Professional Web Design: Our First eBook


The book contains a selection of our best articles about professional Web design and the business side of web development. It contains 10 already published articles and 2 exclusive, newly written pieces. The book costs only $9.90.


This e-book contains a selection of the best articles about professional Web design that have been published on Smashing Magazine in 2009 and 2010. The articles have been carefully edited and prepared for the PDF version; some screenshots and links were removed to make the book easier to read and print out.

This book presents guidelines for professional Web development, including communicating with clients, creating a road map to a successful portfolio, rules for professional networking and tips on designing user interfaces for business Web applications. The book shares expert advice, and it also helps you learn how to respond effectively to design criticism, use storytelling for a better user experience and apply color theory to your professional designs.

Buy now and download PDF right away!7

Order now!118

Everybody who buys the book supports Smashing Magazine and helps us to keep producing free high quality content. This book is not protected by DRM. It is available exclusively here, in the Smashing Shop. Please respect our work and the hard efforts of our writers. If you received this book from a source other than the Smashing Shop, please support us by purchasing your copy in our online store10.

Table of Contents

On 242 pages you will read:

  • Harsh Truths About Corporate Websites (Paul Boag)
  • Portfolio Design Study: Design Patterns and Current Practices (Vitaly Friedman)
  • Creating A Successful Online Portfolio (Sean Hodge)
  • Better User Experience With Storytelling (Francisco Inchauste)
  • Designing User Interfaces For Business Web Applications (Janko Jovanovic)
  • Progressive Enhancement And Standards Do Not Limit Web Design (new article by Christian Heilmann)
  • Color Theory for Professional Designers (Cameron Chapman)
  • Is John The Client Dense or Are You Failing Him? (Paul Boag)
  • How To Identify and Deal With Different Types Of Clients (Robert Bowen)
  • How To Respond Effectively To Design Criticism (Andrew Follett)
  • Web Designer’s Guide to Professional Networking (new article by Steven Snell)
  • Group Interview: Expert Advice For Students and Young Web Designers (Steven Snell)

Please also spread the word on Twitter13 and share on Facebook14. We appreciate your support!


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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

    Smashing, you guys rock, I visit your site often in a month. Free content, Great quality content…
    So how are you making money? I ask myself
    Did you realy think a book would fly off the virtual shelf when we can already get your info for free?

    What else… Ads?
    hmm maybe you should charge more for your ad locations and have more that…[counting on this page]…what, 12 ads? and always the same!!! Are they ads or your favorite links.

    Look I don’t love ads either but if you are in finacial whoos, look elsewhere than your users. Newspapers are having a hard time selling ads, you shouldn’t!

    You covered many, many, many web design and development topics and tips. With 400+ comments and counting, seems like there is one topic you never covered or STUDIED. Sales and money…

    Sureveys? don’t remember seeing any… maybe I just missed them!

    I support you, by coming to your site, using, learning CLICKING ON ADS.
    So don’t ask me for money like I made the mistake.

    I DO wish you the best. Take my comment as you will. Hope the last few people you hired had good new ideas, otherwise you have an imbalanced team.

  2. 352

    Since the redesign you lot went downhill fast. This is like watching a car crash. Change your ads to dreamweaver and build-your-site-in-a-day offers. Your newfound community will eat it up.

  3. 703

    I’m so put off by this that I don’t even know where to start.

    So you lied to us about your financial “trouble” and now you are claiming that you weren’t asking for donations even though the text clearly said: “Today we need your financial support. Please help us by buying our new eBook …”

    This event has really changed my opinion of Smashing Magazine. Ive removed it from my bookmarks and will no longer make it a must see site.

    Sorry guys but I simply don’t trust or respect you anymore…..

  4. 1054


    Don’t worry Smashing Magazine, everyone makes mistakes. Hell you lost my book too, but generously replaced it with tracked airmail. I <3 you guys/girls.

    You are an indispensable portal for web designers/developers everywhere. Keep up the good work.

