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Review: The Web Designer’s Idea Book

Book Review: The Web Designer’s Idea Book by Patrick McNeil

The popular Design Meltdown website by Patrick McNeil recently got converted into book form. The first book of this series contained many samples of web projects from around the globe that display excellent use of color, layout, harmony and other aspects of design theory.

The problem with this book is that it’s a book. Web pages, not one to be confined by the physical limitations of paper, don’t always fit well in print. The result was small images packaged into pages with little room to really absorb the full detail of the site’s artwork.

While the sites were all attributed with their original links, this being a book, it’s stuck in its current form forever. As a result, many of the web pages I personally liked the most didn’t exist anymore or if they did, they didn’t exist in the same fashion as before. More often that not, the redesigns didn’t reflect as much identity as the prior design. It’s a trend I’ve noticed in eliminating more design elements for the sake of separating it from content, giving the site authors the ability to push content to other outlets and platforms without much fuss or trouble.

In all, a super-quick read. I skimmed the whole thing in about 15 minutes. A little pricey for what it’s value is likely to be in just a few months (almost zero). The second version of the book is due out soon. Hopefully for Kindle users.

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Photo of Justin Harter


Justin has been around the Internet long enough to remember when people started saying “content is king”.

He has worked for some of Indiana’s largest companies, state government, taught college-level courses, and about 1.1M people see his work every year.

You’ll probably see him around Indianapolis on a bicycle.

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