While The Non-Designer's Web Book won't answer all your technical questions about the inner workings of the Web, it explains most of what a beginning designer needs to know: what the Web is, how it gets to your computer, how to use it, and most of all how to design for it.
Any artist can tell you that you have to know how a medium works to get the most impact working in it. A basic understanding of how the Web works enables the good designer to create sites with the most effect. This book thoroughly discusses the different kinds of graphics used on the Web, when to use one over another, how to make the most of text styles, and how to design navigation systems.
The comparisons are the best stuff here--good design vs. bad design, why designing Web pages and printed pages is different, and why a site looks terrific on one monitor but terrible on another one. Two chapters on properly preparing graphics and setting typography for Web site use describe how to avoid obvious mistakes that would make your work look amateurish.
Not limited to design, Non-Designer shows you how to get a site up and running, register the domain name, and add it to search engines. After the design is finished and implemented, the site has to be uploaded and updated, and that's explained too.
If there is one fault with this book, it's the lack of information on specific authoring tools. The barest overview of the current crop of tools appears in chapter 3, "Just What Are Web Pages, Anyway?" but a discussion of why you should choose one package over another is absent.
Don't let that stop you from buying this book, though. Plenty of magazines regularly have Web authoring tool "shootouts." What the magazines don't tell you, and what Non-Designer excels at, is how to make well-designed pages. If you're going to build Web sites, for either personal or professional use, but you have no clue where to begin, start with this book. It's easy to read, it's devoid of confusing jargon, and it's full of do's and don'ts to help you avoid common snags. --Mike Caputo [via]