Please note this is not affiliate review, this is personal review of “The Smashing Book #3”
This is the 2nd Printed Book I got from Smashing Magazine. I am now the proud owner of Smashing Book #2 which I love and use for my web references. When Smashing Magazine announced their 3rd book, titled “Redesign the Web”, I know I must have this book in order to help me with my Web design career. I am very interested in how this book will relate to my field of Free and Premium WordPress Themes.
As you might imagine, I get hundreds of emails from customers and other designers asking how I can improve their website. Should I use a brand new theme or should I have a custom designed website? It is a very hard question, because I don’t know who visits or how users interact with their website. What I do know is that you have to decide what is working for you and what is not; what part of your website you should keep and what part should be redesigned.
“Redesign the Web” begins with an amazing opening chapter, “Good Designers Redesign, Great Designers Realign”. As a designer we are always looking to give our customers the full redesign of their website, because we can create everything from scratch and charge more money. With realignment, we take the parts of the website that are working and change only the pieces that are no longer acceptable. I can tell you from experience that most customers would love to hear that you can save parts of their website and reuse what you can to make this process smooth and affordable.
Example: ” Say your car broke down and you felt that the engine had to be replaced. Then you had two mechanics look at it and the first one told you that yes you need a brand new engine and the other one told you that we can fix a few things and see if the engine would work to save you some money. I think you would have more trust in the second one because he tried to help you more as a friend would. Same goes for web design / re-design.” Easy to follow tutorial with step-by-step instructions how to start a blog or how to make a website using WordPress with build in drag and drop page builder.
Yes sometimes there is nothing you can do about an old website, the code is old, the website is not performing in new browsers, and its slowing down the user experience. But most of the time, we as web designers have to look from the customer perspective and try to help them save as much of the old design/code as possible.
To me this book will teach you about relationships with your customers, by helping them make the right decisions… by asking questions such as:
What do we want the website to achieve?
What do we want users to do on our site?
What type of testing to conduct?
Custom or third-party systems?
What Typography should we use?
Should it be Responsive?
How to deal with negative feedback?
The more I read “The Smashing Book #3” the more I wanted to know how I could improve my skills and help my customers and how I could gain more trust from them so they will be with me for many years and not just for one project.
This book was written by many well know designers and entrepreneurs who share their passion and who don’t only do it for money but for love. This book in my opinion is the best reference book for any designer as it will give you a great deal of references to support your arguments with potential clients and give you the psychological advantage of what your clients want and need.
Redesign with Personality – “Lasting relationships center on the unique qualities and perspectives we all possess…Personality is the mysterious force that attracts us to certain people and repels us from others.” – Arron Walter
– Who Are “They?”
– Products Are People, Too
– I remember
– I love you, I hate you
At the end of the day its all about the Psychology, so be smart be knowledgeable…make friends not customers..
Leave you with few of my favorite quotes from “The Smashing Book #3”
“If we want users to like our software, we should design it to behave like a likeable person” –Alan Cooper
“I never design a building before I’ve seen the site and met the people who will be using it” — Frank Lloyd Wright
“It’s really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.” — Steve Jobs
I strongly recommend this book to any Web Designer, Entrepreneur and any Creative Passionate Artist.