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Thursday, August 5th, 2010 | Written by:

The Smashing Book Review


A couple of months ago, the people at Smashing Magazine, a well known and respected design blog, published this book about web design. The covers a wide range of topics in modern web design from user interface design, CSS layouts, branding, and more. I have just finished reading it and thought it would be nice to share my opinion with you guys.

The book  has 313 pages in all, full of practical and useful knowledge for designers and Web developers. It contains 10 chapters and is printed in full color. The book is a paperback and is 8.27 × 5.5 inches (21 × 14 cm). Very nice and practical format for carrying around. And it draws together a large number of renowned authors such as Jacob Gube and Chris Spooner.

Chapter 1: User Interface Design In Modern Applications

Dmitry Fadeyev explains what is the user interface design, how to create one that works, through theoretical and practical aspects. It explores every aspect of the subject with good advice and many examples.

Chapter 2: The Art And Science Of CSS Layouts

Jacob Gube and Kayla Knight cover the different types of CSS layouts we can use when coding a web site. And provide us with examples and code we can use. Very useful to remember and learn new things as we usually work with what we find more comfortable and easy.

Chapter 3:Web Typography: Rules, Guidelines And Common Mistakes

In this chapter you will learn rules, guidelines and common mistakes when using typography on the web. Covering basic aspects from general terms such as Cap Height and ascender to absolute and relative sizes in typography. A very useful chapter especially because we often underestimate this subject.

Chapter 4: Usability Principles For Modern Websites

Andrew Maier and David Leggett present the principles of usability focusing on users behaviors.  Giving us best practices and examples of the most important aspects.

Chapter 5: The Ultimate Guide to Fantastic Color Usage

This chapter is full of use of color in the web examples. A very short chapter but it serves as an introduction to the world of color. Again, this is an introductory chapter which I think as very useful to see the different combinations that we can use.

Chapter 6: Performance Optimization For Websites

Rene Schmidt provides tips to improve the performance of our websites. A very interesting chapter and I think very useful in web developement for designers. Very esay to follow.

Chapter 7: Design To Sell: Increasing Conversion Rates

Dmitry Fadeyev speaks of “what sells” so that we can increase conversion rates and sales. Giving advice on how to achieve these goals.

Chapter 8: How To Turn A Site Into A Remarkable Brand

How to create a brand that is truly remarkable. A chapter that I really enjoyed, especially the key tips and examples.

Chapter 9: Learning From Experts: Interviews And Insights

Without doubt a great success of the book is this chapter where several known designers / developers express their opinion to frequently asked questions about our work. It’s like a super interview where we learn a little of the experience, preferences and their ways of working.

Chapter 10: The Smashing Story

Finally this chapter tells the story of how Smashing Magazine was born. It was very interesting to read this story as well as to learn a little about the people who started this blog.


Personally I liked the book. Has a lot of useful information and is written so it is easy to read. is also a pro that printed in full color. Another aspect that enjoyment is the number of authors who participated. It is a book that would not recommend for a professional, but it’s perfect for people with a basic level to intermediate.

If you’re a developer / web designer with basic to intermediate level I recommend you this book that has a lot of content to help you increase your skills and explore new aspects of web design. You can get your copy here
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About Franco Averta

Hi!, mi name is Franco Averta, i`m from Argentina. Currently I`m studying to become a Graphic Designer. I`m the founder of Concept Dezain, my design company. Contact me via email or follow me in Twitter or Facebook.

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