Top 10 Web design books to help you with your projects

Web designing seems to be an digital thing, everything is done of the computer and on the Internet. But sometimes it is good to step away from the computer and read about web design. I found reading books relaxing and inspirational.

I know that being good at web design means a lot of work and learning by doing. Reading web design books is allowing you to get a different perspective of the process of designing. “The Web Designer’s Idea Book” series features the best designs from the previous year and “Don’t Make Me Think!” by Steve Krug is lovely read full of wisdom and humor.

I have selected 10 great web design books that will help you learn more about the field you are working in and stay inspired.

Implementing Responsive Design: Building Sites for an Anywhere, Everywhere Web

By Tim Kadlec


“Responsive Web Design (RWD) tackles many problems, and it’s easy to get lost in questions around how maintainable, future-friendly, or cool your responsive website will be. In the midst of all of these, it’s important to not lose sight of how fast will it be. Performance is a critical component in your user’s experience, and many case studies demonstrate how it affects your users’ satisfaction and your bottom line.” New devices and platforms emerge daily.

Browsers iterate at a remarkable pace. Faced with this volatile landscape we can either struggle for control or we can embrace the inherent flexibility of the web. Responsive design is not just another technique-it is the beginning of the maturation of a medium and a fundamental shift in the way we think about the web. Implementing Responsive Design is a practical examination of how this fundamental shift affects the way we design and build our sites.

Readers will learn how to:

  • Build responsive sites using a combination of fluid layouts, media queries, and fluid media
  • Adopt a responsive workflow from the very start of a project
  • Enhance content for different devices
  • Use feature-detection and server-side enhancement to provide a richer experience
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The Web Designer’s Idea Book: v.4: Inspiration from the best web design trends, themes and styles

By Patrick McNeil

Don’t struggle alone with projects

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Discover the latest trends in web design!

Looking for inspiration for your latest web design project? Expert Patrick McNeil, author of the popular Web Designer’s Idea Book series, is back with all new examples of today’s best website design. Featuring more than 650 examples of the latest trends, this fourth volume of The Web Designer’s Idea Book is overflowing with visual inspiration.

Arranged categorically, this fully illustrated guide puts important topics like design styles, elements, themes and responsive design at your fingertips. This new volume also includes a detailed discussion of portfolios to help you stay ahead of the pack and keep your portfolio fresh and relevant.

The world of web design is constantly reinventing itself. Stay on top of what’s hot with the latest installment of this indispensable reference.

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Bulletproof Web Design: Improving Flexibility and Protecting Against Worst-case Scenarios with HTML5 and CSS3

By Dan Cederholm


I have a confession to make. There’s no such thing as a completely bulletproof
website. Now, before you close the book and put it back up on the shelf (hopefully sticking out a bit farther than the others, thanks), allow me to explain.
Just as a police officer straps on a bulletproof vest for protection, so too can we take measures that protect our web designs. This book will guide you through several strategies for bulletproofing websites: improving flexibility and preparing for worst-case scenarios.

In Bulletproof Web Design, Third Edition, bestselling author and web designer Dan Cederholm outlines standards-based strategies for building designs that provide flexibility, readability, and user control–key components of every successful site. Each chapter starts out with an example of an unbulletproof site–one that employs a traditional HTML-based approach–which Dan then deconstructs, pointing out its limitations. He then gives the site a makeover using HTML and CSS, so you can see how to replace bloated code with lean markup and CSS for fast-loading sites that are accessible to all users.

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Don’t Make Me Think!: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability

By Steve Krug


People often ask me: “What’s the most important thing I should do if I want to make sure my Web site is easy to use?” The answer is simple. It’s not “Nothing important should ever be more than two clicks away,” or “Speak the user’s language,” or even “Be consistent.” It’s… Don’t make me think!”

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.

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Smashing WebKit (Smashing Magazine Books)

By Jon Raasch


The ultimate guide to WebKit from the world’s most popular resource for web designers and developers As the default browser for both iPhone and Android, WebKit has become a major player in the mobile arena, offering a wider array of HTML5 and CSS3 support than any other major engine. Written by expert author Jon Raasch, this essential book teaches you how to use WebKit to make web sites more engaging, faster, and more visually appealing. You’ll explore the variety of unique interface options that WebKit offers as you quickly discover how to create a unique web experience that provides functionality and entertainment.

