Merc, The "view" indicated by your discription is the "iso" view (isometric). Sketchup opens each new drawing with the view, style and other specific modeling preferences chosen by the user as the "default template" which can be selected by the user from a list of standard templates provided by the program ...or...the user may create new templates according to what type of model the user wishes to create during the current project.
My suggestion to you, based on your question, is to familierise yourself with the "views" selections (as shown in the image below) "iso, top, front, right, back, left" . When you select one of the views you will notice that the "axis lines" change according to the view you select. This tells you at a glance what each view is in relation to the other views. Also you will notice that in the top left hand corner of the modeling area each plane view is noted with the words "top, front, right, back or left, as the case may be.
SU uses inferences to select certain portions or a model to aid in the modeling process and with out know how the program chooses these inferences and model geometry it can be difficult to get the program to do what you want without changing the view.
SO...if you wish to draw the bottom of a box it helps if you begin the drawing in the "top view" (until you learn other SU functions)
The term top view would indicate the user is looking at the model from the top. Likewise the "front" view indicates the user is viewing the model or modeling area from the front.
Some users may try to tell you the orientation doesn't really matter once the model is begun and indeed you may even choose to hide the axis entirely, however, as you progress in your modeling abilities you will find that modeling orientation in the proper way will determine how the model relates to other geometry and other functions within the program...like materials orientation, interface with component creation, interface with scripts for creating cutlists for woodworking and scenes for presentations.
A good source of info on the use of SU is