A few weeks ago, I paid a visit to one good friend of mine to catch up, chit chat and all the politics involved in those conversations that transition from small talk, to serious stuff and back to the small talk again. You get the idea. One of the things that striked me the moment I was ushered into the apartment is how amazing the wall colors were as well as how elegantly everything therein was placed. Be it the furniture, the shoe rack, the kitchen, the curtains or the accessories, all I was wondering is how sumptuous it would be if the scene was converted into a meal. In short, the crib’s interior décor was solid and comfortable.
That experience taught me one universal fundamental lesson. Anything that is well organized, well thought of, and well put together is not only visually appealing but always brings comfort and a tinge of tranquility. By extrapolation, this big lesson fits and applies to the world of technology succinctly. For those who are unaware, systems, webpages, networks, databases and the rest have to be architected, planned, designed and documented before they achieve the kind of beauty, resilience, scale and robustness it was intended to attract. And due to that, this article shares some books every Web Designer should consider reading in order to start or improve the sweetness of their craft.
With the aspiration to make the best designs for corporate, e-commerce, blog and personal web pages a dream come true, thorough preparation, relentless resolve and good foundation will play key roles. Take a look at the following books to find out the principles, best practices, tools and mentorship from the ones who have been in the profession for a while.
1. CSS in Depth 1st Edition
Authored by Keith J. Grant, a senior web developer who builds and maintains web applications and websites including The New York Stock Exchange site, CSS in Depth exposes you to a world of CSS techniques that range from clever to mind-blowing. This instantly useful book is packed with creative examples and powerful best practices that will sharpen your technical skills and inspire your sense of design. You’ll gain new insights into familiar features like floats and units, and experiment with emerging ideas like responsive design and pattern libraries. Bottom line: this book will make you a better web designer and your apps will look fantastic!
- Avoid common CSS pitfalls
- Master misunderstood concepts
- Use flexbox and grid layout
- Responsive designs for any device
- Code for reuse and maintainability
Go as deep as you can get with this resource in your hands. Click on the link below to get it from Amazon:
CSS in Depth
$41.49 in stock
13 used from $35.16
2. Web Design Playground
Paul McFedries has been a professional technical writer for over 25 years. He has been building websites since 1996 and has intimate knowledge of both HTML and CSS. You can fully count on his experience put down on paper in this book.
Paul’s work takes you step by step from writing your first line of HTML to creating interesting, attractive web pages. In this project-based book, you’ll use a custom online workspace to design websites, product pages, photo galleries, and more. Don’t worry about setting up your own servers and domain names—the book comes with a free “playground” which lets you experiment without any of that! You can concentrate on core skills like adding images and video and laying out the page, plus learning typography, responsive design, and the other tools of the web trade.
- Getting started with HTML, CSS, and web design
- A free, fully interactive web design workspace
- Working with images, color, and fonts
- Full-color illustrations throughout
Enjoy learning as you become one of the finest designers people can meet. Buy this book from Amazon below and get to working on your dreams
Web Design Playground: HTML & CSS the Interactive Way
$31.81 in stock
9 used from $25.50
3. Laws of UX
Laws of UX by Jon Yablonski is for anyone that wishes to improve their design craft, learn more about the intersection of psychology and design, or simply explore why people react to good design the way they do. It is aimed at designers who want to have a better understanding of psychology and how it impacts and overlaps with the work designers do.
The author is an award-winning digital designer and a senior product designer working on the next generation of in-vehicle interactive experiences at General Motors. His passion lies at the intersection of interaction design and development.
An understanding of psychology—specifically the psychology behind how users behave and interact with digital interfaces—is perhaps the single most valuable nondesign skill a designer can have. The most elegant design can fail if it forces users to conform to the design rather than working within the “blueprint” of how humans perceive and process the world around them.
This practical guide explains how you can apply key principles in psychology to build products and experiences that are more intuitive and human-centered. Author Jon Yablonski deconstructs familiar apps and experiences to provide clear examples of how UX designers can build experiences that adapt to how users perceive and process digital interfaces.
