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Learning Web Design: A Beginner's Guide To HTML, Graphics, And Beyond [School & Library Binding]

Jennifer Niederst
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

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Book Description

June 2003 0613912357 978-0613912358 2

InLearning Web Design, author Jennifer Niederst shares the knowledge she's gained from years of web design experience, both as a designer and a teacher. This book starts from the beginning-- defining the Internet, the Web, browsers, and URLs -- so you don't need to have any previous knowledge about how the Web works. After reading this book, you'll have a solid foundation in HTML, graphics, and design principles that you can immediately put to use in creating effective web pages.

In the second edition, Jennifer has updated the book to cover style sheets and reflect current web standards. She has also added exercises that help you to learn various techniques and short quizzes that make sure you're up to speed with key concepts. The companion CD-ROM contains material for all the exercises in the book, as well as trial versions of Fireworks™ MX, and HomeSite™ 5; Adobe ™ Photoshop™ 7, ImageReady™ 7, and BBEdit 7.

Learning Web Design, 2nd Edition:

  • Covers the nuts and bolts of basic HTML and style sheets, with detailed examples of formatting text, adding graphic elements, making links, creating tables and frames, and using color on the Web.
  • Explains whether to use GIFs or JPEGs for different types of images, and includes important tips on optimizing graphics for web delivery.
  • Provides dozens of web design do and don'ts, to help you make good web design decisions and avoid common beginner traps.
  • Contains hands-on exercises throughout the book that allow you to try out new techniques along the way.
Unlike other beginner books,Learning Web Designleaves no holes in your education. It gives you everything you need to create basic web sites and will prepare you for more advanced web work. If you are interested in web design, this book is the place to start. After finishing it, you'll be ready for the author's bestselling companion reference,Web Design in a Nutshell.

Fireworks and HomeSite are trademarks or registered trademarks of Macromedia, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. Adobe, ImageReady, and Photoshop are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated in the United States and/or other countries.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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In Learning Web Design, the author of a top-rated web authoring guide (Web Design in a Nutshell) now turns her hand to a beginner's tutorial. The result is a foundation course in HTML, and an ideal starting point for learning how to build web pages.

The book does not attempt to cover every aspect of web authoring, and you should look elsewhere for coverage of technologies like Flash multimedia, Javascript or XML. Instead, Learning Web Design offers sound and thorough coverage of the fundamentals, presented in a friendly and informal style, and underpinned by the author's in-depth knowledge and professionalism.

Some Web authors use design tools, while others prefer to work directly with HTML code. This title takes a balanced view, with how-to explanations for Dreamweaver, GoLive and FrontPage, along with the equivalent HTML. For graphics, Photoshop, Fireworks and Paint Shop Pro are specifically covered.

The book is structured as four parts. The first is an overview, explaining the Web design process. Next comes an HTML tutorial, tackling page formatting, how to include graphics, tables, frames and colours. The third part is a detailed guide to Web graphics, showing how to optimise both appearance and performance. The final section is about usability and design, showing how to create pages to professional standards. There is also a peek at more advanced techniques, showing where to go for more information. The wide-margin layout gives plenty of space for illustrations, some in colour, and there are plentiful tips and references in side-panels. --Tim Anderson --This text refers to the Paperback edition.