  5. 1405

    Sorry for the hard times. eBook, paperback doesn’t matter. I support the smashing magazine 100% this is the best resource yet to keep me up to date with trends and best practices. Whoever is complaining obviously has too much time on their hands and don not understand that some of us need to make money to survive as well as provide jobs for others through self success. I honestly thought you changed to little of a price on the ebook and the book to make an honest profit. Profits create jobs for others. Furthermore please make an iPhone app that keeps us up to date with the latest post and charge at least 2.99 per download. Hard work and passion should be rewarded. Thanks for everything.

    • 1756

      If you follow Smashing Magazine for best practices…. They don’t even eat their own dogfood. Read the w3c guidelines, WCAG guidelines and maybe a blog thats been around for a lot longer than Smashingmagazine, is on par with the quality and content writers, and does not demand your money to act as a resource, read alistapart. It survived…

      Don’t blame my complaining on having too much time on my hands, or not understanding marketing and business. If anything blame SmashingMagazine for having poor marketing and business skills.

      I was responsible for ordering 10 smashing magazine books, for the designers and design-oriented developers in my company. In that sense you can blame me. I feel like I failed, and no more orders from me. I really hope they made a loss creating and sending those 10 books. They already act like they do, and me pumping about 200Euros into a site has caused them these finincial woes.

  6. 2107

    Also, I purchased both, can’t wait for the next materials. Great work!!

  7. 2458

    Guys, you’ve helped me become a much better designer over the last year or two and i’m forever in your debt. This maybe a PR stunt, but I like to think that you guys are a honest, hard working bunch of people and I believe that financial issues can haunt any size company. I hope you all pull through and keep up the quality work. Currently printing out my PDF as I type…

  8. 2809

    Im not going to get into the reasoning behind selling this book, as stated in the posts above, but I’ll provide my thoughts on the book:

    For anyone contemplating, or sitting on the fence, about buying this book… this is 200+ pages of awesome. Imagine being able to flip through SmashingMagazine’s quality articles in the comfort of your own pdf browser. This is especially helpful for people on low bandwidth connections – its not a big download at all! Finally we can own a book that’s actually RELEVANT to the design issues and challenges in today’s market. I try to be smart with my money but this was really worth the investment.

  9. 3160

    Bought it! Keep it up! :)

  10. 3511

    Bought the printed book, wish it was in pdf though – but I can wait =)

  11. 3862

    And also, I really think smashingmag should now officially publish an “errata” post to cover the things up…

  12. 4213

    Yes I do also wonder if perhaps this book wasn’t pushed hard enough and the store room is overfilled with a backlog of books that need ridding of. It’s the first time I have seen it – and I am a regular reader also.

    I kind of feel if you guys were so strapped for cash you wouldn’t have just overhauled your whole site recently.

    Was a hard push guys. There are plenty of ways selling some-thing other than crying poor.

  13. 4564

    You are doing a wonderful job all these days, its time for us to support you. I got a book and Would also recommend my friends to buy one.

  14. 4915

    Smashing Magazine makes a perfect job. I already got my printed book.

    Did you borrow the “order now” icon from Amazon? First I thought I can buy the book there.

  15. 5266

    hello smashing magazine i am so upset i order a shmashing book printed edition and i pay international air mail fees from February 18, 2010 for now i receive nothing and i dont know where to track or who to ask so please feedback me about my order number #100011473 on my email

    but what can i do i love smashing magazine blog it the best of the best i will buy this pdf book now to help and support and if you need any kind of money support i can donate just coz of my love to you and you have good audience here in Saudi Arabia

  16. 5617

    Oh, you’re going down because at least two reasons:
    1. Published too fast articles and consumed the already found out there, and now you’re left with a simple choice, either publish rubbish just to get going, or decrease the numbers of articles of a period of time.
    2. No one, and I repeat , NO ONE should stay this long on the market with only but a collection of articles. Eventually things caught up with you…


  17. 5968

    bought the eBook, like your transparent attitude too.

    I think there are still many opportunities for smashingmag:
    * redesign the page for more (but not disturbing) ads.
    * the ads in your rss feed has not been changed since several months, you surely have many subscribers.
    * cooperate with freelancing sites to organize some meetups, barcamps or conferences
    * authorize translations of your content / book to other languages
    * sell kindle books
    * clone something like 37signals’
    * organize design contests

    Grüße aus Nürnberg, wünsche Euch eine frohe Ostern!

