The Designer’s Web Handbook: What You Need to Know to Create for the Web by Patrick McNeil and published by HOW Books is a great primer on how to begin to design your own website or become a website designer. Before the title kicks off McNeil points out the goals of the book and this is what is lacking in so many introductions these days. McNeil states that many of the chapters require further reading and this is certainly true. On this point this is an area where The Designer’s Web Handbook excels by providing lots of handy web links at the end of each section. Some of these links I had never come across like usability.gov which outlines good design processes. The sections are as follows:
Not to mention there are 2 great appendix sections which talk about WordPress, the world’s biggest CMS (content management system) and DPI (dots per an inch) and myths associated with DPI.
The structure of The Designer’s Web Handbook is fantastic as it guides you through the web design and development process from ideation through to maintenance and provides you a good mix of theory, tips and tricks, considerations and strategy along the way. The chapters are pithy, well written and easily digestible; it is not a long title but it’s a good one. There are also some great example websites that help illustrate the main points; however this is not a portfolio book, this is mainly a text centric book. Which is great for a change, it takes a few seconds on google images to find out what a great website looks like but it takes a lot more time and effort to teach people how to design! From first hand experience the topics covered are relevant and important and all the content is communicated in a simple manner.
The Designer’s Web Handbook I would recommend to any beginner web designer, and also designers, without being offensive, that have perhaps dated views on how websites should be designed, constructed and maintained. This title features the most up to date techniques and technologies of how to bring beautiful websites to market or for personal pleasure. The content is fairly concise, simply to understand and well informed – the perfect website reference.