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Hardcover | Out of Print | 123 pp. | 6 x 9 in | 36 illus. | April 2001 | ISBN: 9780262025003
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The MIT Guide to Teaching Web Site Design


Most books on Web design focus on the appearance of the finished product and pay little attention to the ideas and processes involved in intelligent interactive design. This book is based on the premise that the principles that have defined good communication design in the past apply equally well to the Web. The basic process is one of defining the purpose, audience, and style appropriate to one's objectives. Another premise is that effective Web site design is an inherently collaborative process requiring not only technical skills but more traditional written and oral communication skills. Hence, this book stresses a social, process-oriented approach both to design and to classroom instruction.

The book covers all aspects of teaching Web design, from optimal class size and classroom configuration to peer reviews of completed projects. It is written in an accessible style and uses many examples from the Web design course taught by the authors at MIT.

About the Authors

Edward Barrett is Senior Lecturer in the Program in Writing and Humanistic Studies at MIT.

Deborah A. Levinson, a

graduate of the MIT Program in Writing and Humanistic

Studies, is a design lead at Art Technology Group,


Suzana Lisanti is Director of Web Publishing

Services at the Massachusetts Institute of



“This Guide demystifies web site design by integrating numerous universal practices derived from traditional educational and managerial domains. In the conceptualization, planning and implementation stages, various considerations and recommendations emerge from the authors' collective experience in this enterprise: the need to take into account constraints imposed by the physical dimensions of the classroom; the utility of simple face-to-face meetings among students; the importance of clear objectives, well-defined collaborative roles, and knowledge of the intended audience; and effective strategies such as the use of focus groups. Underpinning an eminently pragmatic orientation that encompasses technical aspects of web architecture, graphic design, multimedia, and interactivity and illustrates topics through case studies, is a coherent and entirely convincing philosophy based on the centrality of writing and the applicability of universal rhetorical principles.”
Douglas Morgenstern, Senior Lecturer in Spanish, MIT