- Paperback: 305 pages
- Publisher: Hayden Books; 2nd edition (September 18, 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1568304331
- ISBN-13: 978-1568304335
- Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.7 x 10 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 107 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,619,152 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Creating Killer Web Sites 2nd Edition
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David Siegel's classic guide to good taste in Web design has been completely overhauled in this second edition. Every chapter has been reworked, repurposed, and rewritten with over 100 new pages and 150 new illustrations, new information on 4.0 browser design, and a comprehensive guide to Style Sheet implementations for both Netscape Navigator and Internet Explorer. Those who enjoyed Creating Killer Web Sites the first time around will doubtlessly benefit from this new edition, which is meant as a continuation of the first book rather than a simple update. At the same time, anyone who has never read the first edition will be able to pick up this new edition without having missed a beat. Siegel's accompanying Web site (www.killersites.com) contains supplemental information as well as chapters from the first edition that didn't make the 2.0 cut.
More of a style guide than an HTML guide, Creating Killer Web Sites is concerned with the building of Third-Generation sites, Web sites that are conceived by design and not by technological ability. Siegel and his helpers at Studio Verso overview a wide variety of topics, including a history of browsers, how to use specific HTML tags, how to select software tools, and advice on pure aesthetic design. Like the first edition, the second edition of the book contains an attractive design, a graphic on every page, and screen shots of successful Web pages that will set any designer's wheels in motion.
There is a great deal of information to absorb here and whether you agree with all, some, or none of the advice, you'll still be left with plenty to think about. If you're brand new to Web site creation, this is an excellent introduction to the ideas involved with site design. However, because Creating Killer Web Sites is not a tutorial or HTML reference, you will need to supplement it with one.
From the Publisher
Though there are already books about Web design, most are technical in nature, and none take this case study approach. The primary focus is on Netscape Navigator and Internet Explorer's HTML extensions, with new material devoted to new tags. - The update to the best-selling Creating Killer Web Sites by David Siegel
- Updated information covering new tricks and techniques for use with the latest browser releases is integrated throughout the text
- Four-color, stunning design and examples of the best Web sites
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Of course this second edition came out in 1997 - and now it's 2000, and many of the techniques he explains are outdated. Current-day standards advocates, usability experts and the like deplore the kinds of methods described here. Yet, probably most of the "designed" websites out there that are not using just the latest techniques or the the other extreme - just using plain-looking text layouts - are using at least a few of the techniques detailed here. So if you are new to HTML and web design, and you want to know how to make your pages look like much of what's on the web right now, this book is a must. "HTML Magic", which covers the much of the same material, is also recommended.
David Siegel views web development and design with with an architect's vision. This is a rich exploration of layout tips, structure and navigation planning, human interface considerations, and graphic design guidelines. All the while, he keeps the user experience front and center. It's as if Siegel was showing the reader how to design a building optimized for the comfort and usability of its inhabitants.
Every once in a while, a bit of the old Siegel ego creeps out (e.g. touting the fonts he created). But that's a small annoyance for such an inspirational, easy-reading book.
Yeah, I still had to go back to the sites I manage and crunch out updates, with little time to tune everything to perfection. But the principles learned will surely manifest in my work over time, leading to a higher level of quality and customer satisfaction.
If it weren't for people like Siegel (the Author), web pages would still have grey backgrounds, rainbow horizontal rules, bulleted lists, and lots of those ugly animated "email me" gifs.
This book had a huge impact on web development, and while it's now kind of outdated, it's still definately good for the beginner to read. A lot of the information is great for building a base. I've read both editions, and have all my developers read it, too.
While the intent is not to take away from a book that has shed valuable light on a vocation needlessly tangled in technology when it should be driven by design - "the Fourth Generation will come... design, not technology, will make the difference", scarcely a year after release, the new edition of this Amazon.com No. 8 bestseller is beginning to appear too basic, too rudimentary, to be anything more than a bagful of web publishing tricks, most of them passe.
What makes Creating Ki! ! ller...dated? Is it the emergence of new and better books? No, because when it comes to web design, Siegel wrote the book, for crying out loud! Is it the change in direction of the Web? No, because that's exactly what Siegel wants in his book - a change in the design-technology balance. "I am waiting and watching for a shift in the wind, where designers and content producers collaborate to build sites that are truly well-designed, not just whiz-bang techno marvels". It is the pace of the Web that makes Siegel's book another rib on the designer's shelf, the sheer break-neck velocity of the virtual world. "Any CD-ROM included with this book would be hopelessly out of date before pressing".
That said, what remains to be reviewed is the presentation of content in the book. Being as he is a designer by default, and given to well-packed, non-linear interfaces, Siegel scatters his book with lively little callouts, carrying within a single pertinent idea or pressi! ! ng question. "Keep It Simple - ...get rid of complex bac! kgrounds", "The View Info Command - Netscape's browser has a little used feature that gives you information about the pages you see", "The Zen of Drop Shadows", "What happened to load order?" and "What about Fourth Generation sites". It is in these that Siegel presents invaluable "design lessons and a sense of visual balance" - the only things in the book that will survive obsolescence.
Though about design, Siegel's book is powered by hypertext markup discussions. Simply because Siegel's definition of a designer, contrary to conventional wisdom, or the lack of it, is one who can speak a language called HTML, in addition to Photoshoptalk. His designer creates graphics, decides layout, and goes about achieving it through HTML, CSS, or the single-pixel gif trick - a ruse introduced by Siegel and is incidentally rote today.
Siegel believes that design drives the Web experience, not the complexity of the technology used. H! ! e justifies the twisting of HTML tags to suit design purposes, and rightly so, since the Web has come a long way from being only a structuralist's tool. He quotes Ted Nelson to powerful effect, "Multimedia must be controlled by dictatorial artists with full say on the final cut", and establishes a inseparable bond with those hankering for web design to take more heed of traditional design principles. In that sense, Siegel's entire book seems like a reinvention of the wheel. Why else would he have reiterate basics like indenting paragraphs and using readable font faces! But then, I guess that is the price to be paid for bringing web design out of the cottage industry and into the hands of real professionals.
Creating Killer... reads well, in spite of Siegel confessing to having no leaning toward writing. "I think the person most surprised by the success of Creating...was my father. (I mean, his son may be a designer and a computer geek, but a writer?" It will! ! be a ready reference for web designers in the years to com! e, and will be remembered for the pro-design vision it aspires for, not so much for the tricks it shares.