Back in January 2004, I kicked off Visualgui.com with a post on Universal Principles of Design in which I reprinted a handful of principles that apply toward Web design. Since then the post has been mentioned on designer’s blogs around the world, yet it takes three years later to see a book on Principles of Beautiful Web Design.
Unlike Universal, Beautiful Web Design is brief with only five chapters focusing on layout and composition, color, texture, typography and imagery. No CSS, XHTML or Photoshop tutorials can be found in this book, but Jason Beaird (the author) gives plenty sites’ screenshots and brief explanation of the designs to illustrate how the principles have been applied.
Beautiful Web Design is, no doubt, a great book for the novice. If nothing else, the least what the book could do is steering you away from designing horrendous Web sites. Visual aesthetics, however, is only half of the web game. CSS and XHTML are equally important. I am not suggesting that this book should include the technical aspects, but you’re not getting a bang for your buck for its pricy cost ($39.95)—unless you could get a discount from Amazon, which is 34% off as of this writing.