Learning Web Design (3rd edition)

Ah, web design. I have a soft spot for web design. Way back when, getting paid to make web sites got me extra cash in university, and it ended up being my first proper job after leaving as well. Sometimes this seems an awful long time ago, though, so a book which is billed as either an introduction or a way of bringing your skills up to date sounded like a good way to refresh my knowledge.

This book has grander designs than just to throw the technical knowledge at you, however. The author understands that web design isn't just a technical skill, but brings in areas of artistic flair and business processes. The book is structured around this concept, and covers not only the HTML and CSS technical details, but also the process of developing a website, design concepts, and producing graphics for the web.

The book covers all of these topics well, but necessarily briefly. And I guess that's kind of the problem I have with this book. It does work well as an introduction, but you wouldn't be able to go out and design websites after reading it. Equally, as someone who has some base of knowledge, albeit outdated, this didn't do the job in bringing me fully up to speed with how things are now.

However, that's not to say this is a bad book - as I said, it is a very good introduction, and if you really are completely new to websites, would be an excellent place to start. But really, you'd need to couple it with another, more in-depth book on the technical details. (Perhaps Web Design in a Nutshell, by the same author, which I can heartily recommend...)

Trevor Roberts


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