Books Giveaway: Comment and Win!


Over the last weeks we have again1 selected dozens of useful development and web design-related books, we’ve bought all of them and we wanted to give them all away to our readers — for free. Unfortunately, it turned out that some books were unavailable, some were sold out and some are still waiting for the next edition. Consequently, we’ve decided to give away at least the books which are available now and keep the rest for future give-aways.

Well, why would we do that? Basically, for four reasons:

  1. we truly appreciate our readers’ support, trust and interest and we want to give something back,
  2. we want to make the Web a better place and encourage designers to help us in achieving this aim,
  3. we like to smash things,
  4. and well, we can afford it2.

In this post we are giving away 8 professional web design-related books — the books cover the topics CSS, usability, user interface design, innovation, web navigation, web form design and JavaScript programming. Hopefully, the winners of the books will be able to widen their horizon in web development and create more effective, more user-friendly and more beautiful web designs.

Please keep in mind: the Smashing Style Switchers Contest3 is running — design a style switcher, submit a comment to our post and and you can win an Apple Cinema 20 Flat Panel Display.

How can I participate?

To participate, you have to

  1. choose one book in the table below which you like most,
  2. write something nice in the comment to this post (one word is enough) and write the number of the book on the next line.

Please notice that

  • participants can post comments until the 14th of June 2008. The comments will be closed on the 15th of June at 00:01 CET.
  • the winners will be determined by a random generator; for each book only the group of visitors who’d like to have the same book will be considered,
  • only participants who’ve selected one book can participate
  • make sure that you fill your e-mail in the comment field correctly, so we can contact you afterwards.

Books You Can Win

# Cover Title

by Author

1 Screenshot Transcending CSS
by Andy Clarke
The fine art of web design. Find out how creative designers learn to be artistic yet functional.
2 Screenshot Designing the Obvious: A Common Sense Approach to Web Application Design

by Robert Hoekman

The book offers practical advice about how to achieve the quality of successful web-based applications and consistently and successfully reproduce them.
3 Screenshot Designing for the Social Web
by Joshua Porter
Learn how to design effective, user-centric social web-applications.
4 Screenshot About Face 3: The Essentials of Interaction Design
by Alan Cooper
Presents the effective and practical tools you need to design great desktop applications, Web 2.0 sites, and mobile devices.
5 Screenshot The Myths of Innovation
by Scott Berkun
This book reveals how ideas truly become successful innovations — truths that people can apply to today’s challenges.
6 Screenshot Designing Web Navigation: Optimizing the User Experience
by James Kalbach
Learn how to design web site navigation properly: how to let people find information and guide them through it.
7 1,000 Graphic Elements

Web Form Design: Filling in the Blanks
by Luke Wroblewski
Learn how to design effective and engaging Web forms.
8 The Designers Complete Index

The JavaScript Anthology: 101 Essential Tips, Tricks & Hacks
by Cameron Adams
Shows how to apply JavaScript to solve over 101 common Web Development challenges.

1. Transcending CSS

Transcending CSS4 by Andy Clarke

Transcending CSS5

The Web has changed, and so has the art of creating web sites. Few visual designers are natural programmers, and as a result, visualizing how to work with markup, CSS and a range of programmatic techniques to create beautiful design is difficult.

To make things more complicated, most web design teaching materials focus on the technical rather than the creative. Countless resources and guides focus on semantics, compliance, and validity. While these are all important, they mean little to the creative designer who wants to impress his or her clients and employers with exceptional design without worrying that the way they approach the design will be compromised by creativity-limiting technical issues. So how do creative designers learn to be artistic yet functional? With Transcending CSS: The Fine Art of Web Design.

2. Designing the Obvious

Designing the Obvious: A Common Sense Approach to Web Application Design6 by Robert Hoekman


Designing the Obvious explores the character traits of successful Web applications and uses them as guiding principles of application design so the end result of every project instills customer satisfaction and loyalty. These principles include building only whats necessary, getting users up to speed quickly, preventing and handling errors, and designing for the activity. Designing the Obvious does not offer a one-size-fits-all development process — in fact, it lets you use whatever process you like. Instead, it offers practical advice about how to achieve the qualities of great Web-based applications and consistently and successfully reproduce them.

3. Designing for the Social Web

Designing for the Social Web9 by Joshua Porter


No matter what type of web site or application you are building, social interaction among the people who use it will be key to its success. They will talk about it, invite their friends, complain, sing its high praises, and dissect it in countless ways. With the right design strategy you can use this social interaction to get people signing up, coming back regularly, and bringing others into the fold. With examples from real-world interfaces and a touch of the underlying social psychology theory, Joshua Porter shows you how to design your next great social web application.

4. About Face 3: The Essentials of Interaction Design

About Face 3: The Essentials of Interaction Design11 by Alan Cooper


Alan Cooper is a professional designer, specialized on software design, and all his knowledge is represented in this book. He makes emphasis on Goal-Directed Design, meaning that goals, not features, are the key to the product success. This technique is based on the use of personas and scenarios to conduct user research. Goals are explained in three categories, experience goals, end goals and life goals.

This volume presents the effective and practical tools you need to design great desktop applications, Web 2.0 sites, and mobile devices. This book will teach you the principles of good product behavior and introduce you to Cooper’s Goal-Directed Design method, from conducting user research to defining your product using personas and scenarios. In short, About Face 3 will show you how to design effective digital products and services.

5. The Myths of Innovation

The Myths of Innovation13 by Scott Berkun


How do you know whether a hot technology will succeed or fail? Or where the next big idea will come from? The best answers come not from the popular myths we tell about innovation, but instead from time-tested truths that explain how we’ve made it this far. This book shows the way.

