layer hidden off the screen
UCSB English Department Home UCSB English Department Home UCSB English Department Home
About TranscriptionsCurriculumResearchResourcesEvents
   Resources Learning Web Authoring


  1. General Resources on Web Design
  2. Design Advice
  3. How-To sites for Beginning Web Authors
  4. How-To Sites for More Advanced Web Authors
  5. Help with Images
  6. Examples of Good and Bad Web Design
  7. Style Guides

More tech guides Transcriptions technology paradigm

One of the goals of the Transcriptions project is to assist humanities students and faculty in learning how to write and publish on the CircuitryInternet. The following resources are supplement hands-on instruction in Transcriptions classes, workshops, and drop-in support hours. (Beginners should shart with the preliminary Web Authoring Basics page.)



I. General Resources on Web Authoring

II. Design Advice

  • Art and the Zen of Web Sites (Tony Karp) advocates ease of use over flashy design, offers some great advice on starting web sites, and features some funny fake quotes on web design. Example: "Before you put a really dark background on your web page, ask yourself this: Why is it so much harder to drive at night than in the daytime?"
  • Ask Dr. Web About Design (Jeffrey Zeldman) presents three paradigms of web design: static, fluid, and windoid
  • First Principles of Web Design (Bruce "Tog" Tognazzini) offers an insider's view of effective web design, leaning to the theoretical.
  • "How Users Read on the Web" (Jakob Nielsen) argues that a writing style that is concise, scannable, and objective is most effective
  • Improving Web Site Usability and Appeal (Microsoft) identifies the five main attributes of web site appeal: 1) Relevant, high-quality content, 2) Ease of use, 3) Effective promotion, 4) Material adapted to the medium, and 5) Ability to generate emotion.
  • Top Ten Mistakes in Web Design (Jakob Nielson) argues against the use of frames, constantly running animations, and non-standard link colors
  • User Interface Design for Sun's WWW Site (Jakob Nielsen) gives 3 findings from Sun's usability studies: 1) People have little patience for poorly designed web sites. 2) Users don't want to scroll for information. 3) Users don't want to read.
  • Web Design: More Than Meets the Eye (Alan Richmond, Web Developer's Virtual Library) "If you were to ask a graphics artist, a programmer, and a librarian to each design a web site, I think you would get three very different results. But I think you would only get the very best results if you could persuade them to build it together."
  • Web Sites That Work (Roger Black) is a collection of strongly expressed opinions drawn from a book of the same name
  • What Is "Reader-Friendly"? (Terry Sullivan) provides tips gleaned from usability engineering on making your site user friendly

III. How-To Sites for Beginning Web Authors


IV. How-To Sites for More Advanced Web Authors

  •'s focus is on web programming, but it also features tutorials on more accessible subjects such as backgrounds and image maps.
  • HTML Help (The Web Design Group) is a helpful and well-organized site devoted to the creation of non-browser specific sites
  • HotBot's WebMonkey includes many helpful tutorials on subjects like Information Architecture
  • 255 Safe Color Chart (Webspresso) A Java driven chart that lets you see the 255 web-safe colors and thier hexadecimal codes.
  • The Java Script Source "The JavaScript Source is an excellent JavaScript resource with tons of 'cut and paste' JavaScript examples for your web pages. All for free!"
  • Cascading Style Sheets, level 1 (W3C) "This document specifies level 1 of the Cascading Style Sheet mechanism (CSS1). CSS1 is a simple style sheet mechanism that allows authors and readers to attach style (e.g. fonts, colors and spacing) to HTML documents. The CSS1 language is human readable and writable, and expresses style in common desktop publishing terminology."
  • The Fundamentals of XSSI (Webmonkey) A description of how Server Side Includes work and how to use them in your pages.
  • Server Side Includes (SSI) (NCSA) Examples for advanced use of SSI.
  • Doctor HTML (Imagiware) A page tester that provides statistics on useful information such as download time at different connection speeds.


V. Help with Images

  • Clip-Art.Com Large, well-organized source of free professional-quality clip-art, buttons, icons, arrows, etc.
  • Corbis This commercial site is one of the most important archives of digital images in the world; includes collections from major art, architecture, photographic gallery, and other collections. The royalty-free part of the archive charges varying rates for images depending on the resolution requested
  • Dmitry's Design Lab (Dmitry Kirsanov, includes introductions to design, fonts, and color
  • Free Graphics Resources (The Free Site)
  • Graphic Maps features clip art of continents, countries, and globes
  • Graphics Archive from the University of Michigan's ITD/IRAP Team includes lots of free icons and backgrounds
  • Graphic Design (Judy Litt, Mining Co.) includes a Web Design page. Both seem directed toward people new to this field
  • GrafX Design Web Graphics Tutorials provides tutorials for specific graphics applications such as Photoshop, CorelDraw, and Paint Shop Pro, but also includes tutorials on anti-aliasing, dithering, and color
  • features free image files, free font sites, and free online image tools
  • Consulting Non-Dithering Browser Colors (Lynda Weinman) is a good way to choose colors that work well across different platforms
  • Page Layout, Margins, Indenting, and Columns (Alan Richmond, Web Developer's Virtual Library outlines some ways to implement desktop publishing layouts in a markup language (HTML) that wasn't initially designed to handle them
  • Photos ToGo (large, searchable archive of high-resolution stock photographs; charges $19 fee per year for use of downloaded image)
  • Randy's IconBAZAAR (Randy D. Ralph) is an extensive collection of free icons
  • Web Clip Art (Bobbie Peachey, Mining Co.)
  • Web Graphics Resources (


VI. Examples of Good and Bad Web Design

  • Cool features--despite its title--a range of web page genres utilizing innovative design.
  • Creating Killer Web Sites Example Sites (David Siegel) gravitate towards the graphically advanced, but some make interesting interface choices.
  • "In Defense of Web Graphics" (Jennifer Fleming) offers examples of sites that use web graphics well and poorly
  • Paul's a Computer Geek (Paul Schrank) is a homepage that celebrates examples of good design, as well as providing a showcase for Schrank's own designs
  • Real Makeover (Dave Nienberg) gives a before and after view of a realtor's web site. Although the example is a commercial site, the page is generally instructive.
  • The Rest of Me (Karawynn Long) is united by a single design motif that offers the browser differing levels of involvement.
  • Sightings at ProjectCool presents examples of great web sites, updated daily
  • User Interface Design for Sun's WWW Site (Jakob Nielsen) traces the development of Sun's web site through nine iterations of Sun's 1995 homepage design, demonstrating how details of the site's design were shaped by usability testing
  • Web Pages That Suck (Vincent Flanders) proposes that we "Learn Good Design by Looking at Bad Design." A very entertaining site.


VII. Style Guides

  • Composing Good HTML (Eric Tilton)
  • Guide to Web Style (Rick Levine, Sun Microsystems) is a little dated (1995), but most issues it addresses, such as site navigation, are always pertinent
  • The Sevloid Guide to Web Design (John Cook) describes itself as "a collection of over 100 tips, tricks and techniques on every aspect of web design"
  • The Web Developer's Virtual Library Style Guide offers tips on HTML formatting, structure, testing, and accessibility
  • Writing for the Web (Jakob Nielsen, presents prescriptions for web writing based on usability studies
  • Yale C/AIM Web Style Guide (Patrick J. Lynch, Yale, and Sarah Horton, Dartmouth) tries to be comprehensive and authoritative, a Strunk & White for the web. But its prescriptions are in some cases controversial; in a self-described scathing critique, John Barger takes issue with the guide's tone and its criticism of scrolling.


Click to format the
page for projection.
Click to return to the
default page view.