Review - The Web Designer's Idea Book

Review - The Web Designer's Idea Book
Web design is a fairly new area in art and design and, due to the ever-changing nature of the web, it is still evolving into a recognizable art form. As it matures, we begin to see design patterns emerge and these common patterns can be loosely grouped into design styles based on a common design element, theme or purpose.

There are numerous sites on the web that list the "25 best websites" based on one aspect of web design. This book by Patrick McNeil does just that for you in print. It is a snapshot of the best on the web over the last few years. This isn't a book that you read once and place on a shelf. If you are a professional web designer, you will want to browse through the book again and again, each time noticing something new in design or inspiration. If you are just getting interested in web design or branching out in this new area, this is the book that will bring you up to date as to what is popular today.

McNeil has carefully chosen and grouped 700+ sample sites into major categories by type, purpose, style, theme, color, design element or structure. You will surely recognize some of these sites as your personal favorites. He also discusses each category pointing out what makes these sites among the best in each category. As you can imagine, taking a snapshot of a website which is created at 72 dpi and printing that image at 300 dpi results in a small thumbnail image of the site in print. Although I found myself wishing otherwise, by necessity this could not be a large "picture book". However, even at this smaller size, these special sites still stand out as the best. As an alternative, you will want to use this book as a guide to visit these sites in full size on the web.

Patrick McNeal is a freelance web developer. His runs a design showcase website DesignMeltdown.com where he maintains a large, ongoing collection of websites along with tutorials and articles.

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