With a bit of free time over breakfast, I was fiddling with my personal site and looking over my bookshelf. I decided to make an Amazon guide to “becoming a front-end web design guru” based on many of the books in my ever-expanding collection. So without further ado, here it is, my guide to becoming a front-end web-design guru, featuring the most varied and useful set of 20 books I have ever read:
The Grim Truth
Let’s face it. These days, any Joe-shmo with Microsoft FrontPage can call himself a web developer or designer. But web surfers can tell the difference between a professionally designed site and a site designed by your dentist’s brother’s roommate’s best friend’s boyfriend. To be professional, you have to design with web standards in mind, focusing on usability and accessibility. And it has to look good — really good.
The Tools You’ll Use
Building It Right
The Zen of CSS Design : Visual Enlightenment for the Web (Voices That Matter) is possible for you! Building professional web sites means Building Accessible Websites (With CD-ROM). No matter how good your design may be, it won’t mean anything if it doesn’t load quickly, so don’t forget to always Speed Up Your Site: Web Site Optimization. Then put it all together to create Bulletproof Web Design : Improving flexibility and protecting against worst-case scenarios with XHTML and CSS. But you’re not done yet! Help people find your site by giving it Search Engine Visibility.
Really Good References
While you’re doing all these things, don’t be afraid to let curiosity get the better of you. Expand upon the projects in the previous books by doing things differently, doing things your own way. As you tinker, you’ll come across situations in which you don’t know how to do something. For those situations, use the following must-have references to quickly look up information about a particular technology.
For (X)HTML: HTML & XHTML: The Definitive Guide, Fifth Edition
For CSS: Cascading Style Sheets: The Definitive Guide, 2nd Edition and CSS Cookbook
Helpful Bonus Books
Learn all the Secrets of Successful Web Sites if you’re involved with larger-scale project management, or if you’re of the entrepeneurial bent, find out How to Start a Home-Based Web Design Business, 2nd (Home-Based Business Series) or How to Be a Successful Internet Consultant.