Review of Design for Hackers
Like many other developers, I didn't come out of the womb as the mythical triple-threat, that is someone who can code, design, and implement those designs. And while it's not hard to build skills to be a better developer and implement the what the designers give you, it's rather difficult to become a better designer.
David Kadavy's Design for Hackers won't replace a four-year design school education but it goes very far to distill down the fundamentals. Kadavy spends a great deal of time explaining the hows and whys of composition and proportion and takes you on an abbreviated art history course in explaining color theory. You are also treated to a short whirlwind tour of typography. Most importantly for developers, he explains WHY.
Many times when I would ask a designer what makes good design, the answers would be very nondescript and felt like design was an innate skill that you've either got or not. Design for Hackers truly is, it cracks the code for us devs.
Design for Hackers: Reverse Engineering Beauty!