Future Simple Steps

Where to find the authors and books of the now closed Five Simple Steps.


The closure of Five Simple Steps means that many authors are selling their books from their own sites. Please support them by purchasing directly from them, and recommending the books you have found useful.

  • Destiny Montague and Lara Hogan

    Building a Device Lab cover

    Learn to build a mobile testing device lab with advice on purchasing, power solutions, usability, and much more in this handy pocket guide.

    Read Building a Device Lab
  • Geri Coady

    Colour Accessibility cover

    We often take colour for granted when choosing palettes for our designs, assuming the appearance will be the same for everyone.

    In reality, the choices that look good to people with good colour vision could cause serious usability problems for people affected by various forms of colour-blindness, a type of disability that affects the perception of colour and occurs in a surprisingly large percentage of the population.

    This Pocket Guide will teach you how to create designs that are accessible to people with colour-blindness without sacrificing aesthetics.

    Buy Colour Accessibility
  • Tim Brown

    Combining Typefaces cover

    Combining typefaces is challenging and fun, but it takes practice. Successful combinations are partly a matter of good taste, which can be tough to develop. And finding typefaces that work well together often takes more time than we (or our managers, or our spouses!) think it should.

    This pocket guide will give you a framework for efficient practice, lead you to founts of knowledge and help you judge the work you see, including your own work. It will encourage you to be selective, patient and reasonable, focusing on web contexts and your design goals.

    Read Combining Typefaces
  • Brian Suda

    Creating Symbol Fonts cover

    A new way of creating symbols, glyphs and icons on the web is emerging. The beautifully vectorised images you’re starting to see embedded in sites are called symbol fonts, and they’re smaller, faster, more manageable and smoother than any CSS sprite you might create. Symbol fonts will change the way front-end developers think and code sites. Are you ready?

    Buy Creating Symbol Fonts
  • Val Head

    CSS Animations cover

    CSS animations open up a whole new way to look at and use CSS to bring motion to the web in creative ways. This Pocket Guide is designed to help you jump into using CSS @keyframe animations in your own projects, providing a strong foundation on which to start experimenting and creating.

    Buy CSS Animations
  • Rachel Andrew

    CSS3 Layout Modules 2nd edition cover

    Explore some of the latest exciting CSS layout modules, including multicolumn layout, flexbox, grid layout, and more.

    The book available from Rachel’s site is the second edition - self published.

    Buy CSS3 Layout Modules 2nd edition
  • Brian Suda

    Designing with Data cover

    In recent years, the terms visualization, infographic and others have been bantered around with almost no regard to their use or meaning. There is a new vernacular emerging in the realms of data representations, but that doesn’t mean we can ignore the much simpler origins and best practices of charts and graphs.

    Brian Suda takes you on a journey through the basics and makes it easy to produce beautiful looking, accurate representations of data. He’ll walk you through how to visualize and design data in such a way that it engages the reader and tells a story rather than just being flashy, cluttered and confusing.

    Designing with Data is a visual feast. With over 200 illustrations, Brian leads you by the hand through the early history of charts and graphs through to complex visualisations. If you need to display data in any form, you need this book.

    Buy Designing with Data
  • Anna Debenham

    Front-end Style Guides cover

    Learn how to create comprehensive style guides for the web, whether you’re starting from scratch or assembling one for an existing site.

    Buy Front-end Style Guides
  • Andy Croll

    HTML Email cover

    Creating HTML emails is often thought of as an unpleasant and neglected part of web design, but email is hugely important for reaching out to your users, customers and clients.

    In an age where email is everywhere, even in your pocket, it’s crucial your users get the right experience across all their devices.

    In this book, Andy shows you how to design and build responsive email your customers and clients will love to receive.

    Buy HTML Email
  • Jon Hicks

    The Icon Handbook cover

    Have you ever needed to create an icon, and not known where to start?

    How do you go about crafting the right message, the tone, the line work and getting it to work in the environment it’s supposed to; be it mobile, operating system, or browser?

    The Icon Handbook is the only resource that guides you through the complete process of designing icons - from deciding on the correct metaphor, drawing clear & understandable symbols and implementing in your websites and apps.

    This book begins at the point when you need to create your own icons. Its purpose is to guide relatively inexperienced designers through an icon design workflow, starting with favicons and working up to application icons, as well as inspiring and providing a reference point for existing icon designers. The aim is not to improve proficiency in particular applications but, rather, to show you how to create icons with the common toolset found in most of them, so you can be more versatile.

    The download contains the book in ePub, PDF and Mobi formats.

    Buy The Icon Handbook
  • Chui Chui Tan

    International User Research cover

    In this book, Chui Chui debunks this myth and provides practical advice on where to start, what to do and what to look for when conducting international research. The book provides invaluable insights into how to optimise business strategies for global markets, and will help you improve your designs by understanding international users better.

