So you got yourself a nice little Kindle and finished Alice in Wonderland already? Or maybe you prefer good old bulky paper versions that you can flip through with your hungry fingers? Well, however you prefer to consume them, here are this week’s recommended books for web designers, developers and other creative geniuses.
Standards, argues Jeffrey Zeldman in Designing With Web Standards, are our only hope for breaking out of the endless cycle of testing that plagues designers hoping to support all possible clients. In this book, he explains how designers can best use standards – primarily XHTML and CSS, plus ECMAScript and the standard Document Object Model (DOM) – to increase their personal productivity and maximize the availability of their creations.
The web is the most rapidly changing design medium, and this book offers an organized overview of what’s happening right now. Sites are categorized by type, design element, styles and themes, structural styles, and structural elements. This new volume also includes a helpful chapter explaining basic design principles and how they can be applied online. Whether you’re brainstorming with a coworker or explaining your ideas to a client, this book provides a powerful communication tool you can use to jump start your next project.
When web design expert Ben Hunt set out to quantify the difference between an ordinary web site and a great one, he expected to find the key in design simplicity. But when his team more than doubled the conversion rates for a wide range of sites, they identified simple yet powerful solutions involving design, copy, appropriate analysis, classic optimization techniques, and targeted testing. You’ll find the fixes easy to implement, and they’re all right here.
Designing a brochure or web site without an art background? Step away from the computer and read this breezy introduction to visual communications first. Written for non-designers, White Space is Not Your Enemy is a practical graphic design and layout text introducing the concepts and practices necessary for producing effective visual communications across a variety of formats, from print to Web.
Neuro Web Design employs “neuro-marketing” concepts, which are at the intersection of psychology and user experience. It’s scientific, yet you’ll find it accessible, easy to read, and easy to understand. By applying the concepts and examples in this book, you’ll be able to dramatically increase the effectiveness and conversion rates of your own Web site.
Saul Wurman first used the term Information Architecture in his book of the same name. His book was mostly lots of really pretty pictures of media and webs compiled from a graphic design perspective; they were beautiful but never really dealt with the information end of things. Rosenfeld and Morville get it right. They show how to design manageable sites right the first time, sites built for growth.
No matter how visually appealing or content-packed a Web site may be, if it’s not adaptable to a variety of situations and reaching the widest possible audience, it isn’t really succeeding. In Bulletproof Web Desing, author and Web designer extraordinaire, Dan Cederholm outlines standards-based strategies for building designs that provide flexibility, readability, and user control–key components of every sucessful site.
This second edition of The Principles of Beautiful Web Design is the ideal book for people who can build websites, but are seeking the skills and knowledge to visually enhance their sites. This revised, easy-to-follow guide is illustrated with beautiful, full-color examples, and leads readers through the process of creating great designs from start to finish.
Universal Design for Web Applications teaches you how to build websites that are more accessible to people with disabilities and explains why doing so is good business. It takes more work up front, but the potential payoff is huge — especially when mobile users need to access your sites. You’ll discover how to use standards-based web technologies to develop applications for a wide range of users and a variety of devices, including the mobile Web.
Five years and more than 100,000 copies after it was first published, it’s hard to imagine anyone working in Web design who hasn’t read Steve Krug’s “instant classic” on Web usability, but people are still discovering it every day. In this second edition, Steve adds three new chapters in the same style as the original: wry and entertaining, yet loaded with insights and practical advice for novice and veteran alike. Don’t be surprised if it completely changes the way you think about Web design.
Phew, that’s it! Feel free to suggest your favorite web design books in the comments!