The book is broken down into a series of check-lists for developing websites organized into major themes. Usually there is a short point, and explanation and sometimes an example- you might think of it as a stripped-down version of the format used in the O'Reilly Cookbook series.
- Initial questions - target audience, goals and budget issues
- Preparing content
- Managing content
- Usability, focus on the user
- Colour,using colour in your website
- Information architecture, organizing your website
- Coding your site, proper X/HTML, CSS
- Creating accessible websites
- Search engine Optimization, avoid being banned
- Testing, usability,accessibility testing
- Preparing for launch
- Post Launch follow-up, collecting data
- E-commerce Check-lists
This book arrived while I was deep into developing SimcoeDining.com, a search engine website and I decided to see how well my design was stacking up against the points made in the book. Lets say it reminded me of a few things and taught me more than a few tips. That's to say, even if you are an experienced designer, I'll bet you'll learn at least a few semi-obscure tips (like following your directory names with a slash to help the server figure out you're not referring to a file but a directory in chapter 11). As well, the chapters on optimizing looks at a wide range of optimization, from writing shorter CSS to writing HTML/CSS that is user-friendly and light, proper use of tables, and not creating reader problems.
As you read the chapters you get the idea that a whole lot of experience was brought to bare- looking at the footnotes on just about every page, they are full of references to other sources readers might investigate if they wish to learn more about a particular point.
The book itself is quite simple, no colour, mostly black and white pages with a simple layout. This is the kind of book that has the look of university course notes, that's not a criticism, but it doesn't look as pretty as similar books might- though it you see past this, then you'll discover a book that should make it onto any web designer's desk.