A couple months ago I finished reading The Smashing Book 2 from the popular web design blog Smashing Magazine. Just like with the first book, I got disappointed. It looks good, it feels good (awesome printing), it covers a variety of topics, but to me it just doesn’t work.
For starter, it feels like a bunch of blog articles put together. I can’t feel the connection among them. Like I said, it covers a wide range of topics, from e-commerce to mobile, typography and print design. I found myself skipping several pages until finding something that I’m actually interested in. Too many different areas covered also means I won’t use the book as a quick reference. Maybe this was intentional so they could reach a broader audience, just a guess.
One chapter in particular covers design patterns in e-commerce based on a research with over 50 websites. Even though the content and results are well put together, this is hardly something I want to read in a book. It would make more sense to see it in a magazine as the results will become dated very fast.
The Smashing Book 2 is not a bad book. It is well written and the authors go very deep into each chapter, they are very informative although not so useful in practise. The chapters cover a lot about strategy and theory.
It’s a great improvement from their first try and I’m sure a lot of people will like it. It just isn’t the book I was expecting considering what Smashing Magazine represents to the web community.