The Design of Sites – Patterns for Creating Winning Web Sites by Van Duyne, Landay, and Hong
This book does for web design what the gang of four book did for object-oriented software development. It contains, quite simply, the best catalog of design patterns and paradigms ever published for building web sites with great user experiences. It begins with a survey of the different web site genres on the net and advice on how to design sites around these genres to hit your target audience. What follows are best practices for everything found on modern web sites: branding, navigation, accessibility, personalization/customization, browsing and searching, efficient shopping, and much more. It concludes with advice on how to tune the speed of your sites to ensure that users get a snappy response and want to come back for more. It contains 1000s of full color example screenshots illustrating the knowledge they are sharing. My only caution to you is that you be so inspired by this book, you will want to use ALL the patterns in every new site you build.
Check out the complete Architect Bookshelf series for more recommendations for software architects.