In The Myths of Innovation, Scott Berkun takes a careful look at innovation history, including the software and Internet Age, to reveal how ideas truly become successful innovations — truths that people can apply to today’s challenges. Using dozens of examples from the history of technology, business, and the arts, you’ll learn how to convert the knowledge you have into ideas that can change the world.

6. Designing Web Navigation

Designing Web Navigation: Optimizing the User Experience by James Kalbach


Thoroughly rewritten for today’s web environment, this book offers a fresh look at a fundamental topic of site navigation design. Amid all the changes to the Web in the past decade, the basic problems of creating a good web navigation system remain. Designing Web Navigation demonstrates that good navigation is not about technology — it’s about the ways people find information, and how you guide them.

7. Web Form Design: Filling in the Blanks

Web Form Design: Filling in the Blanks15 by Luke Wroblewski


Forms make or break the most crucial online interactions: checkout (commerce), registration (community), data input (participation and sharing), and any task requiring information entry. In Web Form Design, Luke Wroblewski draws on original research, his considerable experience at Yahoo! and eBay, and the perspectives of many of the field’s leading designers to show you what you need to know about designing effective and engaging Web forms.

8. The JavaScript Anthology

The JavaScript Anthology: 101 Essential Tips, Tricks & Hacks17 by Cameron Adams


Using a cookbook approach, The JavaScript Anthology will show you how to apply JavaScript to solve over 101 common Web Development challenges. You’ll discover how to optimize your code so that it runs faster, create Ajax applications with the XmlHttpRequest object, validate web forms to improve usability, take control of your web pages with the DOM, ensure that your JavaScript code is accessible and create slick drop-down menu systems.

Included in this book is extensive coverage of DHTML and Ajax, including how-to create and customize advanced effects such as draggable elements, dynamically sorting data in a Web Browser, advanced menu systems, retrieving data from a Web Server using XMLHttpRequest and more. The JavaScript Anthology also includes extensive coverage of object oriented coding, efficient script design, accessibility, and cross-browser issues.


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The Smashing team loves high-quality content and cares about the little details. Through our online articles, Smashing Books, eBooks as well as Smashing Conferences, we are committed to stimulating creativity and strengthening the web design community’s creative forces.

  1. 1

    yes please

  2. 52

    Great blog!

  3. 103

    That’s actually an imaginative kind of contest. Hope next time we’ll have to write a haiku!

  4. 154

    ooo. more lovely free stuff from the lovely smashing magazine.

  5. 205

    Congrats to Smashing Mag! Great selection of books! Thanks!

  6. 256

    oops #1

  7. 307

    Smashing Magazine makes the best lists on the web!

  8. 358

    Book 6 has been on my amazon wishlist for a while!

  9. 409

    Ravil Bayramgalin

    June 9, 2008 3:50 pm

    Oh, i need a lot of luck :P

  10. 460

    I do love this site. Perhaps even moreso when you offer free books. ;)

  11. 511

    Smashing! (hehe that’s my one word)

  12. 562

    mmmmmm … information …. nice ….

  13. 613

    Harley Alexander

    June 9, 2008 3:51 pm

    I’d love to completely master CSS! #1! A book to keep me company in the Summer Holidays would be great!

  14. 664

    Excellent idea! Thanks Smashing Mag!

  15. 715

    ice cream. 1

  16. 766

    d’oh italy!

  17. 817


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  19. 919


    Number 7.

  20. 970

    I was really looking for something like this :)

  21. 1021

    Congrats on winning the Webinale Awards. Very well deserved!

  22. 1072

    I absolutely NEED javascript in my skillset B-) Much love to smashingmag for this contest.

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  24. 1174

    Jason Mitchell

    June 9, 2008 3:56 pm

    Smashing Magazine rocks!

  25. 1225

    Yay, a contest!

  26. 1276

    i think this will be a real blast.


  27. 1327

    You guys are fantastic!


  28. 1378

    respect. you rocks
    (Greg from Hungary)

  29. 1429

    Once again another great article

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  32. 1582

    I am a Smashing Magazine addict! Thanks for all the inspirational posts.

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  34. 1684

    Patrick Iverson

    June 9, 2008 4:00 pm


  35. 1735

    nice books …

  36. 1786

    oh, forget the number :)

  37. 1837

    Have found some great books in the past on here, hoping to get Transcending CSS soon.


  38. 1888

    Jason Andreoni

    June 9, 2008 4:01 pm

    Smashing Magazine, a daily stop for me. Killer articles!


  39. 1939

    Jerry Yarnetsky

    June 9, 2008 4:02 pm

    Y’all feed my brain. Maybe that’s why they call it a feed reader.


  40. 1990


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  42. 2092

    This is a great chance for some great materials! I like the first one! (#1)

  43. 2143

    Nice way of finding out which is the most popular book.

  44. 2194

    I like free books. I like Smashing Magazine even more.

  45. 2245

    Oh, how I wish I were smashing
    Why, that would be quite dashing
    Their articles are the best
    They stand out from the rest!
    The site is so pretty
    And he authors are witty.
    I wanted to win number 4
    So I wrote a poem
    Which was a real chore
    Who knows? Maybe I’ll get some jeroboam!

    #4. Please?

  46. 2296

    Awesome daily creative and inspiring info, I have come to rely on my smashing feed.

    Transcending CSS #1.. please :)

  47. 2347

    yay for smashing magazine! :^)


  48. 2398

    Awesome daily creative and inspiring info, I have come to rely on my smashing feed.


  49. 2449

    I love Smashing Magazine because you guys update the exact right amount – not too much, not too little – and everything is always right on and applicable to me. Thanks :D


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