    Buy International User Research
  • Andrew Travers

    Interviewing for research cover

    In ‘Interviewing for research’, Andrew Travers explains how to talk to users and stakeholders in the design process, demystifying the process of interviewing and help you use research to drive design decisions.

    Read Interviewing for research
  • Ben Seymour

    Practical Responsive Images cover

    In this pocket guide we’ll consider the cost and value of images, review image formats and historic practices, and explore some of the new features and tools available to us, such that we can be in a position to undertake a practical approach to responsive images.

    It can often be easier to learn by doing, so most code examples are made available for you to review and experiment with via a zero-install live coding environment. You will quickly be able to see how you might start to exploit the new approaches in your own projects.

    Buy Practical Responsive Images
  • Joe Leech

    Psychology for Designers cover

    In this book, Joe will show you how psychological theory can be applied to design. It won’t demand you read every single research study. In fact, it contains very little in the way of theory. What it will show you are the benefits of taking a psychological approach, as well as how to find and apply relevant ideas, and advocate your design decisions based on sound psychological reasoning, making your designs – and the way you talk about them – better.

    Buy Psychology for Designers
  • Kevin Mears

    Sketchnoting cover

    This Pocket Guide is about the use of sketching for taking notes and the clear communication of data and ideas.

    Kevin demonstrates how creating sketchnotes can be enjoyable and passes on some great tips on how to get started.

    Experienced doodlers will learn how to transform their scribbles to notes worth keeping & sharing, whilst complete beginners will recognise that the ability to draw is not a prerequisite to sketchnoting.

    Buy Sketchnoting
  • Christopher Murphy and Nicklas Persson

    The Craft of Words: Parts 1 and 2 (Bundle) cover

    ‘The Craft of Words’ – now available as a discounted bundle, combining both books – examines the role of words as an integral part of the design process, shaping users’ experiences.

    ‘Part 1: Macrocopy’ demonstrates how a respect for the craft of words can lead to better and more engaging user experiences and add an often overlooked, but important element, to your design toolbox.

    ‘Part 2: Microcopy’ examines the craft of words at a more focused level, exploring how words can enhance interfaces at the service of both function and delight.

    Previously published by Five Simple Steps, both books are now available as a discounted bundle in PDF, ePub and Kindle formats.

    Buy The Craft of Words: Parts 1 and 2 (Bundle)
  • Gavin Davies

    Using Build Tools cover

    Graphic designers and web developers can offload a large chunk of their mundane work onto a set of tools which can automate away tedious tasks. These tools have offputting names like Gulp, Grunt and Broccoli, but with a little effort, they can save you hours of time, leaving you free to focus on being creative!

    This book will teach you what build tools are, how they work, and how they can help you to automate your workflow.

    Available for free from the Radify website.

    Read Using Build Tools
  • Ryan Taylor

    Version Control with Git cover

    In this Pocket Guide, Ryan Taylor will introduce you to Git, a version control system that will change the way you manage your work and collaborate with teammates. Code fearlessly, knowing that every change you make is tracked, versioned and revertible at any time. Git’s capabilities are vast but getting started is simple. Once you’ve started using it, you’ll never look back.

    Read Version Control with Git
  • Andy Davies

    Web Performance cover

    Web pages are getting larger and slower to load, and we seem to be relying on browser and network improvements to rescue us.

    Visitors have expectations that pages should be faster but by stretching their patience, there’s a danger they will spend less time on our sites, visit fewer pages and buy less.

    This book guides you through why performance matters, how to improve it, why the methods work, and some of the trade-offs involved.

    You’ll learn practical techniques to improve website performance and be introduced to approaches that you can experiment with too.

    Read Web Performance
  • Rachel Shillcock

    Working with Brand & Design Guidelines cover

    Every business should have a set of brand & design guidelines that explain how to keep their brand’s image, visual style, personality and tone consistent across the many forms that the brand will take in its lifetime.

    But what happens when you have guidelines to use, but you have no idea how to put them into practice? This Pocket Guide will walk you through how to utilise the brand elements you have at hand, including typography, visual elements (colour, imagery, icons and more) and text and tone of voice, while also giving you ideas on how to create a set of e ective guidelines for your own business.

    Buy Working with Brand & Design Guidelines
  • Matt Gemmell

    Writing in Markdown cover

    Markdown lets you use plain text formatting conventions that you’ve probably already seen a hundred times – and perhaps even used yourself – to make documents that are not only clean and readable as-is, but which can also be readily converted into HTML and other rich formats.

    In this ultra-brief and to-the-point book, you’ll learn why Markdown is so powerful, and how to use it to create your own documents. We’ll cover syntax, tools, editors, advanced features, and suggested style. If you have just twenty minutes to spare, you can master Markdown.

    Buy Writing in Markdown