Sunday, July 22, 2007


The Principles of Beautiful Web Design, Jason Beaird, Sitepoint. (Book Review)

“What’s the most infuriating part of design? Getting started!”

This book bills itself as “A simple, easy-to-follow guide…this book leads you through the process of creating great designs from start to finish.” and it is exactly that. The author sets out with the premise that “Good design Principles are not rocket science!” and does an excellent job of proving it. His “Don’t just tell, show!” style makes this book accessible to everyone.

At just over 160 pages, you could almost read this book in a single session. It strikes a carefully thought-out balance between describing principles and illustrating them. It is clear and well structured, with practical examples in every chapter.

Aimed at the novice to intermediate designer, and a great resource for software developers who want to take their web design skills to the next level and provide them with a shared vocabulary with designers.

The book is divided into the following chapters:

  1. Layout and Composition
  2. Colour
  3. Texture
  4. Typography
  5. Imagery

The preface starts out by stating: “Good design is about the relationship between the elements involved, and creating a balance between them.” The design principles espoused in this book are very much in line with how I personally view design: “The most important thing to keep in mind is that design is about communication…”. It is fundamentally important to strike a balance between design and usability. It’s all about balance.

It’s likely to leave you wanting to hear/digest more of Jason’s expertise and insight; let’s hope he publishes a next book in what could be a classic series. This book was a delight to read.

Purchase here:

Disclosure: The Perth .NET User Group is a member of the O'Reilly User Group and Professional Association Program. O’Reilly make copies of their books available for user group libraries, and the copy reviewed here was kindly donated by O’Reilly. That said, it was not a factor in reviewing this book.


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