Brian clearly put a lot of thought and careful consideration into the structure, content and flow of the book. It's well done. I've been building websites for 4 or 5 years now and this is the first book I've found that does a good job of walking the reader through the entire thought process of planning and creating a structured strategy for designing websites. If you're sold on the idea that smart thinking and great design thrive on a methodical approach, this book will delight you. That said, it's not a how-to book on building code or using tools like Photoshop, so if you're just getting into web design and you're itching to learn specific skills for building stuff, you'll probably want to hold off on buying this for now and come back to it later when you're ready to start doing professional projects. Just do so knowing that, when you do eventually come back and read it, you'll probably kick yourself for not having read this one upfront ;-).
For those of you interested in buying the book, here's a quick list of pros and cons:
- There's zero fluff-factor. Brian did a solid job of explaining things simply and succinctly and moving on. Every page gets straight to the point. You'll get through it quickly without feeling like you wasted any time.
- It's easy on the eyes. There are plenty of visuals to support the content. If you surf though CSS galleries a lot looking for inspiration for your projects, you'll also get a lot of value just from flipping through the pages.
- It's an ideal start for aspiring design professionals because it provides a comprehensive, horizontal look at the design process end to end. If your goal is to learn how to manage big design projects, the book helps you develop an essential vocabulary and a broad awareness of things you need to consider (and why you do) before you get started.
- The information in some sections is a little "light". At 255 pages, that's not really a knock. There's plenty of great info to chew on. The book was clearly designed for breadth, rather than depth, which is why it succeeds in giving the reader a complete and broad awareness of the design process. Depth needed to be sacrificed in order to cover everything. Entire books have been written on each topic covered in this book (like SEO, typography, usability etc). The good news is that being aware of why these are critical steps in the process will aid you in your search for deeper dives into how this stuff is done.
- No suggestions for further reading. Recognizing that this book was designed for breadth, it would have been useful to have had a short list of suggested resources in each section to guide the reader to deep dives. Including a vetted list of "further reading" would have been great. This isn't a make or break by any means, it's just a nice to have.
Overall a great book that you'll probably want to keep in your collection.