I've been looking through the site recommendations and other people's posts requesting beginner's design books but have yet to find anything that meets my specific tastes.

I'm not looking to make complicated killer graphics with illustrator, I'm not looking to learn general design theory, and im not looking for tutorials on how to code css

What I need is a book which teaches design principles with a focus heavily oriented on pragmatic components of websites. Like, the kind of book which will hold my hand through gaining a designer's eye for styling a form from start to finish, or a landing page, main content pages, etc.

I know css and can work with illustrator, but when it comes time to design a site i stare at a blank page and just get either no or the worst ideas.

So is there anything that teaches web design principles by working through examples of several modern looking sites that actually look good?


  • 2
    This isn't a great question for this site. For starters, there's no 'right' answer. Secondly, a quick google search will likely steer you in the right direction. Google "UX Design Books"
    – DA01
    Commented Sep 10, 2014 at 23:13
  • To be fair, a google search will just throw up a big pile of books, whereas asking here will give a) books and b) experienced designers' judgement and experience on how much practical value they offer. Commented Sep 12, 2014 at 13:30
  • They're less focussed than this question, but the first couple of questions in this list might be a place to start: ux.stackexchange.com/… Commented Sep 12, 2014 at 13:32

2 Answers 2


Steve Krug's 'Don't make me think' is an excellent read and its simple ideas will stick with you and help you in a variety of contexts.

The book will give you an understanding of website design best practices from a broader usability perspective, which you can then apply to your specific needs when designing components, landing pages etc.

It will also help you to think from a users perspective. This thinking will pretty much hold your hand through the design process as it gives you something to base your decisions from. Is it clear what I need to do? Where do I click? What do I do next? etc...


Another couple of books I've found useful are: Seductive Interactive Design, Universal Principles of Design.

This course is also worth a look, Unbounce have excellent resources. http://do.thelandingpagecourse.com/?utm_source=Ecourse&utm_medium=Resources-Page&utm_content=Landing-Pages&utm_campaign=LPCC

Hope this helps.


You can also get help from various websites like www.w3schools.com it will not only provide you with tutorials but also Try it yourself examples which will help you a lot to get better understanding about design.

  • W3Schools is not a very reputable website for many things, nor is it a walk through for how to make the design of a website Commented Sep 30, 2014 at 13:40
  • @ZachSaucier thanks for your comment, W3Schools is not a very reputable website for many things would you mind to elaborate please?
    – DiaJos
    Commented Dec 24, 2019 at 15:53
  • @Webwoman w3fools.com this site explains why. It's gotten better over the years but MDN is always a better choice. Commented Dec 24, 2019 at 23:25

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