Design for Hackers: Reverse Engineering Beauty

David Kadavy

Published by






Reviewed by

Kris Seeburn FBCS CITP


8 out of 10

This book looks at design, layout, fonts and colour theory for websites and web applications. The author covers all the main points of design, how design affects the way we use things and how, through understanding your design decisions, you can make better decisions.

The book starts with a thorough introduction into why we consider things we see as being beautiful or well designed. It goes through the history of considered design as far back as the time of ancient Rome, pulling examples from unexpected places, up until the current day.

The author shows how the human brain is hard-wired to appreciate certain things and how creators can take advantage of these physiological factors to create our own beautiful and user-friendly designs.

The book is well organised and straightforward. Each of the main elements of design are given a chapter and covered thoroughly: what they are, how they work and why they exist in a historical context. There are plenty of visual examples that are current and useful.

Typography and fonts are given special preference, given the importance and history, and a practical guide for using them in most situations is given in an appendix.

This book makes an interesting read for programmers and hackers new to the topic. As an overall guide to design, it's a great starting point and covers the bases, but is not a detailed guide on every topic.

Further information: Wiley

January 2012