Education is of key importance in web design. The industry is forever changing and you have to stay on top of the latest innovations to keep attracting clients. At the same time, you should be reading up on the basics to remain sharp. We all need a refresher course in what we do sometimes.
First impressions have and always will mean everything in any industry. A recent study on professors in medical schools, reported by UPI, revealed first impressions can influence people for years.
Image credit: stephencaver
So what books should you have on your shelf to make sure you make the right first impression every time?
1. The Lean Start-Up – Eric Ries
Even professional web design services like WSI regularly have this one on their shelves. Whilst it focuses on some aspects of web design, such as the importance of hosting choice, this book turns the web designer into a businessperson.
It’s integral in the cutthroat world of design to know how to do business and do it well. Web design isn’t something you can succeed in by simply being a good designer. It teaches you how to start your own company and make it through those tough few months.
2. Big Brand Theory – Sandy Publishing
Big Brand Theory focuses on the branding aspect of web design. Designers are essentially marketers. They have to figure out the best way to communicate a brand’s image in their designs. Big Brand Theory comes with a number of case studies involving major brands, like Adidas, to show you how it’s been done before.
If your marketing knowledge is lacking, this is the book for you.
3. The Design of Everyday Things – Donald A. Norman
We sometimes forget about the more intimate aspects of design. It’s easy to get lost in the code and all the frustrating bug testing sessions. It doesn’t have to be this way, though. This book reintroduces you to design for design’s sake. It displays a number of intuitive designs which might inspire you to change the way you work.
This is designed as something you can whip out when your artistic well is dry.
4. HTML, XHTML, and CSS Bible – Steven M. Schafer
Need we say more?
This book contains everything you need to know about these languages which make up the heart of good web design. Any designer will have learned these languages when they initially started learning to design websites.
If you need a refresher on a certain piece of code, or you can’t remember a niche function you need to add, refer to this book. It’s the equivalent of a dictionary to a writer.
5. The Unusually Useful Web Book – June Cohen
June Cohen explores the aspects of running a web design business outside of design. It focuses on more traditional aspects of business, such as project management. If you’re someone who has recently entered web design, or you can’t seem to maintain stability, this is the work to get you back in line.
It teaches you how to add discipline to your work and become more productive. It also contains some handy tips on adding things like sidebars.
6. Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability 2nd Edition – Steve Krug
Arguably, this is the most important book you’ll ever pick up. It offers so much that it’s sold over 100,000 copies in online and land-based bookstore sales. It’s a fantastic little book for the designer who believes beauty is in the design and function, not just in the aesthetics.
This is something every new designer should read, and a few older designers. It teaches you to differentiate between how a site looks and how it works. With Google focusing on user experience, you should see this book as a must-have.
7. 100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People – Susan Weinschenk
Take a look at 100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People and it’s plainly obvious it delves into the other side. The other books in this article concentrate on the designer. This investigates the people who will come to use your website.
It opens up with a number of points on what people want. It doesn’t claim to know everything, but it uses detailed statistics to ascertain what the majority look for in a website.