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10 Best Web Design Books Ever Written

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James Baxter

Written by James Baxter

18 November, 2020

Top 10 Web Design Books

Web design is just like a spider’s web — complicated yet beautiful enough to keep you fascinated each time you see it. If we’re being dramatic, we could liken it to walking up a slippery slope, blindfolded. One tiny slip will have you tumbling down to square one.

That’s why you need a guide to help you navigate the entire process. Sure, you must have pumped a truckload of money into web design courses. But have you tried books yet?

Whether you’re an essay writer, an artist or web designer, you’d definitely find amazing books that will help you perfect your craft.

Learning web design basics? Here are some of the best web design books ever written.

10 Best Web Design Books

  1. Web Design All-in-one for Dummies
  2. Responsive Web Design with HTML5 and CSS3
  3. Visual Quickstart Guide
  4. UX for Beginners: A Crash Course in 100 Short Lessons
  5. Mobile Design Book
  6. Designing with the Mind in Mind
  7. Don’t Make Me Think: A Common-sense Approach to Web Usability
  8. Web Development and Design Foundations
  9. HTML and CSS: Design and Build Websites
  10. Learning Web Design: A Beginner’s Guide

Web Design All-in-one for Dummies

Web Design All-in-one for Dummies by Sue Jenkins is the perfect guide for beginners and rookies. If you’re a newbie to web design, the last thing you need is a textbook filled with coding jargon. You want a guide you can understand, not one that makes you feel like you just stepped into a mystical world of Latin characters.

From building a site to testing and taking it live, this all-in-one book teaches you everything you need to know.  It also contains tips on the latest tools and web design standards such as HTML5 and CSS 3.

Not sure why you need it? This guide for beginners:

  • Contains five mini books on all the vital bases: Getting Started, Designing for the Web, Building the Site, Standards and Testing, and Publishing and Site Maintenance.
  • Features the latest tools and strategies such as HTML5 and CSS 3.
  • Covers extra topics such as content creation, establishing audience focus and using storyboards to establish the look.

If you ever needed someone to hold your hand when it comes to web design, this in-depth book definitely has warm hands and a firm grip.

Responsive Web Design with HTML5 and CSS3

Responsive Web Design with HTML5 and CSS3 by Ben Frain is the ultimate guide to building responsive and future-proof websites.

What do modern users really want? Well, the average modern user isn’t asking for much. They just want ease of use, accessibility and Snow White’s heart.

This book teaches you how to address all the needs of the modern user  — apart from the Snow White bit, of course. You’d have to contact Disney for that one.

Visual Quickstart Guide

Need to learn HTML and CSS faster than the speed of light? Well, Visual Quickstart Guide by Bruce Hyslop and Elizabeth Castro is one book that comes pretty close.

This guide teaches you today’s HTML and CSS essentials in no time at all. You’d learn how to design, structure, debug and finally publish your site. You would also learn how to add visual effects using CSS3.

UX for Beginners

Whether you’re a rookie or a pro who has been designing since the Stone Age, “UX for Beginners: A Crash Course in 100 Short Lessons” by Joel Marsh is a must-have.

This guide contains about 100 lessons structured into 14 sections. It demystifies web design and covers basic to solid UX content including prototyping, visual design and information architecture.

How can you get the job done with less user input? What aspects of user experience do you need to consider? This book covers all of that and more. If you’re looking for a technical guide with personality and a sense of humour, this one’s for you.

Mobile Design Book

What makes mobile apps successful? What do great apps do? If you’ve ever asked these questions, you should check out Mobile Design Book by Paula Borowska and Tomas Laurinavicius.

This quick guide familiarises designers with the process of developing great apps. Comparing two apps in each topic, it teaches budding designers everything they need to know about navigation, colour use, readability and form.

Mobile Design Book is for designers who want to make better apps and developers looking for ways to apply design.

Don’t Make Me Think

“Don’t Make Me Think: A Common-sense Approach to Web Usability” by Steve Krug is a classic on web usability. In this in-depth and humorous guide, Krug explains how to make websites usable and accessible.

Ever wondered why users leave sites almost immediately? The answer is pretty obvious: usability issues.

Created for both novice and veteran designers alike, “Don’t Make Me Think” helps you understand why your users are leaving and how to tackle those problems.

One perk that makes this guide so lovable is the extra ammunition included for designers with difficult clients or bosses.

Designing with the Mind in Mind

Sometimes, it’s not enough to force technical  design tips down your throat. You’d also need a little crash course in psychology. Thankfully, Designing with the Mind in Mind by Jeff Johnson does just that.

Why do users act the way they do? What makes them tick?

By providing a background in perceptual psychology, this guide helps designers understand UI guidelines better. Don’t let all the talk about psychology bother you. Designing with the Mind in Mind only combines cognitive perception with UI design rules to give you a clearer insight into how those rules work.

It teaches you how to apply design rules and when you should apply them. If you’re looking for a web design book with a fresh perspective, you should definitely grab this book with both hands.

Web Development and Design Foundations

Web Development and Design Foundations by Terry Felke Morris is the perfect companion when it comes to learning web development and design.

It teaches learners how to create engaging websites by introducing core HTML and CSS topics. From colour configuration, to text configuration, and even page layout, this text covers both the hard skills and soft skills needed for web development.


Even if you’re still learning the ropes of web design, you are going to enjoy this book.

HTML and CSS: Design and Build Websites by Jon Duckett is a colorful introduction to the basics of web designing and development.

Today, thousands of people all over the world need to learn a little about coding for different reasons. Some may need it to update an e-commerce store. Others may need it for purely personal reasons.

Whatever your reasons may be, this guide tackles both the basic and complex coding issues in an engaging way.

Learning Web Design

Learning Web Design: A Beginner’s Guide by Jennifer Robins is an in-depth book that is structured in five parts. This guide:

  • Covers general information about web design and technology.
  • Handles the nitty-gritty of HTML and goes into an in-depth discussion of HTML5.
  • Teaches you common CSS techniques and how to create a page using Responsive Web Design.
  • Gives a rundown of JavaScript syntax and how it is used.

Final Thoughts

Even the sharpest knives need to be filed every now and then. Whether you’re a newbie or an expert at web design, you have to keep up with the latest hacks and technology.

If you ever need web design inspiration or tips on designing a website, any one of these ten books are guaranteed to get you off to a great start.

James Baxter
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