Davis & Merritt 1998Davis, Jack & Merrit, Susan, The Web Design Wow! Book : showcasing the best of on-screen communicationPeachpit, 1998

The authors come from a graphic design background, and this lavishly illustrated book is aimed at those with a basis in print design, although the advice is useful for all levels. The first three chapters are the most useful for general design points, although the remaining chapters provide good exemplars (from real companies) which consider different types of sites and looks at the ways they have implemented the ‘design rules’ from the first three chapters. The whole purpose of a web site is deemed to be communication, with a focus on the needs of the customer; a site should identify a problem, and identify the solution that the site will provide.

The authors question whether the web is the best medium for the message in mind, as other multimedia and print options are available, and identifies some the special properties of the online media, including the interactive, nonlinear approach. They address some project management aspects, particularly whether one has the time and resources to see the project through to completion, and to do so well. They are very hot on having a consistent approach to design, particularly on the the use ‘metaphors’ to give personality to the site, whilst maintaining functionality. Sites must be well organised, and use appropriate technologies to get the message across. (January 2002)

Reviewed for Web Usability and Accessibility Project.

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