InterACT with Web Standards: A holistic approach to web design (Voices That Matter) Paperback – 16 May 2010
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From the Back Cover
Laying the foundation for a solid understanding of Web design, this book weaves together industry best practices and standards-based design techniques. It is built on practical examples and short exercises crafted to help readers learn quickly and retain information. Starting with the basics this book teaches:
- Internet fundamentals
- Planning, content strategy, and information architecture
- HTML and CSS
25% of all author proceeds from this book will be donated to The Open Web Education Alliance (http://www.w3.org/2005/Incubator/owea/) to help advance web education around the world.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
I don't have a personal connection to any of the authors of this publication but I feel fortunate to have met the book's Project Manager, Aarron Walter, at a 2010 web design conference. After our brief meeting, hearing his presentation at the conference, and now reading this work, I can tell you that this is a person who deeply cares about the education of future web professionals. And that caring shines through in the book. The multiple individuals who contributed chapters to this publication also show concern for web education as they guide readers through web design's best practices and standards with an easy and light-hearted style. I did not have any trouble adjusting to each individual author's approach to the various chapter topics. And I think it's also important to mention that this group of authors is donating 25% of their proceeds to the W3C's Open Web Education Alliance, a group formed to promote standards and best practice based education for web professionals.
More specifically, one of the really great things about this publication is that it includes "Try it yourself" sections, that offer exercises to practice the techniques you learn about in the book. There is also a companion website that provides code downloads for the HTML and CSS chapters. I found the Accessibility chapters particularly helpful. The final chapter provides a very good overview of all the topics presented in the book by guiding readers through the process of planning and building an entire website.
Other aspects of the book I found useful include the introduction to Internet fundamentals provided, coverage of the preparation and planning that goes into the development of websites (e.g., information architecture, content strategy), the various help areas highlighting tips and resources for more information, and the inclusion of HTML5 and CSS3 concepts in the appropriate chapters.
Overall, this is an easy-to-follow and well organized book. If you are looking for comprehensive coverage of standards-based design and development, this is the publication for you.
Students starting in on the topic will benefit from a great roadmap of best practices. "Seasoned" developers will benefit from the thoughtful review of best practices to add [back] to your business.
It was almost like reading a novel at times. I'll have to admit, after a while, I ran out of time and didn't read the last quarter or so. But what I read was really helpful with my class.
Right from the beginning, this book stands out just based on it's physical design. The book is just very well laid out. It's full color (which makes a lot of code snippets a lot easier to read) and each chapter contains plenty of graphics to help illustrate many of the concepts.
It's divided into three main sections, covering relevant background material, information architecture basics, and the nuts and bolts of html and css concepts. The book also has the "interact" aspect with plenty of exercises that you can work with to follow along as you learn as well as a final project that ties everything together.
Two places which really stood out to me were the inclusion of a full section on information architecture and the chapters devoted completely to accessibility. The IA section of the book really gives you a great high level view of planning a website and how various people (content creators, designers, developers, etc) come together to plan out a web development project. For the accessibility chapters, they really clarify what accessibility is (and why it matters) and points out resources that you can use to implement accessibility testing and how you can adhere to accessibility standards.
I have to admit, I went into the book at sort of the intermediate-level (not a beginner) but the parts devoted to teaching code (html and css) were very clear and definitely augmented by the code samples from the companion website. Additionally, the final project really helped me bring all of the concepts that I'd learned (both from this book and from previous studies) together in a holistic way.
Finally, if you're visual oriented, you may find that the color and the design of the book really help turn it into a good reference. The edge of the book is colored (sort of like a dictionary) so you can spot where the chapters are. Then, the headings are clear and semantic enough that you can often find the topic you're looking for.
I was going to gripe about having to type out all of the URLs in the book...but I suppose I didn't read the intro well enough. Eventually I found them on the companion website (But only *after* doing all the work, sheesh).