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Adaptive Web Design: Crafting Rich Experiences with Progressive Enhancement Paperback – May 30, 2011

4.2 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Easy Readers, LLC; 1st edition (May 30, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 098358950X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0983589501
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,426,010 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

As would be expected from a former manager of the Web Standards Project, Aaron Gustafson is passionate about web standards and accessibility.

In his nearly two decades working on the Web, Aaron has worked with a number of companies you've probably heard of including Box, Happy Cog, Major League Baseball, McAfee, the New York Times, SAS, StubHub, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Vanguard, Walgreens, and Yahoo. He recently joined Microsoft as a web standards advocate to work closely with their browser team.

Aaron loves to share his knowledge and insights in written form. His three-part series on progressive enhancement for A List Apart is a perennial favorite and his seminal book on the subject, Adaptive Web Design, has earned him numerous accolades and honors. When he's not writing, Aaron is frequently on the road presenting at conferences and running workshops across the globe.

Back home in Chattanooga, TN, Aaron is the proprietor of the Chattanooga Open Device Lab and helps organize the Code & Creativity talk series with his partner Kelly McCarthy. He is a longtime member of Rosenfeld Media's "experts" group and writes about whatever's on his mind at aaron-gustafson.com.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I'm just reading the final chapter in this book and I can't recommend it highly enough.

As an ASP.NET Web Forms developer, I can relate only too well to the need for diligence and common sense when designing websites that are being accessed on a plethora of devices, some not yet envisioned, by so many different people, many of whom have accessibility issues. I have been facing an uphill struggle in my own attempts to embrace solid best practices in my work and this book has restored my confidence in that quest.

The only other book out there in the same league is the one on Progressive Enhancement by the Filament Group; I just wish I had read this one first! There is no better introduction to the topic out there.

"Think of the User, not the Browser."
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
With this short but well-written book, you'll learn the key principles and primary techniques for designing web pages that can adapt to devices with different capabilities and display constraints, and are accessible to users equipped with assistive technologies such as screen readers, using only best practices revolving around the effective application of semantic markups, cascading style sheets (CSS), and Javascript.

The book explains in simple terms what designing web pages with progressive enhancements in mind entails: Keep the initial design simple. Focus first on the semantic markups and basic stylings you can safely use across browsers and devices, then if feature detection code incorporated into the subject web page indicates that a targeted feature is supported, layer on the bells and whistles programmatically through the use of Javascript or CSS rule sets.

The author provides just enough examples to illustrate the concepts under discussion. If you are just starting to learn about adaptive web design, this book will help you get started in the right direction more quickly than the Filament Group's Designing with Progressive Enhancement: Building the Web that Works for Everyone book. The latter, however, does provide a slightly more in-depth discussion of adaptive web design and a more extensive collection of examples than this book.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Adaptive Web Design explains so elegantly what progressive enhancement is all about, convinces you to believe in the practice, and provides practical implementation techniques. The storytelling is superb and content top-notch. If you create on the web, even if you already know a thing or two about progressive enhancement, this is a must read; I loved it!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When I first started hearing about media queries and adaptive or responsive website design (I believe I heard about these techniques through Website Magazine), I had no idea where to turn to learn them but I knew I needed to jump on it! Web design evolves FAST. I must admit that when I turned to Amazon to find a good book on the subject; initially I was drawn to choose this book simply because of the beautiful and stunning chameleon cover - its so approachable and friendly, it makes media queries less frightening! But after 'looking inside the book' via Amazon and reading more reviews about it from others; I was sold. It shipped fast and with a thoughtful letter from the author and I read it cover-to-cover within a couple of days just like a good novel. I keep all of my design and development books for later reference, so this is definitely one I will be referring back to as I begin to build my first fully responsive and adaptive website. Mobile internet use is so huge now; I'm glad I didn't wait any longer to get this book. A great read for any designer - freelance or agency! :)
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Even as an introduction to the topic, this book is simply brilliant. With few exceptions, the author writes in a very clear, teaching style, walking the reader through the topic. With the explosion of smart mobile devices, and the coming "web everywhere" technologies, the web developer really has no clue as to what browser capabilities or screen size the users of the site will have. Telling potential customers, clients, or even info junkies, that "This website only works in Firefox 5+ in landscape mode over a high-speed connection with JavaScript enabled" is no longer acceptable.

By embracing Progressive Enhancement now, you'll enable your users to perform all necessary tasks and access all content regardless of their browser version or JavaScript capabilities, even with CSS turned off (think accessibility). Understanding the required backward compatibility of HTML and CSS is the key to future proofing your site.

The only negative is that I disagree with how the author uses a few of the HTML5 tags in the code samples, but since HTML5 is still a work in progress, it does not change the 5 star rating.

Read it once, read it again, and then look into these other books to add pieces to the Adaptive Web Design puzzle:

Responsive Web Design ([...])
Mobile First ([...])
Designing with Progressive Enhancement: Building the Web that Works for Everyone ([...]
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