by David Siegel
The premise of this book is that web page designers should have complete control over the appearance of web pages they design. Even if you don't buy that, the book contains some good ideas and advice. For example: use margins to avoid the "wall-to-wall" look, avoid frames, and dither images to the palette that Netscape and Explorer use. However, there is a lot of junk too: Siegel advocates the obnoxious "entry tunnel" to web pages and the equally pointless exit tunnel. He also gets some hypocrisy points -- not only do his own web pages contain obfuscated top-level links like "casbah" and "vestibule," but at the time of writing they do not render correctly in the popular browsers.
I recommend skimming this book before buying it. Web novices should stay away since they won't know which of it to ignore; instead, read Jakob Nielsen's column on web usability.
Update (spring '98): there is a second edition of this book available. I have only looked through it and not read it, but it seems pretty obvious that Siegel's premise has not changed, and that the same criticisms apply to the new edition.
copyright © 1997 John Regehr