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Professional Web Site Design from Start to Finish Paperback – January, 2002

4.2 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Author

I first started creating web sites for clients back in 1996. My bookshelf contains everything a carbon-based life form would ever need to know about HTML, Flash, JavaScript, web usability, Dreamweaver, CSS, and so on. But the one book I really needed I could not find: How to actually DO it! When you’re not an Internet guru and the landscape is terra incognita, how exactly do you take a web project from start to finish? What are the "real world" steps? I learned that in some ways, the process was similar to print design, which luckily, I already knew (in the book I don’t assume you know that, though). But in many other critical ways, the process is entirely different. For example, there are lots of major decisions to be made, concepts to be fleshed out and details to be taken care of before you plonk one pixel in your prototype home page design – unless you enjoy taking the time (and perhaps paying for) weeks of reworking! I also learned that the steps involved in "smart" web site design are the same whether it’s a small personal site or it’s a huge client project. One just takes longer than the other. I’m grateful that the publisher allowed me free reign to write "the missing web design book." As I explained to them (and as I say in the book’s introduction), this book will tell you everything you need to know about web site design and development OTHER than what HTML codes do.

About the Author

Anne-Marie Concepcion has worked as a consultant and trainer in the computer-based graphic design business since the late 1980s. Her clients have included the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, and World Book Encyclopedia (for which she wrote the entry "Desktop Publishing"). Anne-Marie has written for Digital Chicago, Personal Publishing, and The Page, and is Publish magazines Web columnist. She lives in Chicago, Illinois.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: How Design Books; 1 edition (January 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1581801300
  • ISBN-13: 978-1581801309
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 8.6 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,944,041 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I picked up this book at a [competitors store] actually, on one of my numerous web and graphic design book shopping sprees, and read it cover to cover over the next week. Ann Marie's book is SO GREAT and so unlike *anything else out there* for web design, that I wanted to make sure I gave it a positive review here, to let other web designers know this is a definite must-have.
So first I read the other reviews here and it looks like most people agree that "Start to Finish" is fantastic, there's a couple people who must have thought it was a different kind of book and so gave it a poor review.
So to set the record straight, this is NOT a book just for beginners, though the first chapter is definitely for that group. (How to set up your workstation.) I just skimmed through that one. The rest of the book covers the complete process; and I mean COMPLETE, of getting a web site from an idea in someone's head to live on the web.
The other thing that may trip you up: The author says right up front that this book will *not* teach you how to do HTML or create web graphics. (She says there were already hundreds of those on the shelves when she sat down to write the book, and she lists her favorite "how to" books in the appendix.) So don't buy this book if you're hoping it will turn you into an expert coder, that's not what it's about.
So what IS it about? As Ann Marie says, "it's about everything else." And that's why I found it so valuable, because it's real-world information, tips, and recommended techniques that I've never seen anywhere else. Well at least never all in one place, like this book is.
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This book is not what I thought it would be nor was it really geared towards a person like me. From the title, I thought I was getting another book on the mechanical aspects of putting together a web site in a professional manner. It is on putting together a website and I suppose you could say it involves some of the mechanics of doing so but these are the background mechanics of procedures, checklists, things to look for and watch out for, resource that might be of help and things like that. It does not cover the mechanics of HTML coding, setting up frames, CSS stylesheets, templates and such. Those are left to other books.

That being said, if you are part of the target audience, those wishing to go into the web site design business or given the responsibility of running a website for a company, this book can be a handy background tool. It explains options, industry trends and many of the things which will have to be thoughtfully considered in order to put together a decent site. Again, this book focuses on broad conceptual practices and not on specific means of achieving ends.

Information is provided on five main topics divided into five chapters. The chapters are called, "Gearing Up", "Essential Pre-design Tasks", "A Design that Works", Putting it all Together" and "Keeping the Site Alive". Additionally, there is an appendix which lists useful resources.

As I said, this book was not what I was looking for but seems to be well and simply written. My one concern is that it was written in 2001 and some of the specifics may be a bit dated. Still, I would think that the broad concepts covered are valid.
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A fundamental knowledge of HTML and familiarity with a web authoring tool such as Dreamweaver or FrontPage will significantly increase the value you derive from studying this book. For the beginning/aspiring Web Designer this book offers essential information for going professional and becoming recognized in the field of web design. This book offers the reader valuable information about operating a web design business - and you'd be amazed at certain bits of content that most people would overlook! The author also supplies links to many resources her team uses in upkeeping the web services they provide. The book will make an excellent addition to your web library especially if you are just starting new in the competitive web design industry - as with any trade, we become pros by working closely with other pros... in the case of this gem (book) it is a companion that holds you by the hand and teaches you how to operate a professional web design business. I would have given this book a 5-star rating had it not been for some of its outdated links that are no longer functional perhaps due to the fact that the book was published in 2001 and as of Sep, 2004, a 2nd edition is not available.

(Side Note: If you're looking for the techincal resource regarding web site design, which is also essential for becoming a well rounded designer, consider "The Complete Reference Web Design" 2nd Edition by Thomas A. Powell. It makes for an excellent web design reference. In fact strongly consider studing this book first before venturing into Anne-Marie Concepcion's "Professional Web Site Design <from start to finish>". Having studied the two books in this order, has enabled me to derive optimum value from them. You will gain "confidence" to move ahead strongly as a web designer if you study these books well, and keep your eyes open for changes in the world of Web Design.)
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