Packed with best practices, real-world examples, and invaluable advice, this must-have guide explores WebKit’s capabilities, recommended techniques, and tips for improving an existing web site. Plus, whenever possible, cross-browser support is discussed for WebKit solutions as well as a wide variety of advanced presentation and interactivity options. Gets you started with WebKit and shows you how to maximize HTML5 and CSS3 features in WebKit Addresses ways to optimize your web site for mobile devices and enhance the mobile user experience Features numerous examples, tips, techniques, and advice for getting the most out of WebKit This book escorts you through a myriad of ways that WebKit can set your web site apart from the competition.

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The Principles of Beautiful Web Design

By Jason Beaird


This second edition of the best-selling book, The Principles of Beautiful Web Design, is the ideal book for people who can build websites, but are seeking the skills and knowledge to make the design of their websites POP. This is the ultimate design book, for the non-designer.

This book will teach you how to:

  • Understand the process of what makes “good design,” from discovery through to implementation
  • Use color effectively, develop color schemes, and create a palette
  • Create pleasing layouts using grids, the rule of thirds, and symmetry
  •  Employ textures: lines, points, shapes, volumes, and depth
  • Apply typography to make ordinary designs look great
  • Choose, edit, and position effective imagery
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The Fundamentals of Interactive Design

Michael Salmond


The Fundamentals of Interactive Design explores the workflow and process of creating and exporting design across multiple media platforms in a progressive and logical way. In-depth case studies featuring digital media companies provide professional insights into the world of interactive design.

The book is aimed at designers who have never worked within the interactive medium as well as those who have some digital knowledge but are looking for application across a wider spectrum of media. It will also appeal to those looking for inspiration and new creative directions.

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Web Design Source Book

Edited by Cristian Campos


Packed with some of the most innovative and cutting-edge examples of web design, ‘Web Design Source Book’ showcases an eclectic array of work from an international selection of the best practitioners in the field. Recently, trends in web design have been moving away from complex and technology-driven design and towards simpler aesthetics. Still, advances in technology, such as transparent images, better support for fonts and more flexible style sheets have given designers more freedom in the use of images and typography. The wealth of websites featured in this book illustrates the latest trends and directions in web design from around the world.

This is an inspiring compilation of successful ideas for images, concepts and web graphics with some practical content included for those wishing to enhance their design skills and techniques. Featuring an outstanding collection of different projects, as shown through 400 illustrations, the book allows the reader to see the detail, concept, development and aesthetic visual effect of each design. Each design is unique and highly individual, and offers creatives fresh new inspirations to create interesting website ideas for restaurants, bars, music, corporate companies, fashion companies, interior designers and artists.

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The Strategic Web Designer: How to Confidently Navigate the Web Design Process

By Christopher Butler


Expand your strategic capabilities and technological understanding! Your clients are looking for an expert–someone who understands rapidly changing technology and can provide strategic insight into their web projects from inception and development to launch and beyond. Are you that person? Today, designers are expected to provide a level of web expertise that extends far beyond just good design.

The Strategic Web Designer provides you with a foundation that will allow you to keep your bearings in an industry filled with constant technological change. You’ll learn to: Plan web projects Organize information in ways that make sense Understand analytics Optimize content for search engines and mobile technology And more! More than a book about building websites, The Strategic Web Designer is your guide to thinking about the web in a strategic and comprehensive manner. Be more than just a web designer–take charge of your web projects and make yourself invaluable to clients.

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Mastering Type: The Essential Guide to Typography for F&W and Web Design

By Denise Bosler


Good Design, Down to the Letter Packages on store shelves, posters on building walls, pages of a website-all contain information that needs to be communicated. And at the heart of that communication is type: visually interesting, interactive, expressive and captivating. Each letter must come alive; therefore, each letter must be carefully crafted or chosen. A solid foundation in typography, as well as an understanding of its nuances, will help you optimize your visual communication-in whatever form it takes.

By breaking down the study of type into a systematic progression of relationships-letter, word, sentence, paragraph, page and screen-award-winning graphic designer and professor of communication design Denise Bosler provides a unique and illuminating perspective on typography for both print and digital media and for designers of all skill levels. Through instruction, interviews and real-world inspiration, Mastering Type explores the power of each typographic element–both as it stands alone and as it works with other elements–to create successful design, to strengthen your skill set and to inspire your next project.
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