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Web Standards Creativity: Innovations in Web Design with XHTML, CSS, and DOM Scripting

Web Standards Creativity: Innovations in Web Design with XHTML, CSS, and DOM Scripting [Kindle Edition]

Andy Budd , Rob Weychert , Dan Rubin , Ian Lloyd , Derek Featherstone , Jeff Croft , Andy Clarke , Mark Boulton , Cameron Adams , Simon Collison
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

  • Be inspired by 10 web design lessons from 10 of the worlds best web designers
  • Get creative with cutting-edge XHTML, CSS, and DOM scripting techniques
  • Learn breathtaking design skills while remaining standards-compliant
Here at friends of ED, we know that as a web designer or developer, your work involves more than just working to pay the bills. We know that each day, you strive to push the boundaries of your medium, unleashing your creativity in new ways to make your websites more engaging and attractive to behold, while still maintaining cross-browser support, standards compliance, and accessibility.That's why we got together ten of the world's most talented web designers to share their secrets with you. Web Standards Creativity is jam-packed with fresh, innovative design ideas. The topics range from essential CSS typography and grid design, effective styling for CMS-driven sites, and astonishing PNG transparency techniques, to DOM scripting magic for creating layouts that change depending on browser resolution and user preference, and better print layouts for web pages. We're sure you will find something here to inspire you!This full-color book's examples are not just stunning to look at, but also fully standards-compliant, up-to-date, and tested in current browsers including Internet Explorer 7. Playing by the rules doesn't have to mean drab or dull websites—Web Standards can be fun!

About the Author

Andy Budd is an Internationally renown user experience designer, web
standards developer and weblog author based in Brighton, England. Working
as a freelance consultant, Andy specializes in building attractive,
accessible and standards complaint web solutions. Andy enjoys writing about
web techniques for sites such as and his work has been
featured in numerous magazines, books and websites around the world. He has
written "CSS Mastery", along with Simon Collison and Cameron Moll.

Andy Clarke is an internationally sought-after speaker, designer and
consultant. He is creative director of Stuff and Nonsense, a design agency focusing on creative, accessible web.
Andy is passionate about design and passionate about Web Standards, often
bridging the gap between design and code.

He regularly trains designers and developers in the creative applications
of Web Standards. He writes about aspects of design and popular culture on
his personal web site, And All That Malarkey
Soon to be released is his first book, "Transcending CSS: The Fine Art of
Web Design."

Simon Collison has been working with web sites for almost six years. In
1999, he didn't even have a computer and was a bit web-phobic. How times
change. As lead web developer at Agenzia since 2002, he
has worked on numerous web projects for record labels (Universal, Vertigo,
and Poptones), high-profile recording artists (The Libertines, Dirty Pretty
Things, and The Beta Band), and leading visual artists and illustrators
(Jon Burgerman, Black Convoy, and Paddy Hartley). Simon also oversees a
production line of business, community, and voluntary sector web sites, and
passionately ensures everything is accessible and complies with current web

Away from the office, Simon runs the popular blog Colly Logic, and he is an active member of the so-called
Britpack--a collective of laid-back designers and developers who all share
a passion for responsible web design. When prised away from the laptop,
Simon can most likely be found in the pub or at a gig, waffling incessantly
about good music, football, or biscuits. Simon has lived in many cities,
including London and Reykjavik, but has now settled back in his beloved
Nottingham, where the grass is green and the girls are pretty. He
contributed chapters to "CSS Mastery," and "Blog Design Solutions," and has
just had his very own book published--"Beginning CSS Web Development."

Cameron Adams has a degree in law and one in science; naturally he chose a
career in Web development. When pressed, he labels himself a "Web
Technologist" because he likes to have a hand in graphic design,
JavaScript, CSS, Perl (yes, Perl), and anything else that takes his fancy
that morning. While running his own business he's
consulted and worked for government departments, nonprofit organisations,
large corporations and tiny startups.

As well as helping his list of clients, Cameron has taught numerous
workshops around the country and spoken at conferences worldwide, such as
@Media and Web Essentials. He has also written a book - The JavaScript
Anthology - which is one of the most complete question and answer resources
on modern JavaScript techniques.

