21 Jun 2022
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Become a web designer: Best books on the market to get you started
So you are dreaming about becoming a web designer? You are not alone, and I was just like you once. Becoming a web designer is a great career path, and once you start your journey into the world of design and programming you will see that it's enormous.
To make the journey easier for you I have created a list of the best books on the market. These books will teach you both the fundamentals and skills that are necessary for you to progress as a web designer in 2022, and I even used some of these books when I started designing my own websites.
Books teaching you the fundamentals of web design
HTML and CSS: Design and Build Websites - John Duckett
To begin your journey you will have to learn two of the most basic sections of programming which are HTML and CSS, and since the day I decided to become a web designer this has been my bible. The copy I have at home contains so many colored sticky notes from things that are useful so I almost can't close the book.
The book is fairly long, but you won't realize that before you reach the end (In full honesty). And once you reach the end you feel like you fully understand how HTML and CSS are connected and how you should use them effectively.
This book will also teach you about JQuery which is starting to become quite old. Even though it is old it is still relevant in today's web design. In many ways, you can speed up your development and type much less code when you use JQuery and there are still many businesses using it.
Sustainable web design - Tom Greenwood
You might have heard sustainable web design as a term before, and even though people often laugh about it I would say that it is an important part of web design and the future of the internet. Sustainability is not only about making everything eco-friendly and less polluting but also about making the internet more accessible to people. Displaying heavy websites on slow a connection is annoying and by using sustainable methods you can help to make information more accessible to all people.
Sustainable web design also comes with other benefits such as faster loading websites and better SEO ranking, but that is a whole category for itself.
Books teaching you valuable skills in web design
If you already know the fundamentals of web design then you can jump on to the next step, which is to learn valuable skills that will help you land a job in your new career. Landing a job is hard but with the right skills, you will shorten your journey significantly. When I landed my first job I was lucky to find a company that still didn't use these new frameworks, but since I started we implemented them and today we almost can't live without them (Just like many others).
React: Up & Running: Building Web Applications - Stoyan Stefanov
One of the most popular frameworks to use when building immersive web applications and websites are React, and this book will teach you everything you need to know to build your own web applications.
When I started learning React it took me a long time to get the idea of how components and functions worked, but once I got the idea everything seemed so easy. After learning React you can easily learn other frameworks because build on some of the same foundations.
If you truly want to become a web developer I would suggest that you add React to your tool belt. It will put a foot inside the door in many companies and it has been almost the sole reason I have 5-10 recruiters contacting me each week.
TypeScript has not been around for so long, but in a relatively short time, it has been available to the public it has skyrocketed in popularity. Developers and designers are recognizing the issues that TypeScript solves and that is why it is almost necessary to have it in your tool belt.
Can you become a self-taught web designer from a book?
In my opinion, I don't see why you shouldn't be able to become a web designer just by learning from books. That was in fact how I did it, and already at my first job, I sat beside developers with master's degrees and 20+ years of experience.
It requires tons of work, but if you are dreaming of becoming a web designer it is worth it, and for those out there thinking that anyone can use it against you, then you can always say that you were able to teach yourself web design because your passion is so big compared to many other people with fancy degrees that simply don't care.
I am a self-taught and highly passionate web developer currently living in Sweden, where I use my skills to make the internet a better place through ethical and sustainable web design.