You will learn:
- How aesthetically pleasing design creates positive responses
- The principles from psychology most useful for designers
- How these psychology principles relate to UX heuristics
- Predictive models including Fitts’s law, Jakob’s law, and Hick’s law
- Ethical implications of using psychology in design
- A framework for applying these principles
This is a unique and a brilliant approach to User experience design and in depth understanding of the topic. It will help you reflect, rethink, analyze and get a better grasp of this amazing skill. Get magnetized and mentored by Yablonski work by clicking below to get it from Amazon:
Laws of UX: Using Psychology to Design Better Products & Services
$34.99 in stock
7 used from $28.33
4. Basics of Web Design: HTML5 & CSS
With more than 25 years of information technology experience in business and industry Dr. Terry Ann Felke-Morris is a Professor Emerita at Harper College in Palatine, Illinois. She holds a Doctor of Education degree, a Master of Science degree in information systems, and numerous certifications under her belt. She has the real credentials beginners and experienced designers and programmers look for in their career.
Dr. Terry blesses her readers with this resource that is a foundational introduction to beginning web design and web development. The text provides a balance of “hard” skills such as HTML 5, CSS, and “soft” skills such as web design and publishing to the Web, giving students a well-rounded foundation as they pursue careers as web professionals. Students will leave an introductory design course with the tools they need to build their skills in the fields of web design, web graphics, and web development.
Although classic page layout methods using CSS float are still introduced, there is a new emphasis on Responsive Page Layout utilizing the new CSS Flexible Box Layout (Flexbox) and CSS Grid Layout techniques. Therefore, the new 5th Edition features new content, updated topics, hands-on practice exercises, and case studies.
As you go through the pages, you will get to learn and appreciate the author’s writing style and the rich knowledge she willingly shares. Click below and get to experience the same:
Basics of Web Design: HTML5 & CSS
$74.92 in stock
32 used from $51.55
5. CSS Secrets: Better Solutions to Everyday Web Design Problems
Lea Verou, the author is a person of many traits and successes. She is an Invited Expert in the W3C CSS Working Group, the committee that designs the CSS language, and previously worked as a Developer Advocate at the W3C. In this practical guide, CSS expert Lea Verou provides 47 undocumented techniques and tips to help intermediate-to advanced CSS developers devise elegant solutions to a wide range of everyday web design problems.
Rather than focus on design, CSS Secrets shows you how to solve problems with code. You will learn how to apply Lea’s analytical approach to practically every CSS problem you face to attain DRY, maintainable, flexible, lightweight, and standards-compliant results.
Inspired by her popular talks at over 60 international web development conferences, Lea Verou provides a wealth of information for topics including:
- Backgrounds and Borders
- Visual Effects
- User Experience
- Structure and Layout
- Transitions and Animations
Be part of her journey as you learn what she has accumulated and implemented over the years. Click below to have your copy today:
CSS Secrets: Better Solutions to Everyday Web Design Problems
$31.99 in stock
32 used from $10.32
6. Designing for the Digital Age
Whether you are designing consumer electronics, medical devices, enterprise Web apps, or new ways to check out at the supermarket, today’s digitally-enabled products and services provide both great opportunities to deliver compelling user experiences and great risks of driving your customers crazy with complicated, confusing technology.
Designing successful products and services in the digital age requires a multi-disciplinary team with expertise in interaction design, visual design, industrial design, and other disciplines. It also takes the ability to come up with the big ideas that make a desirable product or service, as well as the skill and perseverance to execute on the thousand small ideas that get your design into the hands of users. It requires expertise in project management, user research, and consensus-building.
This comprehensive, full-color volume addresses all of these and more with detailed how-to information, real-life examples, and exercises. Topics include assembling a design team, planning and conducting user research, analyzing your data and turning it into personas, using scenarios to drive requirements definition and design, collaborating in design meetings, evaluating and iterating your design, and documenting finished design in a way that works for engineers and stakeholders alike.
Click below to have your copy delivered from Amazon today. Learning is the only progress.
Designing for the Digital Age: How to Create Human-Centered Products and Services
7. Lean UX: Designing Great Products with Agile Teams
Jeff Gothelf, author of Lean UX, is a designer & Agile practitioner. He is a leading voice on the topics of Agile UX & Lean UX and a highly sought-after international speaker. Josh Seiden, co-author has been creating great technology products for more than 20 years. As UX design leader, Josh has worked in hardware and software, consumer and enterprise, mobile, web, and desktop.
Lean UX has become the preferred approach to interaction design, tailor-made for today’s agile teams. In the second edition of this award winning book, leading advocates Jeff Gothelf and Josh Seiden expand on the valuable Lean UX principles, tactics, and techniques covered in the first edition to share how product teams can easily incorporate design, experimentation, iteration, and continuous learning from real users into their Agile process.