  18. 6319

    Smashing is a great resource for help and advice. Thanks and keep up the great work.

  19. 6670

    Got it! Thanks and I hope it helped…

  20. 7021

    Hai SM,
    I wish to buy this book.Am from Cochin-Kerala-india.
    How can i purchase?What is the price in India?Can I buy this online?
    Is its print version available??
    Please give me detailed reply.
    Thank you.

  21. 7372

    Hai SM,
    Can I have its print version? It can be a good asset if i have.

  22. 7723

    Just ordered the eBook after reading this post. You guys provide such valuable information to the web community. Information that has helped me learn so much! So it’s the least I could do. I hope things work out for you guys!

  23. 8074

    I just ordered printed WordPress book. I love this magazine – it gave me lot of usefull info that made me money – so I guess sending some back is least I can do.
    It is just a slow season for all in the spring. I guess people like to go out now, so internet activity is low. It’s just us nerds now :)

  24. 8425

    Make the Smashing Book available as a PDF and I’ll buy it today.

  25. 8776

    How about making a professional web development book that focuses strictly on programming techniques to follow?

  26. 9127
  27. 9478

    Very disappointed in Smashing. Quite surprised because I totally love the articles, the design, your approach etc. More than quite surprised, it just seems way out of character that this happened to you all. So I want to offer my insight below.

    In your apology you write: “We prepared the eBook #1 in order to earn some money. ” That is a very casual phrase compared to the initial post that said: “Only sound financial conditions can guarantee the steady stream of high quality content which you are used to on Smashing Magazine. Today we need your financial support.”

    If its true that the eBook was created to earn some money, then the initial post was a huge misrepresentation and quite frankly your apology was too soft for my tastes. It should have read:

    “We very poorly communicated our objectives in selling the book. What we posted came across as a plea for help instead of letting you know about an eBook we were offering for sale. The two are very different messages, and we profoundly apologize for that. In the future we will be much more careful about our statements and formulations.”

    That ends my insight. I can now move on and continue to be a big fan of Smashing magazine.

  28. 9829

    Hello! Must I ask, is the paperback version available?

  29. 10180

    Smashing Magazine has helped me and my office in great web designing.

    If you can only make your books freely available here in our country (The Philippines) , I will get it right from the bookstore shelves.

    I hope Smashing Magazine can wriggle out of its situation.

  30. 10531

    Bought! Great contents, but…
    just a stupid tought, pagination is so simple and flat that it doesn’t look made by experts like you.
    I’m not telling that you need to hire David Carson to do your guides, but please don’t follow the o’Reilly guidelines. You talk code, but you talk style and aestethic too and your audience is made by designers who love visually pleasant stuff.
    So please, for guide #2 try harder! ;)

    And… thanks guys! thanks for all the times you helped me with my work!

  31. 10882

    Btw, you seem to make so many people that this is the best of the best. How interesting you should act as such. Let me then ask these:
    1. Any one tried it out on Laptops where many of us still use 1024px?
    2. or . as last checked there were a bunch of errors and no compliance accepted. Take a look now before they act to correct that, although they didn’t care less in the last few years I presume :)

    And this is just the surface scratch…

  32. 11233

    SM is the only real professional web design / web development web site on the Internet. I don’t know what others are thinking but you should think of a professional members area. Maybe $10 dollars / 10 Euro / year for the members area. (WordPress add-ons exist)

    Inside of the members area:

    – Downloads (.psd files, icons, all the graphics you offer)

    Free (people who don’t want to pay 10 bucks) users shouldn’t be allowed to download your quality stuff.

    Of course $10 is VERY cheap… but most people look at the price and 10 bucks is OK for a teenager as well as for a senior…

    So you should start up some poll and ask your users if they want to pay for a exclusive members area.

  33. 11584

    Seriously! I have already been looking yahoo and google for hours just for this and i also finally found it in this article!

  34. 11935

    I thanks a lot to smashingmagazine
    such a very very good web site
    Daily i browse this site.

  35. 12286

    Renato Stuparić

    March 22, 2010 1:58 pm

    ajde pomozi mi i pošalji mi knjigu, platio sam je al nisam dobio link za download. mogu ti poslati broj transkcije kao dokaz da sam platio. hvala unaprijed


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