The 10 Best Web Design Books

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Development and Foundations
Don't Make Me Think, Revisited
WordPress for Beginners

This wiki has been updated 20 times since it was first published in September of 2015. Although many web design tutorials are online-only these days, we understand that some people prefer to hold a real book in their hands while they're studying. That's why this list points users towards manuals that contain evergreen concepts and new information about this fast-changing field. Whether you're a visual learner or already a technical whiz, these choices will help improve your skills. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best web design book on Amazon.

10. Visual QuickStart Guide

9. Responsive with HTML5 and CSS3

8. UX for Beginners

7. WordPress for Beginners

6. Don't Make Me Think, Revisited

5. HTML and CSS

4. About Face: The Essentials of Interaction

3. Designing with the Mind in Mind, Second Edition

2. Development and Foundations

1. A Beginner's Guide

Are Web Design Books Useful?

With a web design book, the reader has the ability to learn at their own pace, and repeat concepts as needed to fully integrate them.

With the predicted 27 percent growth in the field by the year 2024, web designers are needed now more than ever. Web design books remain one of the most effective ways to learn concepts of web design at an individual pace and in an economical way.

If the your intent is to become a professional web designer, self study is one of the best options. Specialty schools, professional tutoring, and apprenticeship all have a rather large price tag attached to them in comparison to books, and provide much the same knowledge. With a web design book, the reader has the ability to learn at their own pace, and repeat concepts as needed to fully integrate them.

Web design books are equally as important for business owners and entrepreneurs looking to enter the growing startup economy. In this environment, cutting costs until investors arrive is usually a key factor. As a business owner, it may be better to learn basic concepts of web design before hiring an expensive designer, especially for simple changes. Web design books remain the most effective and comprehensive tool to do so.

What Is Covered In Web Design Books?

In the web design world, there are some concepts which must be understood before reaching the finer points of designing for the web. For instance, the idea of visual hierarchy. This is based on the known fact that in most cultures, people read in a similar way: left to right and top to bottom. This suggests that viewers favor the top and left sides of webpages. With this logic, it is easy to see why the company logo is nearly always found in the top left corner of the site.

This is based on the known fact that in most cultures, people read in a similar way: left to right and top to bottom.

From there, viewing behavior becomes more complex. Viewers tend to scan a page rather than read it, and their eyes typically move in a pattern similar to the shape of the letter F or the letter Z. Basic web design will usually cater to this and place the most important elements of the site in their natural viewing path.

Web design books may also cover the importance of color in design. Rather than being a decoration on a website, color may actually play an integral role in the psychological response a consumer has to a particular brand. An example is the notion that the colors red and yellow stimulate the appetite and promote quick decision making. It is interesting to note that the most successful fast food chains use heavily red and yellow color schemes.

Any basic web designer will also need to understand the beauty in the simplicity of a site. It can be tempting to try and force a site to stand out by using many different fonts, highly contrasting color schemes, or bright animations. Research in the field tells us that this may scare away the same customers the site is trying to impress. A much more positive impression can be made by limiting font and color choices to two or three dominant options, and to shift the focus towards simplicity in the text.

How Important Is Web Design For A Business?

As the internet era took hold, the need for web designers exploded. This need is as present today as ever. Now that a website is an integral piece of a business's brand and strategy, its design is an important factor in their success for many reasons.

Proper web design offers a business a consistent image, or brand. Over time, viewers begin to identify with this image. This brand awareness is actually a determining factor in whether or not a customer will choose a particular company. Consumers are much more likely to purchase from a brand they identify with versus an unknown brand offering a similar product or service.

The only way to stand out in a customer's mind is by differentiating your brand somehow.

In the modern era, most markets are saturated. Consumers are bombarded with advertisements, social media posts, invites, and push notifications from hundreds of different brands and businesses every day. The only way to stand out in a customer's mind is by differentiating your brand somehow. One of the simplest ways of doing this is through unique web design elements. A professionally designed website is much more appealing to the viewer, and is more likely to keep them reading as well as help build trust in your product or services. This increases the chance of them converting into a lead, or better yet a customer.

Controlling the customer journey is one of the most important aspects of web design. Most people put as little effort as possible into reading the contents of a site. This is why it is so important that the content and design match up. Proper web design will empower the content to catch the eye of the reader, keep them reading, and lead them to the desired action.

Web design can also help to properly target the correct audience. Some target audiences respond well to a minimalist design, while others like things spelled out for them. Some readers require heavy logic and well-researched text, while others are affected solely by the emotional elements of web design. Understanding web design enough to create a site based around the target audience will ensure its success.

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Brett Dvoretz
Last updated on June 04, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as in front of a laptop screen, Brett can either be found hacking away furiously at the keyboard or, perhaps, enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He has been a professional chef, a dog trainer, and a travel correspondent for a well-known Southeast Asian guidebook. He also holds a business degree and has spent more time than he cares to admit in boring office jobs. He has an odd obsession for playing with the latest gadgets and working on motorcycles and old Jeeps. His expertise, honed over years of experience, is in the areas of computers, electronics, travel gear, pet products, and kitchen, office and automotive equipment.

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