HTML Artistry: More Than Code

Nathaniel Eberle (Nathaniel Eberle is a graduate student, Master of Arts in Corporate Communications and Technology program, Rollins College, Winter Park, Florida.

Campus-Wide Information Systems

ISSN: 1065-0741

Article publication date: 1 August 2000



Eberle, N. (2000), "HTML Artistry: More Than Code", Campus-Wide Information Systems, Vol. 17 No. 3, pp. 99-99.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

You know the basics of HTML, but your Web site is lacking that extra panache. Or perhaps you can envision the Web site of your dreams, but making it a reality seems an impossibility. In their latest collaboration, Ardith Ibanez and Natalie Zee make the magic of Dynamic HTML come alive. The two have created a visually enticing composition, complete with techniques and design strategy for the Web artist of the new millennium.

Presenting the Dynamics of HTML, Web designers Ibanez and Zee have written a book for the beginner to intermediate designers who wish to make their Web pages stand out among the many. Their approach is one weighed heavily on the design and layout of a Web page. Using Dynamic HTML, the authors show just how easy it is to create animated, interactive pages without the use of plug‐ins and extra, time‐consuming code. With each turn of the page, the reader encounters the authors’ commitment to design. As with the premise of their book, Ibanez and Zee have created a reader‐friendly, eye‐pleasing presentation. The nine‐chapter piece, complete with interviews from various leading experts on design, begins with a reorientation of basic HTML, then continues with a more in‐depth look at Dynamic HTML. Further chapters examine and discuss the use of animations, layers, and a reference list for those who wish to understand the difference between the two major browsers, Netscape and Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.

In the first few pages, we encounter a trend that is continued throughout the text: the use of “tips” and “notes”. Any reader who is following along would certainly like an extra reminder for those easy‐to‐forget, yet crucial HTML tidbits. The authors come to the rescue with these little trinkets laden throughout the text. Such reminders can help those looking to make faster‐loading pages, or wishing to avoid a disastrous mistake. Just as in Web design, the basics are covered first. A proper framework for the reader is introduced in the preliminary chapters, where nested tables and colored backgrounds, navigation, and fonts are brought to life upon the paper so the designer will then follow such steps on the screen. A text heavy in the design aspect of Web pages, HTML Artistry examines color theory and its relation to the emotions of individuals, as well as fonts and the effectiveness of type on various browsers. A reader will discover that the look and feel of a Web page are just as important as the functionality and speed of download.

Once a framework and overview of HTML have been introduced, Part 2 examines Dynamic HTML (DHTML). Using layers and style sheets, moving backgrounds and animation, DHTML enables designers to make the most out of their coding and create just the Web pages they envisioned. As we enter the twenty‐first century, more and more designers are looking for an increased notion of interactivity on their Web sites. HTML Artistry enables even the novice programmer to become an enabled designer of Dynamic HTML. As in their HTML design philosophy, Ibanez and Zee create a text that is well structured with no cut corners on design. Each chapter parallels the previous, with a tight, well‐written introduction, complete with a summary and case study. The case studies include interviews with some of the top designers in their field, including Zeek Interactive founder Steve Zenghut, Web designer Amy Franceschini, and former Macromedia designer/ manager George Arriola.

In terms of readability, HTML Artistry is a no‐brainer. For those who understand the basics of HTML coding, the book will read easily, while presenting new and innovative design methods. Nearly all of the pages are rich with images and screen captures, each relating to the corresponding text. Not only do the authors write in clear, to‐the‐point language, they also use well‐defined examples to guide the reader through the 275‐page book. Even the neophyte Web designer will find this book an enjoyable and comprehendible read, as a reintroduction to basic coding gives the reader an ample kick‐start into the Dynamics of HTML.

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