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RCL Career Resources Computer and Information Technology: Web Development

RCL Web Development + Choice Titles

Outstanding Academic Title

This book was a very pleasant surprise. When this reviewer first saw the title, he wondered what could be learned about making Web sites findable, beyond using good page titles and ensuring that pages are reachable by simple links from the main page. Walter, a professional Web site developer and instructor in interactive art and design at many academic institutions, does a terrific job explaining in depth what the search engines are looking for and how to give it to them. He explains page ranking and how the quality of a site's pages will influence the frequency of citations from other sites and blogs, which will greatly contribute to a Web site's page rankings. The insights about how the criteria for page ranking works among the search engines is invaluable to anyone who wants to create Web sites that appear within the first few pages of search engine results. Walter also discusses producing high-quality Web content in general. This advice is just as valuable as the main topic of the book. Building Findable Websites is certainly a title that modern Web application developers will want to own. Summing Up: Highly recommended. General readers; upper-division undergraduates through professionals; technical program students.

--F. H. Wild III, University of Rhode Island

Krug's popular book on web usability is now in its third edition (2nd ed., 2005; 1st ed., 2000), featuring new examples and a chapter on mobile applications. The title says it all: users should not have to think when navigating a website. Usability consultant and educator Krug (Advanced Common Sense) contends that any ambiguity in navigation or links will frustrate users. He stresses the importance of doing usability tests to help solve design issues and that usability testing can be done on a small scale. Like its predecessor, this edition's chapters are divided into four sections. The first section, "Guiding Principles," covers the basics of usability. The second section, "Things You Need to Get Right," addresses the importance of good navigation and the importance of the home page. The third section, "Making Sure You Got Them Right," focuses on usability testing. The final section, "Larger Concerns and Outside Influences," touches on mobile considerations, accessibility, and how to convince one's boss to do usability studies. This is an enjoyable read with a friendly, conversational tone, providing readers a good perspective on usability. Valuable for anyone involved in the creation of user interfaces. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels/libraries.

--J. E. Brandon, Michigan State University

Niederst Robbins has been an educator and web designer for 15-plus years; she created the first commercial website in 1993, O'Reilly's Global Network Navigator. She has accomplished the seemingly impossible task of bringing together all of the basic concepts of web design into a comprehensive, organized, and well-written volume. Now in its fourth edition (3rd ed., 2007; 2nd ed., 2004; 1st ed., 2001), Learning Web Design, with its all-in-one approach, should be considered the quintessential textbook and reference for the beginning to intermediate student and/or practitioner of web design. The first section engages the reader with the foundations of the web design environment, and introduces what will be presented in the following chapters. Subsequent sections cover not only HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and web graphics creation, but a framework for how to approach web design. Most pages include impressive, full-color graphics, which provide both visual and textual information. Each chapter contains exercises and a short quiz at the end to test learning. A companion website features exercise materials and links to resources and articles. Niederst Robbins also presents up-to-date information on changing technologies along with HTML5 and CSS3. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Students of all levels and professionals/practitioners in web design.

--J. E. Brandon, Michigan State University Library

Building an effective Web site with sustained value is much more complicated than just designing the look of the pages. Driving customers and visitors to the site through search engine links is the critical driver of success for organizations. This excellent book, authored by experts in search engine architecture and Web marketing, provides a fundamental, understandable guide to designing a Web site and effectively managing traffic. The volume is organized in three parts: "The Basics of Search Marketing," "Develop Your Search Marketing Program," and "Execute Your Search Marketing Program." Search engine optimization (SEO) is a strategic and a tactical topic, with both individual and team approaches, and the authors provide solid grounding. Negative actions with pitfalls and penalties are highlighted with skulls and crossbones. The extensive glossary prepares the neophyte for understanding the jargon of the trade, and clear directions for each topic provide useful guidelines to sustain effective Web sites. Quantified measurements of success are clearly explained, as well as practical tactics to expand a site's influence. The extensive index provides easy access to concepts and topics. This book will be extremely valuable for anyone interested in or responsible for marketing on the Web. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All collections. This review refers to an earlier edition.

--N. J. Johnson, Capella University

Outstanding Academic Title

This valuable compendium organizes, evaluates, and places into context online business models, trends, and technologies. It considers where the Web has been and where it is going, with implications of these developments for business. The new generation, Web 2.0, is characterized by a shift to individual users who are now able to customize their Web experience and engage in social communication networks, leading to an integrative experience unimagined in the first, more static iteration of Web-based technologies. Funk, a Web publishing practitioner, traces these complex developments with great clarity, utilizing simple, concise language to frame the discussion. Useful case studies illustrate the potential as the Web evolves in serving customers and creating new business opportunities. The author also traces developments to the Web 3.0 environment. This well-organized and well-written work is essential for anyone interested in the Web and its development, particularly as it relates to the business world. Summing Up: Essential. General readers, all levels of students, faculty, and practitioners.

--S. A. Schulman, CUNY Kingsborough Community College

While Web video is increasingly in demand, the quality of sound and picture is often not very good. Bourne (Web video producer) and Burstein (publisher/editor, DSL Prime) wrote this book to introduce Web videographers to the important techniques of Web video style and producing for Web audiences. The work covers all aspects of Web video production including the importance of planning, how to shoot for the small screen, the right equipment, shooting on location, lighting tips and tricks, solo and multicamera shoots, sound techniques, editing and postproduction, uploading video to the Web, video compression techniques, marketing, distribution, and revenue sharing. Each chapter features readable, well-laid-out text and includes an interview with a video expert, as well as a project. Color photographs and screen shots illustrate the concepts. The volume's physical layout is enhanced by color coding of all chapters including a corresponding color disk on the right side of the pages for easy retrieval. White pages signify instruction and tan pages, projects. A well-defined table of contents and index provide additional access. The book's Web site offers downloadable video footage to help complete the projects, as well as other resources. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels of undergraduate and graduate students, two-year technical program students, practitioners, and general readers.

--S. G. Almquist, University of North Texas