Review of Sexy Web Design

Posted on September 07, 2009

In the book Sexy Web Design: Creating Interfaces that Work Elliot Jay Stocks opens up his toolbox of tricks to show us his thought process on the end-to-end design of a website interface.

First off, if you have anything to do with web design and don’t know who Elliot Jay Stocks is you should immediately check out his website.  Elliot is an extremely creative and innovative designer who has been setting trends and raising the bar for quite some time.  He was recently interviewed by Ryan Taylor on his series Please start from the beginning… and also has a series on How to Design a Portfolio Site at the Carsonified website.  For those of you who are WordPress fans, Elliot is the mastermind behind the the Starkers WordPress theme.

Now back to the book. Sexy Web Design is a good step-by-step guide that takes the reader through the web design process. The book is process oriented and focuses mainly on the design of a site’s interface. Stocks takes the reader through the development of a website for an imaginary web design conference and uses this as a case study to illustrate various techniques and points.

What I loved about the book:

The sections on:

  • Wireframing and sketching

  • Creating the basic template

  • Designing a comp

  • Exporting the images from Photoshop (including sprites)

  • Creating easy functional mockups

Another great thing about this book is the external resources it provides on almost every chapter

What I didn’t like so much:

There is very little not to like about this book.  However, I think that in an attempt to make this book as short as possible (à la Don’t Make Me Think) it fails to give proper coverage of some concepts. For example, the forms section could have used more information on best practices, usability, styling, etc.  It will be great to have a sequel to this book with more details and actionable advice.

Overall, the book was a great read and I would recommend it to anybody interested in leaning more about the process of designing a website from scratch.

Have you read this book?  What did you think?  Do you have any book recommendations?