Inspired by Lean and Agile development theories, Lean UX lets you focus on the actual experience being designed, rather than deliverables. This book shows you how to collaborate closely with other members of your Agile product team, and gather feedback early and often. You will learn how to drive the design in short, iterative cycles to assess what works best for the business and the user. Lean UX shows you how to make this change—for the better.
- Frame a vision of the problem you’re solving and focus your team on the right outcomes
- Bring the designers’ toolkit to the rest of your product team
- Share your insights with your team much earlier in the process
- Create Minimum Viable Products to determine which ideas are valid
- Incorporate the voice of the customer throughout the project cycle
- Make your team more productive: combine Lean UX with Agile’s Scrum framework
- Understand the organizational shifts necessary to integrate Lean UX
As a highly sought-after international speaker, Jeff Gothelf shares a lot about what he is passionate about in his book. It is of high value, high caliber and full of his experiences. Click below to purchase this resource from Amazon:
Lean UX: Designing Great Products with Agile Teams
8. Learning Web Design
Jennifer Niederst Robbins was one of the first designers for the Web. As the designer of O’Reilly’s Global Network Navigator (GNN), the first commercial web site, she has been designing for the Web since 1993. With more than 27 years in technological corridors, Jennifer pours a lot of tidbits, lessons, skills as well as wisdom that will help every aspiring developer in their path to success.
This friendly guide is the perfect place to start building web pages with no prior experience. You’ll begin at square one, learning how the web and web pages work, and then steadily build from there. By the end of the book, you’ll have the skills to create a simple site with multicolumn pages that adapt for mobile devices.
Each chapter provides exercises to help you learn various techniques and short quizzes to make sure you understand key concepts.
This thoroughly revised edition is ideal for students and professionals of all backgrounds and skill levels. It is simple and clear enough for beginners, yet thorough enough to be a useful reference for experienced developers keeping their skills up to date.
- Build HTML pages with text, links, images, tables, and forms
- Use style sheets (CSS) for colors, backgrounds, formatting text, page layout, and even simple animation effects
- Create and optimize web images so they’ll download as quickly as possible
- New! Use CSS Flexbox and Grid for sophisticated and flexible page layout
- New! Learn the ins and outs of Responsive Web Design to make web pages look great on all devices
- New! Become familiar with the command line, Git, and other tools in the modern web developer’s toolkit
- New! Get to know the super-powers of SVG graphics.
There is nothing more you can ask for in this brilliant work of art. Peruse your copy today by ordering it from Amazon below:
$37.30 in stock
47 used from $17.30
9. UX for Beginners
UX for Beginners has been written by Joel Marsh who has been a professional designer for more than a decade. His work for disruptive startups and famous global brands like Absolute Vodka, Samsung, and McDonald’s, has affected more than half-a-billion people globally.
Apps! Websites! Rubber Ducks! Naked Ninjas! Joel’s book has everything. If you want to get started in user experience design (UX), you have come to the right place: 100 self-contained lessons that cover the whole spectrum of fundamentals.
Forget dry, technical material. This book—based on the wildly popular UX Crash Course from Joel Marsh’s blog The Hipper Element—is laced with the author’s snarky brand of humor, and teaches UX in a simple, practical way. Becoming a professional does not have to be boring.
Follow the real-life UX process from start-to-finish and apply the skills as you learn, or refresh your memory before the next meeting. UX for Beginners is perfect for non-designers who want to become designers, managers who teach UX, and programmers, salespeople, or marketers who want to learn more.
- Start from scratch: the fundamentals of UX
- Research the weird and wonderful things users do
- The process and science of making anything user-friendly
- Use size, color, and layout to help and influence users
- Plan and create wireframes
- Make your designs feel engaging and persuasive
- Measure how your design works in the real world
- Find out what a UX designer does all day
As a beginner, this book sets a good pace and lays good ground for your beginning. Get tidbits from a professional designer who has been around more than a decade and take it upon yourself to change the world. Have your copy from Amazon by clicking below.
UX for Beginners: A Crash Course in 100 Short Lessons
Closing words by Design
Web Design is all about making sure the web pages inspire visual appeal which consequently encourages comfort. There is a lot to learn from the psychology that makes people attracted to what they are attracted to all the way to understanding what works and what does not. With a wonderful blend of art and programming for those who are ambitions enough, Web Design is a highly satisfying endeavour. The canvas, brushes and paint are all at your disposal. Pick them up and rule the world.
Other articles you might be interested in include: