Friday Feast #52: Eye-catching, Practical, Cost-Effective Web Design

Designing with Web Standards, by Jeffrey ZeldmanToday’s post title describes what Jeffrey Zeldman’s new book, Designing with Web Standards, helps you do. Today’s Friday Feast is devoted to this fantastic, must-have new web design book.

Designing with Web Standards is packed with valuable and practical details about effective web design that can be beautiful and widely accessible while also being cost-effective and easy to maintain. Using his light-hearted humor with his substantial knowledge and expertise, Jeffrey skillfully guides readers through how we got to where we are today, XHTML, CSS, images, typography, working with browsers, accessibility and government guidelines, and DOM-based scripts. The final chapter is a CSS redesign that pulls together many of the details learned along the way.

Features that many will especially appreciate are how to work with browser diversity, including practical approaches to CSS with easy-to-understand explanations, examples, and code snippets. In the process readers will learn how to take advantage of today’s technology while not ignoring older browsers and alternative devices, an approach that allows for tremendous flexibility.

Throughout the chapters are code snippets, examples, and scripts that you can utilize and implement on your own sites. I’ve done exactly that with a DOM-based show/hide script from chapter 15. It’s an easy-to-implement script to show or hide content that also provides graceful degradation for browsers not using JavaScript. This approach also means there’s no need to create separate content for different users. I’ve implemented the script within my upcoming new weblog design to show or hide my daily reads links, providing the visitor with a hyperlink to click to show or hide the list. Visitors without JavaScript-enabled browsers can click the hyperlink and view the list in a separate window. Either way the content is accessible.

I’ve barely scratched the surface of Designing with Web Standards. To learn more, check out Jeffrey Zeldman’s Designing with Web Standards mini-site where you can also download the table of contents and two sample chapters (PDF).

Whether new to web design or a seasoned professional, readers will find plenty of helpful tips, scripts, and informative explanations. Designing with Web Standards covers an amazing amount of must-have information that I’ll be keeping at my desk for reference.

Note July 24: See also my July 24 post, Offline, Redesign for more on this new web design book.

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