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Above the Fold: Understanding the Principles of Successful Web Site Design Paperback – Mar 11 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: HOW Books; unknown edition (March 11 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 144030842X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1440308420
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 2 x 22.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 771 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #209,658 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Brian D. Miller is an award-winning designer and lecturer who specializes in branding and Web design and development. His experience ranges from being the in-house creative director of Gartner Inc.—a $1 billion consulting firm—to principal design director of the Brian Miller Design Group. His clients include GE, NBC Universal, Delta Airlines, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, BMW, A&E Television, and Unilever. Brian's work has been featured in the pages of Print Magazine and numerous awards annuals including the New York Festivals. His design work has also been honored by the Effi Awards, MIXX Awards (Gold), Stevies (Best Rich Media Online Ad Campaign), Connecticut Art DIrectors Club, Connecticut Advertisers Club, London International Awards and the ACE Awards.


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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Paperback
The best introductory book for print designers currently making the leap to web from a type design standpoint. It clearly explains every facet you need to know without complex jargon & assumptions, but with current examples that are relevant. Recommended and a keeper.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I read several reviews on amazon.com before purchasing this book. Thought it would be good, but was sorely disappointed. It has lots of pictures and examples of concepts. BUT it is really light on a good explanation and approach to employing these design principles. Even the pictures of the web sites are too small in many cases to really see it well. Not a very good reference book at all! This is more a coffee table book.

A much better book is:

The Principles of Beautiful Web Design
by Jason Beaird (098057689X)
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Good examples, but fairly beginner. I'm no expert on web design, but I found much of this to be pretty basic. Good read for a beginner though.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 38 reviews
51 of 53 people found the following review helpful
One Of The Best Books Available On The Web Design Process April 28 2011
By Steffan Antonas - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Brian clearly put a lot of thought and careful consideration into the structure, content and flow of the book. It's well done. I've been building websites for 4 or 5 years now and this is the first book I've found that does a good job of walking the reader through the entire thought process of planning and creating a structured strategy for designing websites. If you're sold on the idea that smart thinking and great design thrive on a methodical approach, this book will delight you. That said, it's not a how-to book on building code or using tools like Photoshop, so if you're just getting into web design and you're itching to learn specific skills for building stuff, you'll probably want to hold off on buying this for now and come back to it later when you're ready to start doing professional projects. Just do so knowing that, when you do eventually come back and read it, you'll probably kick yourself for not having read this one upfront ;-).

For those of you interested in buying the book, here's a quick list of pros and cons:

PROS (many):

- There's zero fluff-factor. Brian did a solid job of explaining things simply and succinctly and moving on. Every page gets straight to the point. You'll get through it quickly without feeling like you wasted any time.

- It's easy on the eyes. There are plenty of visuals to support the content. If you surf though CSS galleries a lot looking for inspiration for your projects, you'll also get a lot of value just from flipping through the pages.

- It's an ideal start for aspiring design professionals because it provides a comprehensive, horizontal look at the design process end to end. If your goal is to learn how to manage big design projects, the book helps you develop an essential vocabulary and a broad awareness of things you need to consider (and why you do) before you get started.

CONS (few):

- The information in some sections is a little "light". At 255 pages, that's not really a knock. There's plenty of great info to chew on. The book was clearly designed for breadth, rather than depth, which is why it succeeds in giving the reader a complete and broad awareness of the design process. Depth needed to be sacrificed in order to cover everything. Entire books have been written on each topic covered in this book (like SEO, typography, usability etc). The good news is that being aware of why these are critical steps in the process will aid you in your search for deeper dives into how this stuff is done.

- No suggestions for further reading. Recognizing that this book was designed for breadth, it would have been useful to have had a short list of suggested resources in each section to guide the reader to deep dives. Including a vetted list of "further reading" would have been great. This isn't a make or break by any means, it's just a nice to have.

Overall a great book that you'll probably want to keep in your collection.
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Web Design Demystified March 28 2011
By Ted A. Dobbs - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
"Above the Fold" provides everything that you need to build a strong foundation for a successful web site. The book is broken into 3 sections that talk specifically about design, planning and marketing issues associated with web site design. From reviewing the basic principles of design from a web perspective to prototyping and search engine optimization, author Brian Miller does an excellent job of explaining the specifics of the medium without getting bogged down in markup languages. As a predominantly print-based graphic designer, "Above the Fold" gave me the knowledge and tools to design just as successfully and comfortably for the web.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Excellent, relevant and current. Definitely a keeper! June 16 2011
By N. Wu - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The best introductory book for print designers currently making the leap to web from a type design standpoint. It clearly explains every facet you need to know without complex jargon & assumptions, but with current examples that are relevant. Recommended and a keeper.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A Useful and Easy Guide April 3 2012
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
First things first, if you're an aspiring web designer and you are looking for a book that'll help you learn about how to design and write for your site, buy this book and read it. Right now. Stop reading this review and go and read this book instead.

Okay, for a slightly longer recommendation, how about this: Miller has written here the perfect handbook for a student looking to learn more about web design or a small business owner trying to spice their site up an increase traffic. It's all here, discussions about the web itself, about how people use it and read different sorts of pages, discussions about the usability of a site and how that affects its design and vice-verse, a checklist of things to do before your site goes live and of things to have as it grows and thrives, everything you could need to know about web design.

The book might seem intimidating, but it's a brisk read at around 250 pages and a good portion of the page space is take up with large, full color and extremely helpful illustrations. Web design is inherently visual, so it's only logical that over half of this book would be examples of what to do and what not to do as seen in fully realized sites.

Miller's book is one of those essential books that should be read by anyone looking to learn more about web design, it's just that good.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Top Notch Read and Guide for Web Site Design Dec 27 2013
By persimmonMuse - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are looking for a good read on guidelines for design and print this book is it! If you are just starting out to build a website from scratch it is filled with excellent easily understood information. Great book to understanding the layout flow of a website and grasp versatile CSS (Creative Style Sheet) codes. The book relates history of print ink layout and how it applies to web site design. It covers topics of white space and hierarchy of space along with readability, legibility and how that applies to font selection in order to create a user friendly enhanced web site. It goes on to help web site builders understand the importance of personal brand recognition through imagery applied for impact. The most important steps of research and discovery for your customer that includes a asset inventory and sitemap mock up along with prototype comps.


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