50+ Articles to Make You a Better Web Designer

This post is a collection of some of the best articles that I’ve come across on various topics related to web design. These are excellent, insightful, thought-provoking articles that may be able to help you in your own design career. Some are new and some are a few years old, but they all have something valuable to say.

To make it easier to digest, I’ve categorized them according to topic (with a general category at the end). Choose a few areas that are particularly challenging for you and see what you can learn from these experts.

For more design resources from DesignM.ag please see:


Which CSS Grid Framework Should You Use for Your Web Design? – NETTUTS

6 Keys to Understanding Modern CSS-Based Layouts – Jonathan Snook

Faux Absolute Positioning – A List Apart

Creating Sexy Style Sheets – Vitamin

Efficient CSS with Shorthand Properties – 456 Berea St.

CSS Float Theory: Things You Should Know – Smashing Magazine

CSS Specificity: Things You Should Know – Smashing Magazine

Top Reasons Your CSS Columns Are Messed Up – Warpspire

100% Height Layout Using CSS – Dave Woods


Typography Essentials – A Getting Started Guide – Freelance Folder

Typographic Contrast and Flow – Web Designer Wall

10 Examples of Beautiful CSS Typography and How They Did It – 3.7Crea.tv


Grid-Based Design: Six Creative Column Techniques – Smashing Magazine

Five Simple Steps to Designing Grid Systems – Mark Boulton

Building a Semantic 4-Column CSS Layout – Mirificam Press

Indestructible Website: How to Build an EM Based Layout that Won’t Break – Mirificam Press

Multi-Column Layouts Climb Out of the Box – A List Apart

Setting Type on the Web to a Baseline Grid – A List Apart

An Introduction to Using Patterns in Web Design – 37Signals

CSS Layouts: 40+ Tutorials, Tips, Demos and Best Practices – Noupe

The Incredible Em & Elastic Layouts with CSS – Jon Tan

Whitespace – A List Apart


Color for Coders – Color and Design for the Non-Designer – SitePoint

Choosing Color Combinations – Veerle’s Blog


12 Ways to Tap Into an Endless Well of Creativity – PSDTUTS

8 Web Design Tactics to Help You When You’re Stuck – SEOmoz


Why and How: Styling TeXt Links – Andy Rutledge

Design Decisions vs. Audience Considerations – Digital Web Magazine

Practical Usability Testing– Digital Web

The Ultimate Web Design Usability Checklist– Not Usable

10 Usability Nightmares You Should Be Aware Of– Smashing Magazine

30 Usability Issues to Be Aware Of – Smashing Magazine

23 Actionable Lessons from Eye-Tracking Studies – Virtual Hosting Blog

Usability 101: Introduction to Usability – Jakob Nielson’s Alertbox


A Simple Guide on How to Effectively Talk to Clients – Six Revisions

Getting Design Approval: The Single Mockup Theory – Fadtastic

10 Ways to Get Design Approval – 24 Ways

Free Resource: Pre-Design Questionnaire – Outlaw Design Blog

Design Processes and Why Every Designer Needs One – Positive Space Blog


Evaluating Website Accessibility Part 1 – Background and Preparation – 456 Berea St.

Evaluating Website Accessibility Part 2 – Basic Checkpoints – 456 Berea St.

Evaluating Website Accessibility Part 3 – Digging Deeper – 456 Berea St.

10 Colour Contrast Checking Tools to Improve the Accessibility of Your Web Design – 456 Berea St.

7 Accessibility Mistakes Part 1 – Digital Web Magazine

7 Accessibility Mistakes Part 2 – Digital Web Magazine


Developing with Web Standards – 456 Berea St.

5 Most Common Misconceptions About Web Standards – CSS Globe


Creating a Successful Online Portfolio – Smashing Magazine

Build a Killer Online Portfolio in 9 Easy Steps – Freelance Switch


10 Principles of Effective Web Design – Smashing Magazine

12 Steps to Creating a Professional Web Design – Chromatic Sites

9 Essential Principles for Good Web Design – PSDTUTS

25 Ways to Improve Your Site in 5 Minutes – Fadtastic

35 Designers x 5 Questions – Smashing Magazine

Web Design-isms: 7 Surefire Styles that Work – Vitamin

20 Pro Tips .Net Magazine

7 Crucial Tips for Designing and Maintaining a Large Site – NETTUTS

Design Cheat Sheets for Front-End Web Developers – Six Revisions

Understanding YSlow: What Matters; What Doesn’t – Templature

Stephen Snell is the owner and editor of Vandelay Design, a popular design blog.
  1. Pingback: 50+ Articles to Make You a Better Web Designer | WhiteSandsDigital.com

  2. August 13, 2008

    Nice post, thanks for the resources. Can’t wait for 456 Berea St to get back from vacation.

  3. Pingback: Autos and motos: all news and articles » Blog Archive » 50+ Articles to Make You a Better Web Designer

  4. August 13, 2008

    Hey there,

    I love it, loads of useful resources. Bit ashamed a few of mine didn’t get on there, maybe next time aye!


  5. August 13, 2008

    I agree with your design philosophy but I don’t agree that the world is ready for css layout exclusively. Case in point, try looking at this page in IE6.

  6. August 13, 2008

    Wow… excellent list. They are all great reads. I will be spending the next few days reading them all!

  7. August 13, 2008

    Wow its a must see if you want be a web designer.Kudos.

  8. August 13, 2008

    Wow, thanks for this! These all sound like very interesting reads which I’m sure will come in helpful. πŸ™‚

  9. Pingback: 50+ Articles to Make You a Better Web Designer | My Shits and Giggles

  10. Pingback: links for 2008-08-13 « ε€‹δΊΊηš„γͺι›‘θ¨˜

  11. Steven Snell
    August 13, 2008

    Agreed. Their return will be welcomed.

    Thanks for sharing your opinion. The issues with this site in IE6 aren’t the fault of anything or anyone but me as the designer. Obviously I need to do a bit of tweaking to get things right. I just haven’t had the time and since almost none of my visitors use IE6 it hasn’t taken priority.

  12. August 13, 2008

    great thanks

  13. August 14, 2008

    Excellent list! Some of these I’ve seen but it looks like a lot of ones I haven’t, a great read for a rainy day, thanks! Something to add to the list, the 960 layout – http://960.gs/ Interesting things seem to happen when you apply grids. Cheers!

  14. August 14, 2008

    How did I just find this blog? What a killer resource! Keep it up!

  15. August 15, 2008

    those are lost of articles:)thanks for the list

  16. August 16, 2008

    Thanks for assembling this – it’s the kind of list every designer needs to bookmark for long-term reference.

  17. Pingback: School Is In Session - 100 Design Articles To Keep You Motivated : Part 1

  18. Pingback: Weekly Links #14 | GrantPalin.com

  19. August 18, 2008

    Thanks for the Tips!

  20. Pingback: 50 Articles For Web Designers

  21. Pingback: links for 2008-08-30 | η”˜ε…ˆη”Ÿblog

  22. Pingback: Links For 13 August 2008 « GfxDizayn

  23. June 14, 2010

    Yep, now I’m better!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Interview with Chris Coyier of CSS-Tricks