Our Top 5 Web Design Resources
A discussion took place in our office last week where we all started to discuss our favourite web design resources. For many of us here at westfourstreet we started out with web design & development books which some of us still have to this day. More so for sentimental value as many of them are definitely no longer applicable in todays web design industry.
This discussion bought to the table a lot of great resources which we want to share with you. So whether or not you prefer reading a book or browsing online, we hope some of these will be useful to you.
A List Apart
What we love about A List Apart is that the website is packed with so many useful and relevant articles which have been written by fellow web designers and web developers plus leading industry experts.
The site itself has been around for many years (it was launched in 1998) and the administrators actively encourage users to write and submit articles to the site. So what you end up with is a collection of rich content and resources which is then open to discussion amongst its users.
Topics include code, content, design, industry & business, process and user experience. It’s definitely a great online resource for anyone in the web industry.
Again, another site that has stuck around for quite some time and has built a huge following. Established and launched in 2006 the guys and girls over at Smashing Magazine have created a community which is specifically geared towards web designers and web developers.
Similar to A List Apart, the site is driven by its articles and insights. The articles cover subjects such as coding, design, mobile, graphics, UX design and WordPress.
The site also features areas which focus on web design and development resources such as books, eBooks as well as articles on design techniques, development tutorials and showcases too what’s hot and what’s not in the industry.
Smashing Magazine also promote upcoming web conferences and allow their users to easily purchase tickets for these events. We’ve found many amazing conferences via the site which we have attended. So if it were not for Smashing Magazine we would never have come across them as they were not heavily promoted elsewhere.
Real-Life Responsive Web Design
Following on from Smashing Magazine is a book they themselves had published. Real-Life Responsive Web Design is a book which focuses on real-life processes and techniques when designing and developing a responsive website.
The emphasis of the book is on gathering practical techniques and strategies from industry experts who through time have learned how to get things done right.
The book looks at real-life projects and experiences as well as real-world experiences. Because responsive web design is now an absolute must this particular book would also be useful to marketing departments as well as business owners who wish to better grasp the realities of responsive web design and the choices that need to be made when a new website is created.
The book is available in paperback or eBook format and with 12 chapters covering subjects such as workflow, web fonts, content strategy and offline experience it’s one we would highly recommend.
HTML & CSS: Design and Build Websites
Often we are asked by students or clients who are looking to get to grips with HTML & CSS and the process of designing and building websites which book is the best.
Well it all depends really on what you’re hoping to achieve and whether or not you’re just starting out or looking to advance your skills further. But one book which is almost every time is mentioned by us is HTML & CSS: Design and Build Websites.
The author, Jon Duckett has put together one of the most resourceful and helpful books any web designer or web developer could wish to have in their collection. Jon provides information on best practices and techniques and is perfect for any experienced designers looking to refresh their skills.
Being a book that is primarily about web design, its use of full colour photos, engaging infographics and in particular the magazine layout really makes this book a joy to flick through.
The book also incorporates a colour coding system which makes it incredibly easy to locate specific subjects as well as understand the examples of code being used throughout the entire book.
The Art of Looking Sideways
Just to throw a curve ball at you, this next resource is a book which some would say focuses on art and design. But what’s so damn good about this book is that the very fundamentals of design which are explored easily translate over into web design.
Written and put together by master designer Alan Fletcher, the book is a huge collection of design. From classic art through to modern design and magazine layouts.
To try and write about all the elements which are covered in this book would require a week of news articles. But believe us when we say it’s quite possibly the most insightful book in relation to the power of visuals and the human mind.
But in a nutshell, the book aims to explore the human connection between the visual senses and perceptions. It’s a guide to visual awareness that will take any reader through a journey of visual enlightenment which at times is humorous and at times thought provoking. It’s a masterpiece.