Top 10 Best Web Design Books for Beginners

Vladislav Gavriluk

Vladislav Gavriluk

CEO & Founder at Arounda

There are plenty of ways to learn how to build sites and make them look modern. Aspiring specialists choose online courses on Udemy and Coursera, listen to Youtube channels, and read blogs. And a textbook on HTML and CSS might seem out of date, but is it really so?

Self-education is a shared addiction in Arounda design agency. Sometimes we decide to read different books on design and share main ideas with each other. It helps us grow together in a rapidly developing world of design.

In this article, we discuss our favorite web design books for beginners that helped us at the very start of our design journey.  

1. Learning Web Design: A Beginner’s Guide

The book is an ideal entry point to web design. It gives you a broad perspective on web programming, starting from HTML and CSS and further into JavaScript. Each chapter includes short exercises and quizzes to help you master techniques and concepts. When you read to the end, you will be able to develop a simple site with table-organized pages that will be displayed correctly on mobile devices. 

`Learning Web Design` is well-structured and easy to comprehend and will provide a solid foundation in web design.  

Link to book

2. Responsive Web Design with HTML5 and CSS3

Responsive design methods allow displaying content beautifully on tablets, smartphones, TVs, and all other screen sizes. The author Ben Frain moves along a well-honed movie website project to demonstrate a series of technologies on real examples instead of building an unbearable theoretical boulder.   

The book focuses on the enchanting powers of HTML5 and CSS3. HTML5 sections focus on new elements, while the CSS3 part explains the advanced possibilities of Transitions, Animations, or Text Shadows. Altogether, 324 pages of practical advice are one of the best responsive web design books ever. 

Link to book


Your website may start with a book and with Arounda agency. Let`s have a talk.

3. Visual Quickstart Guide

In this guide, two authors support your flashlight start in web design. Elizabeth Castro has written several bestselling computer books, while Bruce Hyslop has been in web development since 1997 and has participated in projects for BBC, Disney, Logitech, Nokia, Toyota, and more. 

Under the red cover, you will find all the essentials of HTML and CSS in polished instructions and friendly prose. The book teaches adding images, links, styles, forms, videos, audio, and visual effects. You'll learn about web standards and how to structure your site. Moreover, you will be able to debug and publish your site.  

Link to book

4. UX for Beginners: A Crash Course in 100 Short Lessons

`UX for Beginners` started as an email newsletter, grew into a viral blog, and then transformed into a widely popular book. It’s not just about user-friendly rubber ducks. It’s about real cases packed in 100 lessons covering all of the UX fundamentals. 

You will learn how size, color, and layouts affect users, how to create and manage wireframes, master the art of making anything user-friendly, measure and research fantastic things that users do in the real world, and make your designs memorable and persuasive. We find this edition is one of the best web design books for beginners.  

Link to book

5. Mobile Design Book

This one is really small. Only 68 pages show what distinguishes a wonderful mobile app from a terrible one. Every topic is explained by comparing two apps: the bad one and the good one. This way, you learn about color use, navigation, form, and readability from real design examples. 

Mobile Design Book is for young designers who want to know the secrets of making better mobile apps, developers eager to understand mobile design from the front-end perspective, marketers, and CEOs, who like to dig into the core of the process. 

Link to book

6. Designing with the Mind in Mind

Did you know that UI practitioners use cognitive psychology to develop workable designs? Well, Jeff Johnson’s book provides you with a broad understanding of the psychological backgrounds that stand behind clicking the CTA button.  

One of the grounding books about web design. It doesn’t give you a magic checklist of rules to ensure your UI design will be executed as expected. Instead, you will find a spectrum of common design decisions with detailed explanations of how they affect the user. The clear writing style and rich illustrations make `Designing with the Mind in Mind` a decent addition to a personal or professional library.  

Link to book

7. Don’t Make Me Think: A Common-sense Approach to Web Usability

`Don’t Make Me Think` by Steve Krug is ancient. New Riders published the first edition in 2000. But if you design, manage, write, code, or own a website, you must read it because the book contains timeless concepts on web usability. 

You will learn how to put yourself into the position of a person using your site. If you write down all your “aha” moments and put these insights to work, you will manage to build more effective ways for your website visitors. 

The book is ironic and entertaining, which will please both a design veteran and younger padawans. It deserves a place in the best web design books 2023 review. 

Link to book

8. Web Development and Design Foundations

If you are looking for a fundamental textbook on HTML and CSS, this one is exactly what you need. `Web Development and Design Foundations` by Terry Ann Felke-Morris covers not only the hard skills with HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript but also soft skills such as design and promotion strategies.  

The book guides you through basic topics such as text configuration, color configuration, and page layout and then smoothly reaches scripts, accessibility, and Web standards. It comes with downloadable materials that make tutoring much easier. But be prepared to meet the 720 pages volume.  

Link to book

9. HTML and CSS: Design and Build Websites

This edition ruins all stereotypes about how the programming book should look like. It is more like a magazine — pleasant to touch and beautiful to look at. You will definitely want to flip through it again and again. The book is published in full color, huge infographics simplify new or complex concepts, and each topic starts from a new page to ease up the search. 

You will learn to implement images, audio, and video, control typography and layouts, and structure web pages with HTML and CSS3. The book comes with examples available online at: www.htmlandcssbook.com

Link to book

10. Designing with Web Standards

‘Designing with Web Standards’ proves once again that cool designers create the best web design books. Jeffrey Zeldman's personal designer blog has millions of visitors, while Ethan Marcotte is the one who coined the term ‘responsive design.’

This book is the last in our review because it would be more helpful to designers with a well-rounded foundation in HTML and CSS. It teaches professional-level techniques and concepts to develop sophisticated websites. You will learn advanced techniques to solve common web design issues as well as quality assurance, functionality, and accessibility standards.   

Link to book


Kindle or paperback, thin or thick — each of the ten web design books can help build your mastery.

As the Arounda team encounters challenging projects such as the NFT marketplace or the SaaS HR platform, we explore new edges of UI/UX design. And at the same time, we often return to our favorite bookmarks and rethink grounding concepts. We believe that good books allow us to build well-structured knowledge of the subject and therefore recommend not to avoid them in educating yourself.  

If you are about to open a new page with your digital product and look for answers about design, branding, or marketing strategy, just drop us a line.  

Vladislav Gavriluk
Vladislav Gavriluk
CEO & Founder at Arounda
I make sure our clients get the high-quality result from the beginning stage of the idea discovery & strategy to the final digital product.

Frequently asked questions

  • Can I learn web design on my own?

    Books, online courses, YouTube channels, professional blogs, and online communities provide the necessary materials to master web design. But you will also need persistence and time for successful self-education.

  • How do I start studying web design?

    Choose a course or a book that will provide you with a solid foundation in HTML and CSS, as well as an overview of Java, and go through it.

  • Is web designing difficult to learn?

    It might be difficult to master coding for the web. You will need to understand HTML and CSS logic and peculiarities. But this is not harder than learning a foreign language.

Continue reading

Hungry for more?

Sign up to our newsletter to get weekly updates on the trends, case studies and tools