Ian Lloyd runs, a site dedicated to promoting web
accessibility and providing tools for web developers. His personal site
`Blog Standard Stuff`, ironically, has nothing to do with standards for
blogs (it's a play on words), although there is an occasional
standards-related gem to be found there.

Ian works full-time for Nationwide Building Society where he tries his
hardest to influence standards-based design ("to varying degrees!"). He is
a member of the Web Standards Project, contributing to the Accessibility
Task Force. Web standards and accessibility aside, he enjoys writing about
his trips abroad and recently took a `year out' from work and all things
web (but then ended up writing more in his year off than he ever has). He
finds most of his time being taken up by a demanding old lady (relax, it's
only his old Volkswagen camper van).
Ian recently wrote his first book for SitePoint entitled `Build Your First
Web Site the Right Way with HTML and CSS` (in which he teaches web
standards-based design to the complete beginner).

The others...

Mark Boulton is a typographic designer from Cardiff, UK. He's worked in
Sydney, London, and Manchester as an Art Director for design agencies for
clients such as BBC, T-Mobile, and British Airways. For the past three
years, Mark has been working as a Senior Designer for the BBC designing web
sites and web applications.

He is an active member of the International Society of Typographic
Designers and writes a design journal.

Jeff Croft is a web and graphic designer focused on web standards-based
development living and working Lawrence, KS. Jeff also runs a popular blog and personal site, where he writes about many topics, including modern
web and graphic design.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 12007 KB
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Friends of ED; 1 edition (19 Mar 2007)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002PNW6K2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,147,812 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impressive Book 28 Nov 2007
I wanted to find a book helping me to understand why using CSS and why web design was so important in our everyday internet life. This book is just what I needed. First of all, if you like beautiful books, it is one you will like. It is about web design, it is logical to have a well designed book, but sometime it is not the case. Here, you will love having it in your hands and turning the pages.

In terms of content and organisation, it is just perfect for an advanced user. I did not want the author to explain that a div.myclass was a CSS selector referencing a HTML <div class="myclass"></div> but instead explaining the different ways to rearrange a HTML code generated by a CMS for instance.

Last point is that the book gives good advices for someone wanting to catch up with the most recent designers inclinations such as detaching the html generation from the style, or using only W3C standards methods. I have a very strong technical/theoretical education when it comes to computer science and entering the world of design is not easy. This book makes the first steps in this new world very easy and comfortable.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
When I bought this book I had already read several good books on modern css and web standards, so I was searching for something to go a step beyond. Learning new things it's a way of keeping me interested in this job.

If you already know the basics, this book will hopefully inspire you and make you try new things as it did for me.

Each chapter is written by a different author and that makes the book specially inspiring and easy to read. It covers a different area of web design on each chapter and you get as many different ways of dealing with a project/design/code.

I have my sample full with bookmarks and notes and after six months it is still always close to hand, specially when starting with new projects.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.9 out of 5 stars  20 reviews
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece 27 April 2007
By Nathan Smith - Published on
Every now and then, there a book comes along that really makes you stop and take notice. We review plenty of tech books on this site, and each one is a tome of knowledge in its own right. Web Standards Solutions though, is a work of art unto itself. Each page is full-color, with entire pages varying in color theme from the next. It feels as though you're thumbing through a high-end design catalog. I'd rank it right up there with The Zen of CSS Design.

Not only will this book serve to grace your coffee table, and make visitors "ooh and aah" over your fancy role as a web designer, it is also chalk full of helpful code and graphics tips. As with any multi-author book, each chapter has its own distinctiveness. Rather than attempt to down-play this, as with tech books, the chapters reflect the personalities of the author, both in tone and design. Here's a run-down of each chapter's topic...

Chapter 1 by Simon Collison
In this chapter, Colly covers the design process behind two of his acclaimed designs. He shows how to have solid markup, but at the same time create a distressed looking website in keeping with a band's musical style. The sites that are discussed are: The Libertines and Dirty Pretty Things.

Chapter 2 by Dan Rubin
This chapter is also about a band website, Lifehouse. Dan explains the CMS limitations he was up against, and how he creatively used CSS to wrangle the underlying XHTML under presentational control. He covers everything from his initial sketches > to Photoshop > to the final product.

