Link to this page: http://goo.gl/524Y5
Learning Chinese, particularly for speakers of Indo-European languages, presents many challenges. Foremost among these challenges are a) tones; and b) the writing system -- particularly 1) character recognition and 2) stroke order / writing characters.
There are many different approaches to learning Chinese, and for each challenge area, many approaches and instructional designs targeting specific difficulties -- for example, Skritter is a tool for learning stroke order and character production (handwriting in Chinese -- an art increasingly lost to the advent of the computer age).
Techniques for learning to recognize characters, and words, are many; one approach (Heisig-Richardson) is described here. And the Wordz Lianxi Language Learning system is an instructional design specifically to support character and word recognition. A book that supplements the software is also attached at the bottom of this page. Additional information about the instructional design for the Wordz Lianxi language learning system can be found here.