"I do like this book. I liked the first edition, and I liked the author's other books. They are models of what textbooks should be: clear, concise, nice to look at, useful and correct. ... If you know someone who wants to get started with designing websites and wants to progress quickly and reasonable far, this title is definitely for them. Get people who design bad websites to read it to, we can hope." - Lindsay Marshall, news@UK, December 2003 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Begin your web design career here! Oct. 23 2003
This book starts with the premise that you have no web development experience and you do not want to program. The book is divided into four parts that cover an overview of web development, an html tutorial, graphics for the web, and web site design. Within each section, a different subject is addressed in every chapter. While each chapter starts at a very basic level, enough material is taught to give the reader a good start in each of the subjects. I particularly liked the way style sheets and links were covered. The book is replete with tips, illustrations, and code examples to assist the reader. There are exercises to reinforce the information for most of the topics covered.
The format of the book is different than most of the O'Reilly books that I have read in the past. The larger format of the book with the better paper and more graphics add to the learning experience especially with this subject. This was a fun book to read, even though I was familiar with most of the material. I was mainly interested in the graphics section and web design. Apparently, my interests coincided with those of the author's because I feel that those sections are the strongest in the book.
My only slight criticism of this book might be that while the reader is probably a beginner, most of the graphics examples are done with Photoshop or Fireworks. These tools may be a bit out of budget for the fledgling web designer. This book is a good starting point, but the reader probably will need to follow it with something more substantial.
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I, too, will likely be teaching a high school course in web design this fall, and felt that this book would help provide a framework for my curriculum.
It certainly covers a wide range of topics, but it has a target audience in mind and you should determine whether or not you are in that audience before you purchase the book.
First of all, do you know absolutely nothing about web design? This is definitely a book for beginners. I am by no means an expert, and I knew little HTML before reading this book, but I can say that I already knew most of the material. I know it's called "Learning Web Design," but in spite of that I was still a bit surprised. If you've had even minimal experience making web pages already, most of this will be review.
Second, do you plan to rely almost entirely on programs like Dreamweaver or GoLive? Niederst's coverage of HTML assumes that you do. This is not a negative comment--for many people there is no need to learn a great deal of HTML--but she teaches you just enough so that you can operate WYSIWYG editors more efficiently. She does not mention which tags are deprecated, and doesn't really encourage the use of CSS (although CSS isn't taught in the book). I think those two things are fairly important if you plan to make a real study of HTML, if only to encourage good habits in the beginning. Thus, much will have to be "unlearned" with further HTML tutorials. However, your basic WYSIWYG user will probably never know the difference.
If you don't meet those two qualifications, I would recommend you look elsewhere. Otherwise, this will be an excellent first book ... Niederst is a great author, and the book is easy and fun to read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended resource for those new to Web design Nov. 6 2002
Web sites have come a long way since the first graphical browsers came out in the early '90s. We're seeing fancy pages made with XML, Java, PHP, CSS, Javascript, XHTML, and more. No doubt this has left web page designer wannabes feeling left behind and lamenting it's too late to learn how to design web pages.
Jennifer Niederst reaffirms that it is not too late. Her previous and best-selling book, Web Design in a Nutshell has helped many including me take their web design skills to the next level plus it's excellent as a reference book. However, her students were clamoring for a book that is more basic and introductory than the Nutshell. She calls Learning Web Design: A Beginner's Guide to HTML, Graphics and Beyond her "prequel" and correctly so.
This is the book I wish I had when I first learned HTML. Even someone, who has known HTML and understands graphics, this book is still useful. Beginners learn about GIF, JPG and when to use which format. Intermediates are reminded the difference between adaptive, selective, and perceptual color palettes.
Niederst includes steps and screen shots for performing different activities in the more popular web design, animation, and graphic software products. I experience an annoyance in my early days of web design - the halo effect on graphics in which I added transparency. Again, this book saves time in trial and error of correcting problems by providing the workarounds and tips.
Of course, the nuts and bolts of creating Web pages are covered, but the book doesn't stop there. The last section shows you how to bring it all together and create pages similar to the professional ones out there using HTML and graphics.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good intro for beginners Sept. 6 2002
"Learning Web Design" by Jennifer Niederst is an excellent intro to HTML and web design. The book takes the reader gently through how the Internet works, how web pages are loaded, and how web pages should be designed before giving a lesson on HTML. Niederst then takes the reader through a sampling of topics such as graphics and frames, highlighting the do's and don'ts of web design.
In my opinion, I recommend this book if you are:
A complete newbie to the web but wants to make web pages the right way.
A programmer who understands the basics of HTML but does not consider him or herself a designer.
You will also need a dose of patience, and I also recommend you follow along her lessons with your computer with a basic text editor software like Notepad. I would also recommend checking out "Web Design in a Nutshell" by the same author for a slightly more advanced and in-depth treatment of web design and "HTML and XHTML: The Definitive Guide" for a complete treatment of how to write HTML.
Lastly, Niederst doesn't cover JavaScript or CSS in this book: it is strictly an intro for beginners on the fundamentals of HTML and web design.
Highly recommended.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Intro to web design
Usually learning something new on the computer requires that you purchase more than one book on the subject. Read more
Published on Oct. 22 2003 by Jim Symes
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome for beginners
Excellent writing style made it fun and easy to follow along and actually create a functional website. I made 4 websites by the time I finished the book!
Published on May 27 2003
2.0 out of 5 stars Okay, could be better
The reviewer/teacher that posted on April 11, 2001 is right on the mark. This book says nothing on Forms. Read more
Published on April 6 2003 by Teddy
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Yet
Of the 3 books about web design, HTML, and related topics that I have read recently this is the best yet and I do recommend it for purchase by others. Read more
Published on March 20 2003 by Peter C. Halden
5.0 out of 5 stars Solid Introduction to Essential Web Design Topics
This is one of the best books you'll find on basic web design techniques. While it does not cover advanced topics such as dynamic page generation (CGI/ASP/PHP/ColdFusion/JSP etc. Read more
Published on Sept. 16 2002 by Dan Raymond
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book for beginner's
Jennifer Niederst book "Learning Web Design" I found to be a great book explaining very well for beginners on how to build basic websites. Read more
Published on July 16 2002 by Ralph Speirs
5.0 out of 5 stars Want to learn web design? Start here!
Maybe just one more favorable review about this excellent web design book. This is the book you need if you want a very good foundation for your web site/page building experience. Read more
Published on July 1 2002 by Richard Eltzroth
5.0 out of 5 stars A Very Comprehensive Web Design Book
I have been using both of Jennifer Nierdersts books (this one and Web Design in a Nutshell), for the past year in my beginner college level classes. Read more
Published on March 28 2002
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Book!
I wish I had found this book before I chose Designing Web Graphics.3 as a required book in my class. Designing Web Graphics.3 is too wordy and out of date. Read more
Published on Feb. 14 2002
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