Website Design and Development: 100 Questions to Ask Before Building a Website

Website Design and Development: 100 Questions to Ask Before Building a Website

Website Design and Development: 100 Questions to Ask Before Building a Website

A helpful book-and-video package for building and maintaining a successful Web siteHow do you know that you’ve done everything doable to create a unique, enriching, and successful Web site, particularly when you’re hiring others to do it? With Website Design and Development, you’ll feel confident that you’ve fatigued each characteristic of building a Web site. The clever question-and-answer format walks you through easily overlooked details, acting as a virtual consultant. You’ll get clear, easy-

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  1. Cowboy Bill "cowboybill" says:
    11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    A great overview for businesses, March 24, 2011
    By 
    Cowboy Bill “cowboybill” (Omaha, NE USA) –
    (VINE VOICE)
      

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine Program (What’s this?)

    I’ve been building business websites for more than 10 years. I can tell you that most businesses are spending way too much on their sites. They do this mainly out of ignorance — they don’t know a lot about interactive communications so thus can easily be oversold by development companies and agencies.

    One book I’ve suggested to my customers for a few years is Building Web Sites All-in-One For Dummies. For a book with “dummies” in the title, it provides a very good overview of how professionals approach a site build. Unfortunately, it is almost 800 pages and many of my clients just can’t bring themselves to start it, let alone finish it.

    That’s where “Website Design and Development” comes in. It covers much of the same material as the “Dummies” book, but it’s shorter and easier to read. I can tell this was written by a design/development guy — it’s structured for scanning, just like a good site.

    Knowing a little about online design and development can save you and your business — and I’m not kidding, here — thousands of dollars. Considering you can read this book over a weekend, I honestly don’t understand why you’d hire an interactive agency without reading this first. You’ll soon know 1) how to see through the smoke of development jargon, 2) which features your particular site needs and which ones it doesn’t, and 3) how you can best gauge your site’s projected scope and success. (You’ll also enjoy the site build more because you can be more intelligently involved in the entire process — and the process is kind of fun.)

    Nutshell: The “Dummies” book mentioned above is still my recommendation for the layman with an interest in really sussing the build process. If you don’t have that much time — or stamina — then “Website Design” is a great second choice.

    NOTE: This review is not aimed at folks who are actually going to build a site, but at those laymen who want to know the process so they can intelligently oversee and participate in such a project. If you want to actually build a site yourself — do the coding, image editing, programming, etc. — you’ll need a different set of books.

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  2. M. J. Smith says:
    8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    A winner in a class that can never win, February 24, 2011
    By 
    M. J. Smith (Seattle, WA USA) –
    (VINE VOICE)
      
    (REAL NAME)
      

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine Program (What’s this?)

    Website Design Development is the type of book but I’m glad someone is willing to write. Thankful because it is such a thankless task – every web designer will have some dispute with the questions selected/deselected, or with design principles or the rating of importance. And, yes, I also don’t always agree with George Plumley.

    However, the structure of the book itself is a testament to Plumley’s ability to present information in appropriate sized units, to provide the tools to relate information on this page to other pages, to allow further exploration via sidebars and DVD, to choose appropriate fonts and colors. The book is so well designed for paper format that one immediately trust’s the author’s ability to produce appropriate web site formats.

    The chapters consist of questions built around a particular issue: domain name, hosting, e-mail, design and layout, user experience, construction, content, marketing, search engine optimization, security. These issues represent the full spectrum of elements of a website. This is a real strength as many similar books present only the business view, the techie’s view or the user’s view.

    For each question one finds:
    – a very readabile description of the issue and the elements surrounding it
    – a visual indicator of the importance of the issue
    – very well done examples
    – tips, notes, warnings and references to the dvd resource
    – rules of thumb
    – a list of the related questions
    – a list of action items

    All the sidebar items are excellent examples of clear, succinct writing. The list give cross-references in a very unobtrusive and manner.

    I would prefer that maintenance, blogs and forums receive attention – and a bit less time be spent on marketing and promotion … but as I said initially, writing a book like this is a thankless task. I thank George Plumley for taking it on.

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  3. Chen Sun "WebAndNet.com" says:
    7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars
    Well written, but limited practical use, March 15, 2011
    By 
    Chen Sun “WebAndNet.com” (Houston, TX United States) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine Program (What’s this?)

    This book is written stylistically well, but it is unclear how practical it is.

    As an analogy, suppose I wanted to build a mechanical widget, involving learning engineering and manufacturing. My introductory physics textbook has 90% of all the principles I’ll ever need. Unfortunately, after reading the physics book, I still can’t design or build the widget.

    Analogously, this book is a web design-marketing 101 textbook, and though most principles are covered, a reader still won’t be able to design build the website.

    I write specifications for websites professionally and liked this book’s format and style of asking questions. The book asks why-type questions that helps one establish a thinking process as to how to review website designs and developments. For example, there are books about color in designs, but this book instead asks– how does the color contribute to the marketing objective? This book asks, what colors are your competitors using?

    Informative, but not really valuable yet, as such questions needs to be supplemented by several other books on color theory. More still, color theory needs to be taken in an overall website design-marketing perspective, which is too much coverage in a small book.

    If one wants a custom website, shop for a custom web designer (analogously, it is more efficient to hire an engineer than learn engineering). If one’s budget is limited, buy a self-build kit (in another word, it is more efficient buy a web template than to self-learn from a book as this).

    Overall, well written style and format, but not of much practical use to laymen.

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