Above the Fold: Understanding the Principles of Successful Web Site Design, written by MillerSmith partner and executive creative director Brian Miller, is a book about the fundamentals of communication design with the Web as the medium. With nearly 25,000 copies in print and two editions, Above the Fold reached #1-selling status on Amazon.com under the category of blogs and blogging. This book is one of the best Web design learning tools on the market, evidenced by its use in countless universities and art colleges around the country and around the world.

Above the Fold is more than a book about Web design, it’s a book about the fundamentals of sound communication design set within the context of the Web. Semantics? Hardly. Most books on Web design assume many things about the reader and skip right to the nuts and bolts of the technology behind the design. Above the Fold looks at the basics of hierarchical communication with the specific considerations inherent in Web design.


Plan

Section I focuses on the predesign phase of a Web project. From project planning and brief writing to information architecture and responsive grid creation.


Design

The second section of Above the Fold explores the enduring principles of design and the nuances that are specific to the field of Web design.


Optimize

Finally, we close the loop and discover ways to enable your client to maximize the investment they’ve made in their Web site with marketing and analytics.

Preface

For many years, students of graphic design studied the subject in the context of printed material (advertising, brochures, logos, books, magazines, newspapers, etc.) with the goal of creating a fixed and permanent product—ink on paper, paint on a wall. That is all changing. More recently, students studying graphic design do so with no intent of creating a piece of printed material. This book is for those students.

“Brian Miller does a great job of introducing people to the Art & Science of Website Design. This book is an excellent introduction and overview of Website Design, but is also packed with great information for old timers as well.”
– Published on Amazon.com on September 11, 2011 by Hugh

This book is also for those who have been practicing print design for many years and are looking to bridge their skills over to the Web. For you, there are portions of this book that should sound very familiar, but there will be other concepts that will go against what you’ve worked so hard to achieve as a print designer—letting go of exact color matching, smooth type rags, and avoiding the dreaded widow!

The fundamentals of clear, hierarchical graphic communication have not changed for hundreds, if not, thousands of years. There are universal principles that govern the success of a message being seen and being consumed effectively by a particular audience. But the medium matters. Above the Fold is a book about those enduring graphic design principles, but with the added nuances and specialties that digital communication brings.

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