Web Designers

10 Must-Read Books for Web Designers

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The web is constantly evolving and the secret to good web design is to evolve with it. You must continuously sharpen your skills or risk designing sites that don’t convert and don’t win you more clients. There’s a lot you can do to learn better design techniques, with plenty of awesome podcasts, webinars, blogs like https://jatapp.com/blog/how-to-hire-a-software-development-company/ or online courses available. But there’s just something about reading a physical book. A good old-fashioned tome you can flick through, turn pages over, and let the smell of paper envelop you in its crisp aroma. After all, we spend enough time behind screens as is! Whether you’re looking for a quick and light read or want to completely immerse yourself in jQuery, there’s something for everyone in our top ten must-read books for web designers.

Design for Hackers: Reverse-Engineering Beauty

By David Kadavy

In this powerful book, author David Kadavy helps developers and entrepreneurs understand the world of design, which he sees as an incredible tool to communicate ideas effectively. Designers are trained to deconstruct and rebuild. In this book, you’ll learn how to see the world differently by deconstructing beautiful designs, something Kadavy did throughout his career to creating some of the industry’s most notable brands.

As a bonus, David has a free email course that can help you overcome some common design pitfalls and deliver client projects more efficiently.

The UX Book

By Rex Hartson & Pardha Pyla

At over 900 pages, The UX Book provides a comprehensive look into UX lifecycle processes and methods.

This book is packed with loads of practical and actionable advice spanning every facet of UX, from gathering requirements and creating wireframes, right through to performing rigorous analysis of designs. A must-read for beginners and an excellent resource for designers of all skill levels.

Don’t Make Me Think, Revisited

By Steve Krug

Now in its third edition, this is one of the most widely read books on usability. Over 400,000 designers and developers have used Don’t Make Me Think as a guide to creating better online experiences.

Steve Krug offers a common-sense approach to web and mobile usability that is engaging and easy to read, making it an indispensable addition to any web designers bookshelf.

JavaScript & jQuery: The Missing Manual

By David Sawyer McFarland 

Good knowledge of JavaScript is an absolute must for any ambitious web designers. Yes, you can get away with just knowing the basics but if you want to build truly kick-ass websites, JavaScript is an extremely handy tool to have in your toolkit.

JavaScript & jQuery: The Missing Manuals equips you with everything you need to know to get started with jQuery, and also dives into topics such as AJAX, JSON, XMLHttpRequest object, and the HTTP protocol.

Sketching User Experiences: The Workbook

By Saul Greenberg, Sheelagh Carpendale, Nicolai Marquardt, and Bill Buxton

If you want to learn UX sketching in a practical, hands-on way, this is the book for you.

This book contains lots of visual examples and exercises to help you learn and master the different sketching techniques. It starts with the basics and works its way to introducing more advanced techniques such as creating sketches from photos, hybrid sketches, and storyboarding.

Thinking with Type

By Ellen Lupton

Thinking with Type is the definitive guide to Typography.

Ellen breaks typography into three sections: the letter (typefaces), text (paragraphs and spacing), and the grid (page layouts). You’ll learn everything you ever wanted to know about the history of typography, the theory, plus you get lots of examples and even some fun practical exercises.

Neuro Web Design: What Makes Them Click?

By Susan Weinschenk

Susan applies research on motivation, decision making, and neuroscience, from her 30 years as a behavioral psychologist, to explain what motivates people and how to get people to take action.

Learn the unconscious reasons behind your audiences’ actions, and how to apply the principles of persuasion to design websites that get more clicks, and more sales.

Designing for Emotion

By Aarron Walter

One of the standouts of the A Book Apart series, Designing for Emotion is light and easy to read yet incredibly actionable.

Written by Aarron Walter, former UX Design Lead at MailChimp, we get a look into his approach of developing a personality for your brand and connecting with your audience through emotional design, a key factor to MailChimp’s success.

Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative

By Austin Kleon

While not written specifically for designers, this book is all about getting in touch with your artistic side and unleashing your creativity.

Branded as a manifesto for the digital age, the message of the book is simple: anybody can be creative if they surround themselves with the right influences, stay curious, be nice and work hard.

Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind

By Jocelyn K. Glei

This book is packed with loads of productivity hacks that will help you stay on track and accomplish more in a day.

Whether you freelance or work at an agency, maintaining focus and staying on top of client projects is an ongoing challenge. Jocelyn enlists the help of 20 leading creative minds, including Scott Belsky and Seth Godin, to bring together a collection of productivity hacks you can’t live without.

What’s your favorite Web Designers book? Let us know in the comments, we’re always looking for good recommendations!

Read more: Smart Design Web Quotes: Things You Should Know

Jenson O'Connell

Jenson O'Connell is an experienced content creator who writes on IT development and technology issues. He regularly publishes in many high-profile editions and helps his readers understand trends in the tech industry and programming infrastructure.

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