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  1. #1
    FBI secret agent digitman's Avatar
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    Book recommendation on web design?

    Hi guys.
    I'm a Php/MySQL programmer who is getting interested in the 'design' part of the websites. Basically, I suck at designing, and everything related to graphics or colors, wether its on a computer or on a paper (My teacher thought a dog i drew was a crocodile back when I was 5 years old!! ).

    The thing is, I'm about to start work on a web based product, and I want to design its interface myself because:
    1) If I outsource this job to someone else, what they'll do for me would look pretty but it might lack the kind of user experience which I want to give the users. For example, I want to throw in a lot of little features as I go about this, which would make the life of the user eaiser, such as auto-complete, displaying recommendations as the user types something or clicks at something, stuff like that.

    2) If I design the interface myself, I'll save the extra $200-1000 that it would cost me to outsource the job. That money could be better spent on marketing.

    That being said, 1) is still the bigger factor of my decision. Sure, I'm still going to outsource the logo and any other graphics used in the interface, but I want to do the actual interface myself.

    So what I'm looking for is a book that will teach me:
    1) How to make web pages look pretty.
    2) The use of Ajax, javascript, and the other cool stuff to make the interface easier to use.

    So far all the books I've found focus on either (1) or (2). Have any of you heard of/read any book which focuses on both?

  2. #2
    FBI secret agent digitman's Avatar
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  3. #3
    Caveat surfer Buddy Bradley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by digitman
    Way old and out-of-date now (and doesn't cover either of your requests), although it's good for a history of web standards.

    I don't think you'll be able to find a book that teaches both the principles of design and how to do Javascript tricks in one, as they are very different subjects. Although:
    Quote Originally Posted by digitman
    If I outsource this job to someone else, what they'll do for me would look pretty but it might lack the kind of user experience which I want to give the users.
    A good designer would have user experience at the forefront of their mind when designing your interface - and as their client, surely it's up to you to give them a full brief including all your UX requirements?

  4. #4
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    The best web design books don't really deal much about web design, but more about usability. A great one is "Don't Make Me Think". If you're bad designing, buy a template to get started. To get better, you need to dig into graphic design a bit more. Learn from sites you like and try to identify what works and what doesn't. In design, less is more. Keep it super simple and attractive.

  5. #5
    In memoriam gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Schulz's Avatar
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    While a bit old, I have found HTML For the World Wide Web Visual Quickstart Guide, 5th Edition: With XHTML and CSS by Elizabeth Castro to be a good introduction (yes, I said introduction) to Web design. After that, you'll want to read further on the subject by picking up HTML and XHTML: The Definitive Guide and Cascading Style Sheets: The Definitive Guide, both from O'Reilly Press.

    There are also some good books published by SitePoint on the subject (how do you think I found out about this place?). In fact, there was a book published recently that is now being promoted on the site. It's called Build Your Own Web Site The Right Way (http://www.sitepoint.com/books/html1/). I'm going to see if my local public library can purchase this book for its patrons.

  6. #6
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy
    beley's Avatar
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    If you don't know about color, layout, proximity, etc. you might want to take a look at this book by Robin Williams:

    Robin Williams Web Design Workshop

  7. #7
    SitePoint Wizard trampt's Avatar
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    I like a lot of the design/flash books by "Friend of Ed" publishing.

  8. #8
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    Hi,

    I would like to know about the new web development techniques, which I want to implement to our site. We ve to redesign our site with more effective way and increase the visibility. What all are the new techniques we can apply here, any idea about this share with us too...

    Regards,
    <snip>
    Last edited by AutisticCuckoo; Apr 13, 2007 at 04:02. Reason: No self-promotion, please

  9. #9
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophybronze trophy Nadia P's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UrbanFonts
    The best web design books don't really deal much about web design, but more about usability. A great one is "Don't Make Me Think".
    Agreed, I loved Steve Krug's book
    http://tinyurl.com/lkf4z

    For inspiration (more like a coffee table book is The Zen of CSS Design:
    http://tinyurl.com/pq4nw

    Also the Sitepoint book by Rachel Andrew: CSS Anthology is a good one.

    these are all books I have read and can highly recommend.

    As for the 'making a website pretty', I don't think you'll find a book specific to that. It's all the 'eyes of the beholder anyways' What I think may be pretty, you may not. :-)

    Nadia


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