity of change."—Gilbert Taylor, Booklist
(Gilbert Taylor Booklist)

". . . covers all the basic elements of creating a Web site. . . . Authoritative factoids are sprinkled throughout . . . [and] serve to ground the book in logic while elevating it above some of the brightly colored hyperactive Web design manuals out there. . . . "—J. D. Biersdorfer, New York Times Circuits Section
(J. D. Biersdorfer New York Times Circuits Section)

". . . a non-geeky Web-design primer—a rule-of-thumb guide that calmly introduces you to the issues involved in developing a Web site. . . . what you need to know about Web-site design in plain language, with understandable examples. . . . this . . . book is a gem."—Mary Creswell, Presentations
(Mary Creswell Presentations)

“[A] highly readable guide to Web layout.  The book overflows with innumerable examples and basic design tenets . . . beneficial for either newbie or trained expert alike. . . . [A] book to be read and studied by anyone looking to design a Web site.”—Stuart J. Brown, Student Affairs On-Line
(Stuart J. Brown Student Affairs On-Line)

“The book has practical relevance for those of us who write and edit Web content. . . . a cohesive overview of the challenges and constraints that Web designers face and an insider’s knowledge of the architecture that makes Web pages go. . . .”—Stephanie Deming, Science Editor
(Stephanie Deming Science Editor)

". . . There are many books available on . . . Web design, but few cover so much in such a concise and well-written fashion. . . . Web design is . . . an adventure to an unknown and wild land. Take this book along with you as a guide."—Greg Kearsley, Education Technology
(Greg Kearsley Education Technology)

About the Author

Patrick J. Lynch is director, Special Technology Projects, Office of the Director, Information Technology Services, Yale University. He lives in North Haven, CT. Sarah Horton is director, Web Strategy, Design and Infrastructure, Dartmouth College. She lives in Hanover, NH.

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Product Details

  • Series: Web Style Guide: Basic Design Principles for Creating Web Sites
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press; 3rd edition (January 15, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300137370
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300137378
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (112 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #86,404 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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 115 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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