Customer Reviews: The Principles of Beautiful Web Design
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on December 9, 2010
This is a very short book, so to be effective it needs to be exceptionally focused to succeed in being a good guide to web design. Unfortunately it is full of fluff and anecdotal accounts of the authors web design practice. The chapters on design principles are very sketchy and do not have enough analysis of designs to be really useful in imparting the ability to conceptualize good vs bad design. The material on photoshop is virtually worthless, as it is neither good as an introduction or as an advanced guide. The author has a reasonably good writing style and there are a few nuggets of inspiration, but overall I would advise anyone to look elsewhere for guides on web design. Don't be fooled by the high reviews, this is just not a very good book.
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on October 21, 2011
I'm a website developer who works with designers on a daily basis. It always amazes me how they come up with those beautiful screenshots - simple, clean, pleasant, professional look, that they give me to implement. At a glance, these designs look so simple it seems trivial to come up with one. Until you actually try. You open Photoshop or Illustrator and stare at the blank screen and anything you come up with just looks cheesy and soooo last year.
If you're like me - this book is perfect for you. It's short, loaded with pictures and examples, information is condensed and written in a funny way without lengthy religious or philosophical explanations. It also points you out to tons of resources outside the book, if you want to dig deeper into any particular topic (I'm reading the Kindle edition so I can just click hyperlinks). It's a perfect design primer for those people like me, who are probably not going to make website design their career (at least this book won't make you a pro in an instant) but are looking into understanding the basic concepts of design and maybe making their personal website prettier. You're guaranteed not to look at any website the same way again. You'll be wondering, does it use the 960 grid system? Is it fluid layout? which color scheme does it use?

Biggest pros:
- the author has technical knowledge about HTML and CSS, yet has actually attended college design classes - the best of both worlds if you're an engineer (there's little in the book that's "just the way it is" - everything has logical explanation, and even an algorithm if possible)
- great primer, if you want to learn design seriously but have no idea where to start, it will tell you what's out there and what to search for and dig into
- the book is relatively new, so it doesn't repeat those old "don't use frames or marquee cause it hurts your eyes" mantra - instead it focuses on modern websites, covering fluid layouts that work on an iPhone etc.
- the author covers necessary theory (but not too deep - there's no 10 page paragraph about the history of Times New Roman font) and is excellent in putting theory to practice - everything has examples and there's even a real example of customer redesigning their medium-size website and how the whole process looked, whet were the steps etc. - pretty much a description of a designer's workflow - very useful

- Kindle layout of the book in a Windows Kindle reader app is HORRIBLE - feels like reading a 1996 website. The page renders better on the Kindle device, but I need a color screen, since a big part of the book is about colors.
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on August 15, 2012
First I am a programmer, so although my art skills are actually pretty good my brain works in a very structured way.
+ Grid Layout - layout I think is one of the hardest parts of making a website and the author's explanation is well thought out and practical.
+ Color Wheel - I have read other books that included the color wheel but this book does a great job of explaining it, giving variations and how to apply it to a webpage.
+ Some practical font and imagery suggestions as well as links on where to find/ buy fonts and stock images (some were free).

--- The latter chapters I felt were too subjective and artistic, more about trial and error. Not a lot of things that I would apply day to day creating websites.

The book is going to help with layout and color on future website projects but later chapters weren't great. Wish I could give it 3.5 stars
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on May 31, 2013
This is not a review of the content of the book or the printed version, it only addresses the kindle version.

Later edit: I want to reiterate because I don't want to deter anyone from buying the book, the book is great, but take a look at the kindle version before buying. If you're satisfied with the text and formatting, buy it, else buy the printed version or find a pdf version for sale.

Amazon, you should be ashamed. As a publishing company how can you set such a low standard for ebook formatting. What looks quite nice in the printed and PDF versions, looks horrible in the ebook. For books with only text, the Kindle format is sufficient. But for a book with charts, graphs, tables, and figures, it's not up to the task. Please offer this book in PDF as it's a much better format for this type of book. If the Kindle reader doesn't support PDF, then file a complaint with it's creator. ;)
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on February 9, 2012
I purchased this book about a month ago and I can honestly say it has been PIVOTAL in my growth as a web designer. I have been making websites for 5+ years now, learning the ropes by first getting the basics down (html & css) and by keeping up on the latest web trends. There's TONS of great instructional videos that will broaden your understanding of popular design/ development tools and may even appease your workflow. I myself, underwent a strict diet of reading design blogs and utilizing tuturials ( both of which have been vital resources). However I lacked a vivid and thorough background of the grassroot basics that, in most web design today is ever unpresent. Every page is filled with need-to-know principles about the world of web design, many of which can be applied to the field of Design in general! Overall, a SUPER FUN, well put together resource that has dramatically changed how I perceive the web.
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on February 2, 2016
I found the book easy to get through and concepts fairly weighted, but at a high level. However I did pickup some ideas to try out - for example layout proportions and texturing. Its a good starting point for anyone delving into website design. It was worth buying as a Kindle book.

If you are looking for JavaScript, widgets, and that sort of thing - this isn't the book. Its all about design concepts and little technical methodologies.

As for Beautiful - well, its till up to the reader to make it happen. I would also recommend looking at The Web Designer Idea Book series as well.
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on May 5, 2016
Among other expensive books, I ordered this book for my grandson. I'm not sure if he ever cracked the cover. He did tell me that there were some very good suggestions in the books I sent him. As I looked thorough this one before ordering it, it seemed to have the most artistic attitude and instructions for designing exceptional web pages. Alas, my grandson was on to "easier, less complicated" ways of making a living before all the pages were turned.
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on January 22, 2014
This book is a good starting point for those with no formal education in the design field, particularly web design. It will get you started and leave you wanting more, which is good. There are tons of other books and resources out there to help you take it to the next level. This book sets out what the title implies: It gives you an introduction the principles of web design.
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on May 4, 2013
I just finished reading this 2nd edition by Jason Beaird and the team at sitepoint. First off, I found the English very well written and very readable. I have only taken two college courses, in html, and css markup, and done three websites, but I'm not confident nor talented in design. I was looking for some basic direction with this book and got it. I liked the section on Layout and Composition, as it gave me some concrete ideas and confirmation of some of things I have being doing. I like the bits of markup here-and-there as well, which cement some of the ideas being presented. Of course it's not enough for the un-initiated, but that's not the purpose here. Great ideas on use of texture. In my own work, I had finally realized that texture is a nice touch to add, and the resources provided in this section were great. The chapter on color was just enough. I was aware of the color wheels, but the additional theory was nice. The chapter on Typography was well put together, and very good information. I learned that it's ok now, to use serif fonts, as monitors are better at displaying the finer details now. The only thing I would like to see, is for example, on page 135, that the two web page examples were each full-width, instead of side-by-side. They are too small to be used as an example. I think there were some other images that could have been larger too, or at least had a portion enlarged so we could see better. Not a major deal, as the links to the websites are always at the bottom of the page, which itself is great. The section on images was just enough, and the explanation of the 3 image types was adequate. The value of transparencies perhaps could have been played up a bit more though. Overall, an excellent book that delivers what it set out to do.
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on March 18, 2013
I was responsible for providing my granddaughter's textbooks and I shopped around online for books (new or in good used condition) at reasonable prices. Campus bookstores are there to make money and no bargains are to be found there, so I shopped online. This was the best deal I could find for this textbook.
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