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Chapter 1: Introduction


Contents of Book Chapter

  • Review of Web Tehnology
  • Web Site Development Life Cycle
  • Introduction to Content Analysis
  • Introduction to Site Architecture Analysis
  • Introduction to Usability Factors
  • Introduction to Interaction Design
  • Introduction to Web Accessibility

Resources

General Web Development

  • Dynamic HTML: The Definitive Reference, 3rd edition, by Danny Goodman. Sebastopol, California: O’Reilly, 2006. The premier “one book does it all” reference for HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.
  • Web Developer Foundations: Using XHTML, 3rd Edition, by Terry Felke-Morris. Boston: Addison-Wesley, 2006.
  • www.builder.com, www.webmonkey.com, and www.alistapart.com. All carrying a wide range of articles on web development.
  • The JavaScript Source, http://javascript.internet.com. Thousands of free JavaScript scripts to download.
  • The World Wide Web Consortium, www.w3c.org, for articles, standards, and an HTML validator.

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CSS

  • CSS Zen Garden, http://www.csszengarden.com. An awe-inspiring collection showing how a single HTML page can be altered dramatically by using different CSS files. Showcases terrific visual design as well.

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Usability

  • Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, Second Edition, by Steve Krug. Berkeley, California: New Riders, 2006. A classic in the usability arena, including an excellent chapter on discount testing.
  • User-Centered Web Design, by John Cato. London: Addison-Wesley, 2001.
  • About Face 2.0: The Essentials of Interaction Design, by Alan Cooper and Robert Reimann. Indianapolis, Indiana: Wiley, 2003.
  • Site-Seeing: A Visual Approach to Web Usability, by Luke Wroblewski. New York: Hungry Minds, 2002.
  • Jacob Neilsen’s Usability site, http://www.useit.com.
  • User Interface Engineering, www.uie.com, Jared Spool’s usability web site.

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Visual Design

  • The Web Design Wow! Book, by Jack Davis and Susan Merritt. Berkeley, California: Peachpit Press, 1998.
  • Digital Web Magazine, www.digital-web.com. Intelligent and discerning articles on web design.
  • Idea Index: Graphic Effects and Typographic Treatments, by Jim Krause. Cincinatti, Ohio: North Light Books, 2000. For design inspiration.
  • Before and After magazine, www.bamagazine.com. The smallest, most insightful, and most inspiring design magazine ever to grace the publishing industry.
  • The Webby Awards, www.webbyawards.com. The annual “Academy Awards” for web sites.

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Exercises
(mouseover answer boxes to reveal answers)

Check your Reading Comprehension

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Critical Thinking Exercises (long answer)

  • List at least four well-known examples (not discussed in the book) of effective branding. For each, explain why you feel the branding is effective.

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Hands-on Exercises

  • Pick any public access web site. From the content and visual design, try to determine the site’s goals, target audience, and the tasks that the designers determined visitors would want to perform. Did the designers do an adequate job of analysis for these three elements?
  • Pick any public access web site and evaluate the content. Is this a sticky site? What did the designers do, or fail to do, to promote stickiness?

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Ongoing Case Study Exercise
(to be augmented in upcoming chapters)

  • Choose one from the following list of possible web sites to perform the analysis tasks detailed in the following exercises.
    • A site specializing in products for newborn babies and their parents.
    • A site for a children’s amusement park, catering to children under the age of twelve.
    • A site selling fishing equipment.
    • A site selling women’s designer clothing.
    • A site promoting tourism for New York City.
    • A site promoting a non-profit environmental preservation organization.
    • A site promoting a grunge rock band.
    • A site promoting an oldies rock band that specializes in tunes from the late sixties and early seventies.
    • A site selling primitive antiques.
    • A site selling garden plants and supplies.
    • A site advertising an Italian restaurant.
    • A site promoting a small but trendy modern art gallery.
    • A site promoting a large, traditional art museum.
    • A site promoting a museum of natural history.
    • Your own personal web site.
    • Another site of your choice.
  • Determine the possible goals for the site.
  • Determine, in great detail, the target audience for the site.
  • List the tasks the target audience might like to perform on the site. Create a use case for one or more of the major tasks.

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| 4:Layout | 5: Color | 6: Graphics | 7: Typography | 8: Forms |