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5 absolutely must read books for every web designer

Designing websites, as with designing any user–interface, should be done with the needs of users in the forefront. Complicated interfaces can and will make your users leave. Oh, and they take their wallets and everything else with them. No happy users = no users = no conversion = career switch.

Here are 5 essential books that—simply put—change the way you think about your users and the interfaces you design for them.

Don't Make Me Think! A Common Sense Approach To Web Usability By Steve Krug

Don't Make Me Think! A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability

By Steve Krug — The book title sums up the theme of the content. And I full–heartedly agree. This book is a no-nonsense illustrated approach to making usable websites.

Don't Make Me Think on Amazon

Letting Go of the Words: Writing Web Content that Works By Janice (Ginny) Redish

Letting Go of the Words: Writing Web Content that Works

By Janice (Ginny) Redish — Web professionals should understand every aspect of communication on their medium, front information architecture, to usability, to copywriting. This book shows how to say more with less, a must for sticky web content.

Letting Go Of The Words on Amazon

The Big Red Fez: How To Make Any Web Site Better

The Big Red Fez: How To Make Any Web Site Better

By Seth Godin — The philosophy in this book is remove everything that doesn't directly funnel the user into the next preferred action. Again, I whole-heartedly agree with this principle. Useless elements are simple potential distractions.

The Big Red Fez on Amazon

Designing With Web Standards By Jeffrey Zeldman

Designing With Web Standards

By Jeffrey Zeldman — Often thought of as the modern web designer's bible, this book is an essential tool to help web professionals understand and use the diverse set of languages available to build modern websites.

Designing With Web Standards on Amazon

Design Of Everyday Things By Donald Norman

The Design Of Everyday Things

By Donald Norman — This is an absolute personal favorite. I hold this book on a pedestal. Although it doesn't speak directly to designing web interfaces, its user–centered design principles should be applied to every design. Understand your user and design to their needs.

The Design Of Everyday Things on Amazon