★★★☆☆ Web Design: A Complete Introduction by Nigel Chapman and Jenny Chapman (Wiley, 2006) is a book that a book lover would like to hold in their hand. It’s full color with pages of very nice stock, wonderful typography and appearance. I’m telling you this because I’m at a bit of a loss as to how to review it, so I’m delaying.
It’s from Wiley in the UK, so it may be my American perspective that’s holding me back on deciding about this book. I’m not sure where it would fit into an American curriculum. All this indecision on my part doesn’t indicate that the book is not a good book. It’s full of in-depth and clearly written information.
It’s more than a design book. They aren’t kidding when they say this is a complete introduction in the title. The book’s approach is so thorough and so complete that I learned things I’ve considered the secret knowledge of programmers and database people previously.
The book covers things you’d learn in computer science about web technology and includes internet architecture and information programmers learn. It presents that information is a way that makes it easy to understand and clearly connects the knowledge to creating web pages. It has sections on HTTP and server side technology and DOM scripting. It also has sections on web applications and databases.
Mixed in with the technological information you find sections on CSS, XHTML markup, typography, and a fine explanation of accessibility. The book delves into visual communication and layout, with information on color and tone. It explains the logical and navigational structure of a web site.
It’s aimed at the university level market. Each chapter has a summary of key points and exercises that could be used by independent learners or in a classroom. If you teach web design in a Computer Science department this would be a excellent book to help you teach students information that would help them understand standards, accessibility and CSS. If you teach web design in a department such as Visual Communication or Technical Communication this would be an excellent reference and contains information you as instructor would benefit from knowing, even if you didn’t include it in the classroom work.
If anyone in the UK reads this and would leave a comment explaining what the standard curriculum for teaching web design is there, I’d like to hear about it. Help me understand how to classify a book this complete, if you can.