Suggestions For Web Design II Textbook?

I am currently teaching two classes in Web Design I using a combination of Macromedia’s Dreamweaver 8 hands on training by Short and Green, plus Elizabeth Castro’s HTML For The World Wide Web 5th edition.

Does anyone have any suggestions for a book (or books) to use for a Web Design II class?

I am probably leaning towards books that deal more with inserting media (music and video), plus some additional lessons in CSS and maybe more usage of templates.

Any suggestions would be helpful. Thanks.

Since the OP is really looking for informed opinions, although factual, I think moving this to IMHO is in order.

samclem GQ moderator

Sitepoint has some excellent books that might work for you. Just don’t buy them from Sitepoint. You can get them cheaper online at Amazon and sometimes Barnes and Noble.

Also, while you may be teaching the meat and potatoes, don’t forget the presentation of a site is important, too.

Thank you Duckster, I will take a look at that site, and have also considered using a book about website design - my students are all majoring in design, so it would be appropriate to delve into that deeper.

Out of interest do the students get any information or instruction on the following (alongside the “mechanical” aspects you’ve already mentioned)?

  1. Principles of designing for the screen/online
  2. Structural design of sites/information architecture
  3. Web Usability.

Given that it doesn’t really matter how good you are at the tech if you don’t have even just a basic understanding of the above.

The students are all majoring in Visual Communications. They are taking courses in Typography, Color, Drawing, Video Editing, CAD, Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, Digital Photography and many other courses related to their field. Almost all of the courses are project-oriented - meaning that they not only study the basics in each course, they are required to turn in an original, final project for each class which is then added to their portfolios.

For the Web Design I class, in week 3 of 11 weeks, they have already created a small, 4 page site using CSS and tables…basically just a quick exercise in working with site construction using links, images and simple CSS. They will be required to create a minimum 10 page site using only CSS for their final project. So far, they have done an amazing job. They are incorporating many illustrations and designs from previous classwork and getting the hang of it quickly.

For the Web Design II class, I would like to get a good book covering the three topics you mentioned. I am also leaning towards additional classwork teaching Flash and some SEO, but not sure just yet. Flash should be a course by itself but, as this is new program, it is currently not in the curriculum. That is why I am trying to get some feel as to what others think would be good follow up to a basic web design course.

Well Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug is probably a good place to start - particularly if you don’t want to inflict Jakob Nielsen on the poor things.

Designing With Web Standards by Jeffry Zeldman is a good book to point them at as well. Its another key publication for the industry and will help them apply their new-found technical knowledge in a real-world way - i.e. maintain a high standard of code, design principles etc. whilst still deliver a product that works on all browsers and meets customer needs.

Also, not a book but a website -

A List Apart is one of the places to be when it comes to decent articles on professional web design, development and theory. They do have a book in the works, but sadly its not out yet. Nonetheless I’d strongly suggest you take a look and pick out any articles you feel relevant as compulsory reading. Happy to make some suggestions myself if you feel it would be useful.