3/8/11

Read All About It! – Above the Fold: JPD Book of the Month



JPD Creative, Erin Tinney, recommends March's Book of the Month pick… Above the Fold

The term for designing "above the fold" originated in the newspaper industry—the concept that the most important news of the day should appear on the top half of the front page because that is what's visible when folded and stacked on a newsstand. The goal of "above the fold" is simple:

1. Get the passerby to stop

2. Pick it up

3. Buy it

4. Dig a little deeper for additional information

In my ongoing search for resources describing successful approaches to Web design, I've found the same fundamental philosophy holds true when designing for the Web—hence the title of a new book by Brian D. Miller, Above the Fold.

Above the Fold is broken down into three sections: Design & Typography, Planning & Usability, and Business Value—detailing the various phases of Web design, their significance, and the return on investment. Some of my favorite topics that are covered in Above The Fold are:

What makes Web design unique

A brief history of Web design

Anatomy of a Web page
Form and function

White space the use of grids in Web design
Tools to create organization and hierarchy

Elements of design as they relate to the Web
Color, texture, imagery + iconography, scale, depth + dimension, animation, and variability

Web typography
Why type matters, Web-safe type, and image type

Web project planning
Research and discovery

Information architecture
Site maps, wireframes, usability diagrams, and concept design

Elements of usability
Navigation, breadcrumbs, text links, site search, submission forms, and error messaging

Search engine optimization (SEO)
Browsing/searching and keywords

Online marketing
Banner ads, viral and social marketing, on-site marketing, and email marketing

Web statistics and analysis

There are also some great call-outs woven throughout the book that serve as words to live by when designing for the Web, my personal favorite is, "Design is about having a plan. Web design is about having a backup plan." So true!

Whether you're a designer (print/Web), programmer, or a client who's looking to develop an effective presence on the Web, Above the Fold will prove to be an essential resource and foundation for understanding this ever-evolving medium.

My Design Shop describes it as "a different kind of Web design book. Above the Fold is not about timely design or technology trends; instead, this book is about the timeless fundamentals of effective communication within the context of Web design. It is intended to help you, the reader, understand the considerations that Web designers make when developing successful Web sites."

You can get Above the Fold at My Design Shop for $19.35

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