Designing for the Web

Five Simple StepsEver feel that the web design market is over-saturated by books, both coffee-table and technical? There’s too much choice, and “What books would you recommend?” is the top (non cheese related) question I get asked. Depending on the topic required, there are various degrees of ‘hmmm well…you could try…” that’s replied.

This is where Mark Boulton’s new PDF book A Practical Guide to Designing for the Web comes in. I’ve been watching the previews on Flickr and now that I’ve actually had the chance to read the full book, I can declare it a triumph. It doesn’t feel preachy or stodgy, or conversely, too light and insubstantial. Mark’s tone strikes the right balance, and is engaging from the start.

To those who don’t know, I’m not a trained designer – my background is firmly in illustration. As part of my 5 years studying illustration, we covered some graphic design, but it was about 20% or less of the curriculum. Since leaving college, and getting my first job as a Junior Designer for Coventry City Council, I’ve been ‘picking up’ the elements of design ever since, but have never had the benefit of formal training.

For me, this book is the equivalent of ‘Zeldmans Orange book’, taking those bits and pieces I’ve learnt over the years and filling in the gaps, finally creating an overall understanding.
However, it doesn’t just cover design theory, as practical business advice is given to complete the picture. Something that I’m sure all those people who ask me for recommendations will love.

It’s left me wanting the physical book, which if I have understood correctly, is on the cards. Yippee!