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

    I’m normally don’t enter contests, but I can’t help but enter the great ones that you’ve been putting up. I had a lot of fun with the textures, and now I’m having a hard time picking a favorite book from this list.


  2. 1802

    Because I don’t have any arms or legs, and all I can use is my eyes, reading makes life bearable, if I don’t have books, I cry.

    Book number 7

  3. 3603

    Oh, forgot the number!

  4. 5404

    Christy Zurcher

    June 10, 2008 6:22 am

    Great idea!


  5. 7205

    excellent. I’m torn but I must go with:


  6. 9006

    nice contest :)

  7. 10807

    Yeah, this rocks so much!


  8. 12608

    I guess “designing the obvious” (as many other obvious things in this world) is the most difficult thing.

  9. 14409

    Your site is awesome!!


  10. 16210

    Michał Bałdyga

    June 10, 2008 6:26 am



  11. 18011

    Awesome !! :)


  12. 19812

    Barkley Anderson

    June 10, 2008 6:27 am

    2. Required reading at work. Gave me new respect for interaction flow and IA.

  13. 21613


  14. 23414

    Haven’t read any of these books, so definitely want to read one.

  15. 25215

    Manuel Escamilla

    June 10, 2008 6:28 am


  16. 27016

    Awesome books. I would love to add Book #5 to my shelf. Thanks for the love SmashingMag!

  17. 28817

    Simply smashing, as always!

  18. 30618


  19. 32419

    not a day whithout smashing magazine

  20. 34220

    Awesome guys!


  21. 36021

    Great contest. Hope I win!


  22. 37822

    Thanks smashing

  23. 39623

    I like myths :P

  24. 41424

    not a day whithout smashing magazine

  25. 43225

    I like books.

  26. 45026

    Love your site, check it everyday.

    # 3

  27. 46827

    This is my first viewed site everyday, thanks guys


  28. 48628



  29. 50429

    All these books seem really good. Hard to pick just one but I would really like to my collection book #1.

  30. 52230

    Very interesting books.

  31. 54031

    Hi, nice contest, again!

  32. 55832


  33. 57633

    Keep smashing.

  34. 59434



  35. 61235

    Awesome! Love the site.
    Give me book #4!

  36. 63036

    Good design, good tips, good marketing, good contest…good site guys!!!

  37. 64837

    Great books!

  38. 66638

    book #2

  39. 68439

    love the cover and I think is great for IA Designer to design effective and engaging Web forms.
    7. Web Form Design: Filling in the Blanks

  40. 70240

    love this site. thanks all
    my choice:

  41. 72041

    Great Idea

  42. 73842

    :D Smashing Magazine rocks.

    Number 3.

  43. 75643

    Love the resources your site provides!

  44. 77444

    iiii wwwaaannnttt nnnuummmbbbeeer 3



  45. 79245

    i like #8. Would be very useful.

  46. 81046


  47. 82847

    I love this blog!!!!!


  48. 84648

    All I can say it WOW. Thanks Smashing Magazine.

  49. 86449

    Smashing Magazine is one of the most innovative and interesting design blogs.

  50. 88250

    Thanks from a loyal reader!


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