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Web Development: A Visual Spatial Approach [Paperback]

Craig Baehr

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Book Description

Feb. 17 2006 0131701223 978-0131701229 1

An excellent reference for, professionals and experienced designers, this text takes a holistic approach to web development. At the heart of the text is the belief that keeping the user’s needs in mind during development process will create more effective sites. It addresses planning, structure, navigation, content, design, and usability while focusing on their interconnectedness within web development. Both traditional and contemporary theoretical approaches are discussed including rhetorical theory, visual-spatial thinking, and user-centered design. A number of real world examples including screen captures of actual sites, advice from practicing professionals and ready to use materials make this book a must-have for anyone interested in effective web development. Provides an overview of the web development process and planning phases. Covers the basics of document markup and publishing. Looks at critical factors in overall development relating to site structure; navigation systems; research & content development; visual design; interface design; and usability & accessibility. Includes examples of architectures, navigation, interface designs, usability tests, accessibility standards, and content development. Appropriate for advanced technical writing courses in Multimedia and Web Design. An excellent resource for anyone interested in developing effective websites.

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars make a website easy to understand March 21 2006
By W Boudville - Published on Amazon.com
This is not primarily a book on writing HTML webpages. Though that is indeed discussed at various places within the text. Instead, Baehr moves the discussion to a higher level of organisation - of an entire website. The "visual-spatial" method offers a way to make a thematically unified website. Where the main advantage is that it is easier for a visitor to navigate through the website. No small matter. Your website will compete with many others, for the attention of visitors. The simpler it is for them to grasp the structure of your pages, the more likely they will linger and return.

The book's approach applies various visual design principles that predate the Web; notably those explained by Arnheim in 1969. Way back when few envisaged how widespread and useful something like the Web would be. Arnheim's work pertained to more traditional media like the printed page. In fact, Baehr's book might reasonably be considered to showing how Arnheim's work can be mapped onto the Web.

Various technical means that aid in the website design are gone into. Notably the use of a consistent style between various pages. This can be implemented (or enforced) via Cascading Style Sheets. Though, as with my remarks above about HTML, the book gives high level guidelines. Details about CSS or HTML are best found in more technical texts.

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