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Design for Hackers: Reverse-Engineering Beauty

Book Description

The smash hit introductory design book that debuted at #18 on Amazon

Hackers are able to accomplish so much in so little time because they come from a community that's built upon sharing knowledge. When it comes to programming, they can learn whatever they need to learn by reading manuals, or simply typing in a Google search. But learning design isn't so simple.

Many design books try to teach design through lists of "do's" and "don'ts." But hackers know you need a deeper understanding of something to really do it well. Design for Hackers takes apart design by "reverse-engineering" Impressionist painting, Renaissance sculpture, the Mac OS X Aqua interface, Twitter's web interface, and much more. You'll learn about color theory, typography, proportions, and design principles. This theoretical advice is mixed with concrete, actionable advice such as suggestions for color scheme tools, and a chart of "all of the fonts you'll ever need."

By the end of the book, you'll be seeing design through new eyes.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Table of Contents
  3. Title Page
  4. Introduction
  5. Chapter 1: Why Design Matters
    1. What Design Really Is
    2. What Design Is Not
    3. The Layers of Design
    4. Conclusion
  6. Chapter 2: The Purpose of Design
    1. Visual Design and Its Relation to User Experience Design
    2. Sometimes a Visual Design Is Just Good Enough
    3. Sometimes Visual Design Is Your Advantage
    4. Reverse-Engineering the Twitter User Experience
    5. Knowledge Applied
  7. Chapter 3: Medium and Form in Typography
    1. The Tragedy of Misuse: Why You Hate Comic Sans
    2. The Shackles of the Typographer: The Unalterable Word
    3. The Formation of Our Alphabet
    4. The Birth of Our Letters
    5. The Type That Has Lived On
    6. Garamond Today: Why You Don’t Use Garamond on the Web
    7. Knowledge Applied
  8. Chapter 4: Technology and Culture
    1. How Trends Are Created
    2. SEO Is Design
    3. Knowledge Applied
  9. Chapter 5: Fool's Golden Ratio: Understanding Proportions
    1. What Is Proportion?
    2. Proportion and Design
    3. The Broken Promise of the Golden Ratio
    4. Other Pleasing Proportions
    5. Proportions in Our World
    6. Proportions at Work
    7. Knowledge Applied
  10. Chapter 6: Holding the Eye: Composition and Design Principles
    1. Compositional Relationships
    2. Design Principles
    3. Why the MailChimp Logo Is Beautiful: Use of Composition and Design Principles
    4. Knowledge Applied
  11. Chapter 7: Enlivening Information: Establishing a Visual Hierarchy
    1. What I Mean by “Hierarchy”
    2. Hierarchical Factors in Isolation
    3. Hierarchy at Work
    4. Knowledge Applied
  12. Chapter 8: Color Science
    1. What Is Color?
    2. The Tricks Your Eyes Play
    3. How the Visual System Works
    4. Defining Color
    5. Color Models and Data-Driven Graphics
    6. Thinking in Hexadecimal Color: Understanding the Colors of the Web
    7. Color Models in Action: Why Your Business Card Doesn’t (and Never Will) Match Your Website
    8. Knowledge Applied
  13. Chapter 9: Color Theory
    1. Color Response throughout Human History
    2. Color Response and Human Biology
    3. The Power of Red: Why You Don’t Stand a Chance in the “Target Challenge”
    4. Research on Other Colors
    5. Color and Culture
    6. Color Schemes and the Color Wheel
    7. Color Choices and Web Conventions
    8. The Interaction of Colors: Why Monet Never Used Black
    9. Color Schemes
    10. Creating a Mood with Color
    11. Tools for Creating Color Palettes and Schemes
    12. Knowledge Applied
  14. Appendix A: Choosing and Pairing Fonts
    1. Classifying Typefaces
    2. Looking At Letter Structure: The Form of the Skeleton
    3. Pairing Fonts
    4. All the Fonts You’ll Ever Need
  15. Appendix B: Typographic Etiquette
    1. Distorting Type: What Not to Do
    2. Setting Body Copy
    3. Tending to Typographic Details