Chatper 3 by Ethan Marcotte
Departing from the band topics, Ethan goes in-depth on the planning, design and code process that went into remaking New York Magazine. He covers some adept code-forking that was necessary to get IE5 to behave on Windows as well as Mac. Thankfully, IE5 has since been dropped from the A Grade list.

Chapter 4 by Andy Clarke
The king of malarkey cuts loose in this chapter, and walks you through creating a lighthearted, fictional site called WorrySome. He digs into the modern method of using CSS attribute selectors to target highly specific areas of your markup. He also makes mention of Dean Edwards IE7 script, which forces Internet Explorer 5 + 6 to respond to these more advanced techniques.

Chapter 5 by Jeff Croft
Jeff covers everything PNG, showing how to make use of this great, loss-less format. One thing that has slowed PNG adoption, though it is superior to both GIF and JPG, is that Internet Explorer doesn't do PNG alpha channels very well. He shows helpful tricks to get these bad browsers working correctly, and explains how they were used on the 49 ABC News site.

Chapter 6 by Mark Boulton
This chapter is all about designing on a grid. A hold-over from the days of print design, this organizational technique lends itself well to web design. The grid involves logical layouts of content, as well as attention to typographical detail. If one chapter is not enough, Mark has also self-published a book on grid layouts, entitled Five Simple Steps - Designing for the Web.

Chapter 7 by Rob Weychert
Robs chapter picks up where Mark's left off, and delves further into the rich history of typography. He creates a classical looking site (using modern methods of course). It's an homage to the famous dark poet Edgar Allan Poe. You can see the results of his case study here - [...]

Chapter 8 by Ian Lloyd
One of the leading voices in web accessibility, Ian Lloyd shows you how to use JavaScript to make things more accessible. Impossible, you say? Not so. He goes through the code necessary to format a page on the fly in preparation for printing. This makes content more accessible as a physical, paper copy.

Chapter 9 by Cameron Adams
Better known as The Man in Blue, Cameron is inarguably one of the most authoritative JavaScript experts alive. If you haven't seen his new Blobular SVG demo, it will blow your mind. In this chapter, he shows how to make a modular, user-driven Newsvine style layout, complete with drag and drop.

Chapter 10 by Derek Featherstone
Derek is yet another leading expert and international speaker on web accessibility. In this last chapter of the book, he shows how to create advanced JavaScript animation effects, while at the same time keeping the content accessible to assistive technologies like screen readers.

So there you have it, one of the most comprehensive compilations of real-world web design solutions and techniques. I cannot emphasize enough how nice of a book it is because of it's full-color print. When Molly Holzschlag agrees to be the tech editor, and Andy Budd writes the forward, you just know it's gotta be good. All ten authors have knocked it outta of the park with this one.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as it should be 26 Jun 2007
By Costa Michele - Published on
This book is a bunch of use-cases developed by PRO technicians in Web standards (but Andy Budd, the author of the essential CSS MASTERY, have only written the introduction).
While some of the topics are of great interest, i can't help to feel a bad habit when reading them: the book does not follow a straight line to deploy the info, it's more like a collage rather than a well structured painting.
I also find the layout not such usable (a little paradox for a book that also talk about Web usability): reading the electronic version of the book the continuous change of background start boring me (and tiring my eyes) after 20 pages (i suppose the paper version must be better).
That said it's not a bad book, but neither a masterpiece.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Information -- Distracting Design 3 May 2007
By Joshua K. Briley - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
There's no doubt the information in this book is great. Ian Lloyd's chapter on using the DOM to overcome some of the previously unnoticed shortcomings of print style sheets was particularly interesting.

The amount of information in the book is by no means overwhelming - its concise. Had the superfluous, non-illustrative design elements not been there, I estimate I could have read the book cover to cover on a short plane ride. Instead it's taken me a few long sittings and a few ibuprofen (to battle the headaches) to get in all the information.

The reason I didn't give this book five stars is because of the distracting nature of the design. This may seem nit-picky to some, but I think it becomes a usability/readability concern. It seems like every other page (give or take a few) is a different color, many with background images behind the text. Why? Maybe there's a reason... Maybe it's random. It's definitely distracting, taking away from the content itself.

