1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Awesome for beginners, very good for those more seasoned,
This review is from: Designing with Web Standards (Voices That Matter) (Paperback)
- You come away with an excellent understanding of web standards in every context where they can be applied as well as the reasons for their importance - this book does exactly what it promises, teaches you about designing with web standards.
- Great chapters on CSS & browser bugs, understanding DOCTYPEs, how to use divs and classes the *right* way & introduction to typography.
- Also includes some good initial discussion of HTML5 & CSS3.
- The first 5-6 chapters are really quite basic - even historical - and require only light skimming (or the motivation to plough through!).
NOTE: Although some chapters are quite in-depth and all chapters contain links for further reading, if you are looking for deep knowledge in a particular subject other than web standards (CSS, HTML5, typography, fluid design), you will probably be better off with a book specialized in that subject.
Zeldman is excellent at providing a thorough understanding of web standards and arming us with a myriad of reasons on why they're important. For example, it's often difficult for designers to avoid filling their XHTML with divs and classes as presentational hooks rather than using them semantically (with relevance to the content of the actual webpage). Although most people know the broad strokes of 'divitis' and 'classitis' (overuse of divs and classes), Zeldman helps the the reader get under the hood of the problem and really understand what the better alternatives are.
There are a couple of *very* useful chapters on CSS basics & (principally IE6) browser bugs, laying things out in such a structured form that even those who have been using CSS for a while now are likely to benefit from it as a form of reorganizing the ideas in their minds. There is also a standards-driven discussion of currently usable CSS3 & HTML5 which proved interesting, though for deeper information on the CSS3 as it stands in late 2009, I suggest Handcrafted CSS: More Bulletproof Web Design (Voices That Matter).
Other interesting chapters include those on typography (again, this is complemented by a very clear discussion of font size in fluid designs by Ethan Marcotte's chapter in Handcrafted CSS: More Bulletproof Web Design (Voices That Matter)), accessibility and an introduction to DOM, all nicely capped off with a practical application in a redesign of the Zeldman website.
The only downside of this book is that I found the first 5 or 6 chapters really difficult to get through as they are very historic. Although I understand the benefits of starting the reader off with some background information, I definitely think it drags on for too long here.