Web books

I picked up three books this weekend, all web-related:

Web Standards Solutions: The Markup and Style Handbook
Submit Now: Designing Persuasive Websites
The Unusually Useful Web Book

  1. Web Standards Solutions: The Markup and Style Handbook by Dan Cederholm
  2. Submit Now: Designing Persuasive Websites by Andrew Chak
  3. The Unusually Useful Web Book by June Cohen

I was planning to get Dan Cederholm’s book for some time. It’s doing pretty well on the Amazon.com ratings. I must admit I already know how to do the majority of things mentioned in his book. When I create new web pages at work, I code the stylesheets from scratch – no copying from other websites, even for 3-column layouts. But I bought the book because I know it’s a good book, with a foreword by Jeffrey Zeldman, and I want to support good efforts to promote the use of web standards. It would also help to recommend these sort of books to agencies who work for your company – especially if you’ve read it and can attest to their value.

The other two books simply caught my eye as I flipped through them. Quite often web design books are divided into two categories: Design and Programming/Technology. Instead these books begin by looking at the big picture, and covers elements of both visual design and IT in a structured and semantic way. They don’t get into technical details but give you a good overview of how to go about producing a great, relevant website that meets its objectives.

In my current position it’s not about selling things but convincing people to change their lifestyles. But as I’ve progressed it’s become obvious that the approach used to get customers to buy into your product, can also be applied to non-commercial objectives. You don’t preach to them anymore – you try to sell them your idea. Who’d think that this would ever be like a sales job? But it certainly is!

The Unusually Useful Web Book seems to be living up to its name, because it is quite difficult for me to put it down (in both senses of the word/phrase). Chapters I’d like to know more about would be on web traffic analysis (to gauge customers’ habits and wants), project management (to establish clear roles and deadlines), and site promotion. Oh, and the two Jeffreys (Veen and Zeldman) are interviewed in it as well.