It's understandable that the folks at Friends of Ed thought design embellishments would work with the underlying theme... IMHO, it's a little overdone.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great content in need of a redesign 10 May 2007
By Nora Brown - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I absolutely agree with one of the other reviewers who mentioned the extremely distracting design of this book. Whoever made the bizarre decision to make EVERY SINGLE page a different color, often printed with background images, should think about some of the authors' principals of accessibilty, and design not interfering with content. It makes it impossible to jump to a specific section or go back in the text and find anything.

Aside from the ill-conceived design, this book is excellent. Each author delves into not just "tips and tricks" but how to refine and improve a design, and implement that more sophisticated design on the web.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cookbook of creating usable, accessible, and interactive websites. 3 May 2007
By Nate Klaiber - Published on
Web Standards Creativity: Innovations in Web Design with XHTML, CSS, and DOM Scripting by Cameron Adams, Mark Boulton, Andy Clarke, Simon Collison, Jeff Croft, Derek Featherstone, Ian Lloyd, Ethan Marcotte, Dan Rubin, and Rob Weychert --whew--was an excellent resource for any web developer. Each of the authors had their own chapter based on different aspects to create accessible, usable, and standards based websites. Andy Budd wrote the introduction and let readers know that this book was an extension to his previously published CSS Mastery--and I would agree. This book was broken into 3 main sections and 10 total chapters.

The first section was dedicated to Layout Magic. The chapters covered such topics as background images, page structure and contents such as menus, content highlights, and the masthead. We got a glimpse of how you can best manage, or tame, a wild CMS using CSS, Javascript, and Flash (sIFR). We move on to discussions related to switching your layouts based on your body selectors. This chapter exposes tips and tricks to create a website with several layout options--by switching a class on the body--all of the underlying markup is the same. Next we take our skills and apply them to a layout that jumps out of the grid or boxy layout. For those of you who have read Transcending CSS this chapter will be familiar as Andy Clarke walks us through a layout while using element selectors, descendant selectors, and adjacent sibling selectors. If you love pink, you will love this layout! The last chapter in this section discusses some creative uses of PNG's. I would say this was one of my favorite chapters of the entire book. Jeff Croft does a great job discussing the different image formats, their uses, and why PNG is now a viable option for your websites. He shows some great examples with the alpha transparency and it's uses for things like image captions, icons, and even watermarking and masking. This section gives you a solid foundation to begin creating some very exciting layouts.

The second section bridges the gap between print design and web design. Mark Boulton starts this section off by giving a brief history to the grid in print design and how this can be applied to the web. He shows us how to use background images and a little bit of math, allowing you to create websites that align to a horizontal grid. For those who have seen, or even Mark's personal site,, you can see this example in action. The next chapter talks about Typography. I think that this chapter could have been expanded into it's own book--there is much to be discussed here. This chapter gives you the tools you need to creatively use elegant typography in your layouts'without sacrificing accessibility. These two chapters give a great primer on getting inspiration from other areas of design--including print.

The final section is related to the DOM and some tricks to enhance your website. The first chapter talks about printing. Using a mixture of print stylesheets and the DOM we are able to print specific sections of a page, while hiding the unnecessary elements of the page. The user is given total control--so this solution only helps to save a user from wasting mass amounts of paper (they can select to print the entire page if they would like). The next chapter discusses extending your layouts based on the size of the browser port (resolution-dependent, though not directly dependent on the screen resolution). The tricks here allow you to create a layout that looks great in a smaller viewport, and re-arranges the layout for those who use more screen real estate. This is not stretching with the viewport (fluid), but actually re-arranging your columns and navigation based on the viewport. Some very valuable tips in this chapter. The last chapter finishes us off with an accessible sliding navigation. This example can be found all around the web, but most of them don't always address the accessibility needs and issues that may arise. Derek Featherstone does a great job of putting accessibility at the forefront of creating the sliding navigation, while still giving you a stunning end product.

This book was a great read, and is packed full of great tips, tricks, and usable scripts to enhance the overall usability of your website. All of this is done without hindering the accessibility for the widest audience. This book is highly recommended for those who are looking for the best practices to achieve different effects. To be honest, some of the chapters were very elementary--while others were more advanced--but everything was explained very well by the authors and the code examples.
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