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3.6 out of 5 stars7
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VINE VOICEon 26 April 2009
I'm a professional web designer and have been in the new media industry for over 15 years. I rarely buy technical books these days since so much knowledge is available for free on the web, but I was excited to get hold of this tome by Elliot Jay Stocks since he's an excellent designer and I hoped to tap into what it is that sets him apart from the rest of us.

Unfortunately, this book doesn't do that. There isn't enough here to inspire you to create truly original, breathtaking designs. You'll have to look elsewhere for that kind of inspiration, such as on-line CSS galleries, and for that reason I think the title of the book is slightly misleading.

'Sexy Web Design' will be much more valuable to beginner web designers. Elliot takes you through a typical web design process up to the point of delivery of design comps. He looks at everything from initial research, to site structure, layout, colour, typography, style, visual flair and technical considerations. There are many ideas and concepts addressed, including colour theory, grid systems for layout, web safe fonts, etc. As a book outlining a sound web design process and a checklist of all the compromises and considerations that go into that process, it delivers pretty well.

It will also be very insightful for the more experienced designer who never plans their work and simply jumps straight into PhotoShop without thinking about what their website needs to achieve.

If you've been in the industry for a few years and worked to an established design process (Research, Requirements Gathering, Information Architecture, Layout/Design/Style) then this book won't teach you much. But if any of those stages are alien to you and you don't understand the full process, then this book is probably worthwhile.

Even though I think this book is useful for inexperienced designers, I do have some reservations. The main issue is a lack of detail. The book skips through at a brisk pace and you'll get through it in well under two hours. I would have liked to see a more detailed break down of some stages, for example: How to work with clients, how to brain storm and come up with concepts and refine them through collaboration and iteration. Kudos for linking out to useful websites where appropriate, but a little more text would have been welcome.

'Sexy Web Design' does seem overpriced. You're paying over £30 for about 140 pages of actual content (many of these being large screen-shots) and I don't think you get enough for your money. To be fair the price is because the printing is in full colour (and it's a beautifully designed book, no question), but for this price I'd expect something more detailed and definitive; as it stands it's a little lightweight.

As an overview of good web design practices, 'Sexy Web Design' offers lots of useful advice for inexperienced web designers. More experienced designers are likely to be a bit disappointed.
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on 15 June 2009
I found this book a great read for people either starting out in web design or for people who want to strengthen their webdesign skills.
At first, the title has perhaps led me to expect this book to reveal some exciting secrets of great webdeisgn, but once I got over the initial disappointment and realised that my expectations were somewhat ridiculous, I found this book to be quite good.
It ties the various aspects of the job together very nicely and paints a clear picture of the process as a whole. Elliot does a great job at explaining best practices in a light and entertaining manner which makes the book an easy and entertaining read. I'd heartily recommend this book to my webdesign students.

Although as an experienced web designers I did not find a whole lot of new information in this book, it has inspired me to think about new design ideas and I found myself sketching away while reading it. So as far as I'm concerned, the book has definitely done its job!
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on 29 June 2011
Have you ever wondered if your design process is the right one for your projects? Have you ever thought that maybe there's a step missing or maybe a specific phase that needs more emphasis on? After doing some research on the subject I found out that Elliot Jay Stocks, a very cool designer from the UK, had recently written a book about this called Sexy Web Design published by Sitepoint, a cool Aussie based book publisher and web & design reference website.

Overall idea of the book

In this book, Elliot shows you his process of creating a sexy website, from the initial briefing with the client to the final updates on the mockup. The author explains the purpose of each phase, exemplifies showing successful websites online and applies the proper technique on a demo project that is covered throughout the book.

Although the book covers a lot of content, the book doesn't go very deep on each of them and some topics are left with just a few lines of explanation. Elliot tries to fix this issue by giving external references but sadly they are mostly to Sitepoint links or their books, which sound a little biased. Don't get me wrong, I'm a frequent reader of Sitepoint`s website but it wouldn't hurt to throw a few more references.

The highlights

The chapter which covers inspiration and mood on websites is spot on just like the briefing and initial sketches approach suggested by the author. I like the idea of spending more time away from the computer to get your mind in the right place.

Conclusion

I would really recommend this book to any web designer. Even if you are sure that your design process is good enough for your projects, there's always something interesting that lights a bulb in your head.
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on 25 September 2010
This book is good at helping with the design and continuity of web pages.

Combine this with the principles of 'Don't make me think' and the best practice of 'Forms that work' and you have a powerful trio.
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on 15 June 2009
I am a part-time freelance web developer/designer in the UK, I tend to buy all the latest design and development books as a learning tool and to keep up to date with all the latest trends.

I have found this book to be just as helpful as any book I've ever read, I'm a huge fan of Elliot's work and the standard of this book doesn't surprise me.

This a surely another must have book for your collection.
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on 15 June 2009
I've always enjoyed Elliott's writing style through his contributions to various industry magazines, and I have to say, he's as good as ever here. He has a light style that doesn't detract from the information he provides, and always manages to convey the theory behind the practice. Would heartily recommend buying this book.
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on 26 May 2009
I was expecting great things after reading Sitepoint's Beautiful Web Design. Sadly Sexy Web Design does not deliver. In fact it doesn't really bring anything new to the table at all. The author references Beautiful Web design frequently when his poorly crafted ramblings fail to explain a concept.

Another gripe I had was the images referenced as examples are often a page turn away, resulting in infuriating page flipping and loosing your place in the text. In a book about sexy design I would expect better design.

I did like the chapter on aesthetics, but if I buy a book I expect to find the whole thing useful. With quite a hefty price tag this book does not represent good value. If you want an amazing book on good web design then buy Jason Beaied's book instead.
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