Cinque libri gratuiti sul design, da leggere dal browser. In alcuni casi è possibile scaricare la versione ePub o PDF. Sono tutti in inglese. Sotto ogni segnalazione ho aggiunto un piccolo estratto.
Web style guide, di Patrick J. Lynch e Sarah Horton
È un libro sulla progettazione e realizzazione di siti web. È alla sua quarta edizione. Le edizioni precedenti (la prima vent’anni fa) riportavano come sottotitolo “Principi di base di design per la creazione di siti web”, mentre questa ha “Fondamenti della progettazione dell'esperienza utente”.
Design creates visual logic and seeks an optimal balance between visual sensation and graphic information. Without the visual impact of shape, color, and contrast, pages are graphically uninteresting and will not motivate the viewer. Dense text documents without contrast and visual relief are also hard to read, particularly on smaller or relatively low-resolution screens. But without the depth and complexity of text, highly graphic pages risk disappointing the user by offering a poor balance of visual sensation, text information, and interaction. Graphic design has its roots in language, and is still fundamentally about typography, and typography is a means to represent spoken language in print. In seeking the ideal balance, great design is about walking the tightrope between visual and intellectual stimulation, producing “differences that make a difference,” in Edward Tufte’s phrase, while respecting and taking advantage of the millennia-long traditions of written communications in human culture.
Practical Typography, di Matthew Butterick
Una guida all’uso corretto della tipografia.
If you believe reader attention is a valuable resource, then tools that help you conserve that resource are likewise valuable. Typography is one of those tools.
Good typography can help your reader devote less attention to the mechanics of reading and more attention to your message. Conversely, bad typography can distract your reader and undermine your message.
I’m not suggesting that the quality of your typography is more important than the quality of your writing. It’s not. But typography can make good writing even better.
Resilient web design, di Jeremy Keith
Un libro sul web design, più dal punto di vista storico che legato alla progettazione o alla produzione.
“Always design a thing by considering it in its next larger context”, said the Finnish architect Eliel Saarinen. “A chair in a room, a room in a house, a house in an environment, an environment in a city plan”.
How to make sense of any mess, di Abby Covert
Un libro dedicato all’architettura delle informazioni.
When you take the time to make requirements concrete and prioritize them, you can better understand what you're actually making. If you're designing an interface that prioritizes reading, it will be fundamentally different than an interface that prioritizes writing, even with the exact same list of requirements.
Shape Up, di Ryan Singer
Il libro sul processo di lavoro di Basecamp, un’azienda che produce prodotti digitali.
There’s no absolute definition of “the best” solution. The best is relative to your constraints. Without a time limit, there’s always a better version. The ultimate meal might be a ten course dinner. But when you’re hungry and in a hurry, a hot dog is perfect.
The amount of time we set for our appetite is going to lead us to different solutions. We could model a whole set of database columns in the fancy version, or just provide a flat textarea in the simple version. We could redesign the main landing page to accommodate a new feature, or we could push it back to a screen with fewer design constraints. We can only judge what is a “good” solution in the context of how much time we want to spend and how important it is.