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Loomans says that, much like Rework, Kleon’s book is about process: “The book is centred around the lessons that the author learned during his career as a designer. There are many lessons here that are so stupidly obvious, but when they’re written down they bring a lot of empowerment to the reader.” The book began life as a list, and then a slide presentation, before becoming a lively, engaging and entertaining book for improving your creative life.

In this book, which started life as a website, Snook outlines the methodology behind SMACSS (pronounced ‘smacks’), a means to examine your design process and fit rigid frameworks into a flexible thought process, thereby resulting in a consistent approach to site development when using CSS. “Jon has created a free, organic, online book with discussion, and it has great thoughts on architecting maintainable CSS for larger sites,” says developer Stephanie Sullivan Rewis. Now, for people who…

37signals is not a typical company, its success shows there can be a better way to work, without meetings, spending your entire life savings, or working insane hours. Rework provides a glimpse inside the minds of the company’s co-founders: “The book’s a staple when anyone asks me about designing, developing or wanting to create just about anything software-related. The power of Rework lies in how clear-cut all the statements are. Gives a lot of empowerment and it’s a breeze to get through.” It’s increasingly common for websites to be rich in functionality provided by JavaScript. Keith’s book is intended to offer designers – rather than programmers – a guiding hand, showing them how to add stylish, usable enhancements to websites. Jonathan Snook: “Jeremy Keith’s book has been out for a while now but I still believe that it provides a great foundation for anybody wanting to get into JavaScript dev.”

Nudge is not strictly a web design book. However, I believe it should be essential reading for any web designer,” says Boag: “The premise of the book is that psychology can be used to ‘nudge’ people into making certain choices. While the book focuses on how this could be used to encourage things like more organ donation or saving for a pension, the lessons learned can also be applied to designing a website. Gustafson’s book helps you understand the history, mechanisms and practical application of progressive enhancement. Jeffrey Zeldman, Happy Cog founder, heartily recommends the book: “Coined by Steven Champeon of the Web Standards Project in the early 2000s, ‘progressive enhancement’ is the key idea behind standards-based web design. Both a method and a philosophy, it yields experiences that are accessible to all. Design isn’t all about visuals, aesthetics, usability and crafting something beautiful. It’s also about all the things that surround that, enabling you to build a business. Monteiro’s aim in this volume is to help you do that part of your job better, learning how to deal with clients and contracts. Book on the topics of contracts, selling design and dealing with clients – this is a must read.

jQuery provides the means to work with JavaScript without really knowing a great deal about the language, savvy web developers delve deeper. Developer Remy Sharp says “everyone should have read Douglas Crockford’s Good Parts by now,” and he considers “JavaScript Patterns an excellent next step towards writing better JavaScript”. Along with boasting plenty of hands-on examples, the book also tells you what to avoid, so you don’t hamstring your own creations.

Although Krug is better known for Don’t Make Me Think (listed earlier), Boag considers Rocket Surgery Made Easy more useful for the majority of web designers: “Where the original book focused on the importance of usability testing, the second one talks about the practicalities of setting up regular test sessions. Most of us are already aware of the importance of usability testing and yet find it hard to make it happen. This book will show you how.

Different take on HTML5: “It highlights the myths currently in circulation about the spec and also gives some information about the procedures behind creating it.” Green says the book details how people are using new tags but also shows they may have interpreted the spec incorrectly and headed in the wrong direction. It also explores a groundbreaking semantics initiative, what happens when Flash dies, and how HTML5 alters fundamental components of the web