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Professional Web Design: Techniques and Templates (with CD-ROM) (Charles River Media Internet & Web Design) 1st Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1584500667
ISBN-10: 1584500662
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Clint Eccher has designed professional Web sites for seven years and now makes some of his designs available as templates through his own site (A5design.com) and with his new book, Professional Web Design. You get 50 templates (each of which features home and second-level pages) and careful instructions on how to adapt them for your own use. Along the way, Eccher offers sound advice on good Web design practices; a little bit about HTML, cascading style sheets, and JavaScript; a look at JPEGs and GIFs; and some insight into "comping" (sketching) a site design for the client's approval.

For the most part, however, this book addresses just those aspects of Web design that readers will need to know in order to successfully utilize the templates. These are designed as "mortised" sites; that is, they are built with nested tables and sliced GIF/JPEG combinations, the kind of design made easy with the advent of Adobe's ImageReady and Macromedia's Fireworks. Although this is not a how-to about using those applications or about creating such sites from scratch, Eccher does help readers learn how to debug and otherwise adjust the source code in order to successfully implement the designs. In addition to trial versions of the major applications, the CD-ROM also contains the JavaScript Cookbook and HTML/CSS Developer's Resource Guide, which provide lots of cut-and-paste source code for all kinds of features (games, sounds, pop-up messages) that can be added to a Web page.

One caveat: despite the templates, this book is too detailed for beginners. For those with some experience, and especially for developers who lack design skills and like the A5design style, this book amounts to an intensive Clint Eccher brain-picking seminar. He offers a few tricks that can be applied to any design (like his tips on how to drastically reduce file sizes) and some good general advice (for example, "Do not get attached to the work" because a client may just decide against it). --Angelynn Grant

About the Author

Clint Eccher is an award-winning Web designer with over seven years of experience. He is the owner of A5design, a Web design company commissioned by Fortune 500 companies, national non-profit organizations, and small businesses. He resides in Windsor, CO.
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Product Details

  • Series: Charles River Media Internet & Web Design
  • Paperback: 429 pages
  • Publisher: Charles River Media; 1st edition (March 25, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1584500662
  • ISBN-13: 978-1584500667
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,377,509 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Michael J Woznicki HALL OF FAME on November 13, 2002
Format: Paperback
In the classroom, when I teach web design, unless the courseware comes with templates the students spend the time creating pages from scratch. While this is worthwhile for novices, there are times when you need templates for some web projects.

In this book the authors has given you over 200 HTML templates, which are on the cd-rom, to work with. By following along with the book you'll end up creating over 50 pages. You find yourself working with frames, forms, tables, graphics and CSS.

The book should have had the design outputs in color to allow you to be able to see what the outcome would like. I did like the 3 case studies included, which take you from a basic web page to a very advanced design layout.

The cd-rom included trial version of Photoshop, FireWorks, Flash and HomeSite all of which have newer versions out and should be updated for the next edition. I found the JavaScript Cook to be a very handy and useful tool for creating scripts without an in depth knowledge of the coding techniques.

The other handy utility included in the HTML/CSS Developer's resource guide, which makes the creation of CSS easier. With all the helpful tool and tricks the book is certainly a welcome addition to my HTML/Web Design library. Overall a very good value for the money.
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Format: Paperback
As the title says, this is a book on the design of web pages. It is focused on producing designs that reflect many of the modern trends in web design thought. There was a time a few years back when the web sites of all the major companies used Macromedia Flash to animate, that is create movement, on their home pages. For instance, the authors report, quite accurately I think, that such animation has not proven suitable for the majority of web sites. Like Microsoft's "clippy" paper clip "help" thing that used to appear at the bottom of Word/Esce./Etc. a lot of people really don't like moving things.

These authors really like mortised sites. This design philosophy uses tables within tables within tables to provide the view the authors are trying to create. The designs they give in their fifty included templates are of the mortised type. The trouble with mortised sites is that you have to receive all of the information for the site before the browser can begin drawing the tables on the screen. With todays fast processors, this is not usually a problem. But they can get dreadfully slow if you are accessing them over a slow line, especially if they include a lot of graphical images.

The back of the book says this is for Beginner to Intermediate. This does not mean the Front Page level beginner. You'd best have some idea about HTML before you start this one. I'd say it's an intermediate level book, which is reflected in the wording on the back page.
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Format: Paperback
All the designs are heavily mortised, require a LOT of nested tables, and are mainly geared toward content-heavy sites with extensive menus. (For those of us who think that paying hundreds of dollars of Photoshop is ridiculous when Paint Shop Pro does the same for 1/6 the cost, be warned the templates are Photoshop-centric.)
As someone already said, these are visually stunning examples, but very tables-intensive which can be time-consuming to edit/code and may be problematic for impaired site visitors who rely on web-reading technology. For the dozen or so examples (and their variations), decide for yourself if inspiration is worth the cost.
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Format: Paperback
I have an intermediate knowledge of HTML, some CSS, and javascript. I know a little bit about photo editing (with Paint Shop Pro 7). I was looking for a webpage design book that wouldn't overwhelm me with hoards of technical code, or tons of eye candy and graphic designs I couldn't do without having to take a 12 month course in Photoshop. This book was JUST what I was looking for!
It starts by briefly discussing changes in web design over the years as well as refreshing your memory of table and css code that's used throughout the book and in the 50 designs included in the cd. Then, it goes on to explain what mortising is, without boring you with endless babble, and why you should apply it in your designs. At this point, the author has made his case and then proceeds with teaching you how to do it.
There's plenty of examples, source code, as well as tips on how to use certain aspects of Photoshop to do everything in the book. (Perfect for me since I had never used PS).
50 designs + source code/files + referrence books + trial software = icing on the cake!
Worth every penny! Get this now!
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Format: Paperback
I'm a graphic designer. For years I've explored multimedia and web design on my own, but wasn't sure my approach was right. This book not only confirmed what I did know, but explained the stuff I didn't. The templates alone are worth the price. Yes, I believe every designer worth their salt, print or web, should own PhotoShop and knowing HTML is helpful. But I must disagree with the reviewer who said this book isn't for WYSIWYG/Dreamweaver users. Understanding *why and how* HTML, CSS and nested tables function from a coding standpoint only makes working with Dreamweaver easier. This book is a MUST for anyone wanting to design web pages--for a living or otherwise. THANK YOU CLINT ECCHER for writing the book I'll never have time to write.
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