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Web Pages That Suck: Learn Good Design by Looking at Bad Design

By Vincent Flanders & Michael Willis
ISBN: 0-7821-2187-X
Out of Print

Here's the straight dope on the World Wide Web... the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

Movies have Siskel and Ebert...web sites have Flanders and Willis.

Free Sample Chapter -- Chapter 2, Site Design and Navigation (1.4Mb ZIP file containing a PDF version of the chapter)

The original title for the book was Fixing and Preventing Web Pages That Suck, but the title got shortened for some reason that made sense at the time. I've heard a lot of people say, "Oh, I was surprised when I read your book -- I thought it was just a book about sucky web sites." It isn't. The book uses bad sites as examples and shows you how to fix them -- or prevent them from happening in the first place.

WPTS is an easy and fun read and very educational. One of my favorite compliments is "It's the first technical book I've read that I've enjoyed reading." The writing is clear, concise, and easy to understand. Best of all, it isn't silly or pretentious. You won't find phrases like you'll see in other design books like: "...seeing the innovative design on the site was reward enough. 'Grrr,' says Andrew, satisfied." 

If you design web sites, plan to build one, or are just an active surfer, you need to hear what they have to say. Funny, opinionated, and always to-the-point, Flanders and Willis have developed a reputation for being the web's leading critics. They'll teach you all about:

  1. What works, what utterly sucks, and how to fix it
  2. Creating enticing content and graphics -- and keeping it all fresh
  3. Avoiding injury at the hands of bleeding-edge technologies
  4. Marketing your site, generating traffic, and making money

What They're Saying...

"Finally a book that exposes web disasters -- and most importantly, allows YOU to avoid making the same mistakes."
Dr. Jakob Nielsen
Sun Microsystems Distinguished Engineer and Web Usability Guru

"I was drunk. Someone stole my 216 color palette. The dog ate my ALT tags. Whatever the excuse, Flanders and Willis point out the boneheaded mistakes that we've all made as web designers. More importantly, they note how to avoid making the same mistakes again."
Matt Straznitskas
President, BrainBug, LLC

"Flanders and Willis teach critical ideas and oft-overlooked methods of design. Web Pages that Suck is like the web; engaging, funny, sometimes ridiculous and always a memorable experience."
Molly E. Holzschlag
author * instructor * designer

"My favorite thing about this book is that it doesn't just show you how to build great web sites, it helps you make your existing sites better. My second favorite thing is that DaveCentral isn't mentioned as a sucky site."
Dave Franklin
Head Geek, DaveCentral.com

"Flanders and Willis give a no-nonsense look at what NOT to do with a web site. Simutaneously, they offer an excellent overview of how to get return visitors to your site again and again. Web Pages That Suck is a must-have desk reference for the web professional and an excellent teaching tool that I plan to use in my classes."
B.K. DeLong
Director, New England Chapter, National Association of webmasters

"During the time I've worked at Wired Digital, I've seen a lot of web sites and a lot of books on how to build web sites. This book stands apart as one that practically guarantees the reader a high-quality web site."
Lisa Schmeiser
Production Editor, Wired Digital

Table of Contents:
1. So You Want to Put Together a Web Site
2. Site Design and Navigation
3. Content is King
4. Fixing Your Graphics Problems
5. Fixing Your Text Problems
6. Links and Frames
7. It's Not Called the Bleeding Edge for Nothing
8. Maintaining Your Site
9. It Takes More Than Luck to Make a Buck
10. Search Engines and Directories
11. Other Ways to Market Your Site