Before I begin to review this book, I’d first of all like to note that I’m no front-end developer for the web, neither am I a graphical designer. The purpose of this blog, of course is to change all of that. That is, after all, the reason I’m reading this book.
I thought I’d known it all and that the only thing that web designers and the like bang on about is aesthetic of a page. But it turns out I was wrong. It seems that my skills are nothing compared to some of the things that web developers are considering at the moment.
Redesign the Web is split into 11 chapters and is targeted at a whole range of developers of web-based applications including those who are coordinators of projects, graphic designers, UX designers as well as mobile application developers.
The first chapter and second chapter deal with the way in which our approach to the development process of a web application should be different. Ultimately these pages teach that lessons should be learned from the past; that functionality of web-based applications and websites is more important than giving in to feature-creep and using every new technology we learned this week because we can!
More guidance is given with regard to process such as how to develop and present wireframes to clients as well as how to find the best hosting solution for a product.
After both of these invaluable chapters, the third and fourth chapters cover a few new features in HTML5 and CSS3. The content covered is very forward thinking and covers some features such as client-side storage which are very likely to become standards in the web in the future.
Other features in the book include some great insight on how to build a better, more immersive user experience and how graphical designers should deal with issues in creating graphics for the ever growing range of devices with different pixel densities as their displays.
We’re also introduced to a way of redesigning a site with a consistent and appealing personality. There’s a comprehensive chapter on how to approach a redesign in a way that we are able to design for mobile devices, raises the issue of when to use a native application versus having a web application tailored for the screen size.
The tenth chapter is concerned with a developer’s workflow and how they can present wireframes in a way that the client doesn’t think that the product is close to being finished! And a final chapter covers the way in which you design the aesthetic of a website and how you present it to your client.
All very interesting content! The book is very relevant from my perspective of someone who, having basic knowledge of web front-end development, would like to work in this area. This third book in the Smashing Magazine book has certainly given me inspiration for the future in my approach to designing a web application for a client.
You can purchase the book from the Smashing Magazine shop. I’ve purchased the printed copy along with the eBook however, in all honesty, I read the whole thing before the printed copy arrived. If you want a nice glossy colourful printed copy which smells great then go ahead and buy it. I recommend that if you only want the knowledge within then just purchase the eBook which comes in PDF, EBUP and MobiPocket formats.
It costs just shy of $20 at the time of this post which, if converted to pounds sterling is not a lot. A bargain!