Recommended reading list

Written by Jamie Freeman

These are some of the books that we've found particularly helpful in our work. You'll see that they all get at least four stars on Amazon. If you have any suggestions for books you've found especially helpful or interesting please let us know.

500 Simple Web Design Hints, Tips and Techniques

Written by our very own creative director Jamie Freeman, this essential reference for beginner and progressing web designers is available from Amazon

Visit the book microsite for more information...

Usability/Accessibility

Don't Make Me Think!

by Steve Krug and Roger Black

Subtitled 'A Common Sense Approach To Web Usability' this book is an illuminating read and is always kept close at hand - a constant resource during website design phases.

Designing Web Usability

by Jakob Nielsen

Sorry to be so literal, but Jakob Nielsen pretty much wrote the book on the subject of usability. An essential read for anyone who doesn't understand why they should design their sites with the user in mind.

Programming and Technical

DOM Scripting

by Jeremy Keith

When not working at Message our friend & programmer Jeremy has been sharing his pioneering knowledge of web design with JavaScript and the Document Object Model.

MySQL

by Paul DuBois

Published by New Riders, this hefty book is a valuable technical reference.

PHP and MySQL Web Development

by Welling and Thompson

For many people, PHP and MySQL go together like the proverbial horse and carriage. This book focuses on real-world applications, and the work-throughs make excellent jumping-off points for your own projects.

Professional PHP

by Argerich et al

Aimed at those web professionals who need to take PHP to the next level. Over 900 pages of hard-core PHP action!

Project Management

Web Project Management

by Ashley Friedlein

Incredibly helpful in working out the strategies we use for producing web projects small and large.

The Unusually Useful Web Book

by June Cohen

Like many of the books here, this one is just as useful for those on the client side as it is for us in planning, building and maintaining websites. This book is ideal for those who don't like to read too much and is full of hand-on practical tips, examples and reminder lists.

Web Redesign Workflow that Works

by Kelly Goto and Emily cotler

Another of the books which have influenced our web project processes, with contributions from Zeldman, Veen, Nielsen and more.

Business

Cluetrain Manifesto

by Christopher Locke, et al

One of the most exciting books out there for anyone in business, internet-related or otherwise. If you get it, it will either change your whole outlook, or confirm what you suspected. And it's nice to know you're not alone!

Content

Plain English Guide - Oxford Quick Reference

by Martin Cutts

This could go under 'Accessibility' of course. Full of excellent advice like 'Many folk insist that putting a comma before 'and' is bad. Ignore them'. For anyone involved in creating text for web sites this is a must-have reference and an interesting dip-and-read.

The Economist Style Guide

Based on The Economist's house style manual, it's basic advice is 'Think what you want to say, then say it as simply as possible'. Sobering reading for the verbose and an excellent manual for improving the quality of your site's content.

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