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Learning Web Design: A Beginner's Guide to HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Web Graphics Fourth Edition Edition

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ISBN-13: 978-1449319274
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jennifer Niederst Robbins was one of the first designers for the Web. As the designer of O'Reilly's Global Network Navigator (GNN), the first commercial web site, she has been designing for the Web since 1993. She is the author of the bestselling "Web Design in a Nutshell" (O'Reilly), and has taught web design at the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston and Johnson and Wales University in Providence. She has spoken at major design and Internet events including SXSW Interactive, Seybold Seminars, the GRAFILL conference (Geilo, Norway), and one of the first W3C International Expos.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 624 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; Fourth Edition edition (August 24, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1449319270
  • ISBN-13: 978-1449319274
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 1.3 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (169 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,381 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

From the Publisher

How This Book Is Organized

Part I: Getting Started

Part I lays a foundation for everything that follows in the book. I start off with some important general information about the web design environment, including the various roles you might play, the technologies you might learn, and tools that are available to you. You’ll get your feet wet right away with HTML and CSS and learn how the Web and web pages generally work. I’ll also introduce you to some Big Concepts that get you thinking the way modern web designers think about their craft.

Part II: HTML for Structure

The chapters in Part II cover the nitty-gritty of every element and attribute available to give content semantic structure, including the new elements introduced in HTML5. We’ll cover the markup for text, links, images, tables, and forms. Part II closes out with an in-depth discussion of HTML5 and how it differs from previous standards.

Part III: CSS for Presentation

In the course of Part III, you’ll go from learning the basics of using Cascading Style Sheets for changing the presentation of text to creating multicolumn layouts and even adding time-based animation and interactivity to the page. It also addresses common CSS techniques, including how to create a page using Responsive Web Design.

Part IV: JavaScript for Behaviors

Mat Marquis starts Part IV out with a rundown of JavaScript syntax so you can tell a variable from a function. You’ll also get to know some ways that JavaScript is used, including DOM Scripting, and existing JavaScript tools, such as polyfills and libraries, that let you put JavaScript to use quickly even if you aren’t quite ready to write your own code from scratch.

Part V: Creating Web Graphics

Part V introduces the various file formats that are appropriate for the Web and describes how to optimize them to make their file size as small as possible.

More About the Author

Jennifer Niederst Robbins got started designing for the Web in 1993 as the graphic designer for Global Network Navigator (GNN), the first commercial website published by O'Reilly. She has been writing books about web design since 1995, including Learning Web Design, Web Design in a Nutshell, and the HTML5 Pocket Reference. Jennifer has spoken at many conferences and has taught beginning web design at Massachusetts College of Art and Johnson & Wales University. She now uses her web technology know-how in the design and development of mobile apps and other digital products at O'Reilly Media.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

126 of 127 people found the following review helpful By Ann Foley on October 19, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Oh, I love this book. If you're shopping for a beginning web design book, get this one first. You'll end up using it until it's dog-eared, and waiting eagerly for a new edition in a few years!

I teach introductory Web Page Design to design students at Madison College in Madison, WI. This is the textbook I require my students to buy.

Learning Web Design has a friendly style and great explanations of what web pages are, how they work and how to make them. It drills deeply into HTML, CSS and web images. And it touches on javascript and other topics you'll need to know if you continue to work in web design/development.

More important to me and my very visual students, the book is well designed (a rarity in books about web design/development). The page layout and images used make the book's information easier to understand and make the book fun to sit down and read.

Learning Web Design is a great tool for my students, and I'm sure it serves them as a great reference as they enter their careers.
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69 of 72 people found the following review helpful By Boanerges Aleman-Meza on October 9, 2012
Format: Paperback
The book tells you not only how to do stuff, it tells you why and when it is right to do so. Proportionally speaking, if the book were 11 pages, you get 1 page for introduction, 3 for HTML, 5 for CSS and 2 for javascript. The book focuses on the important stuff, and says what is good on each. You can always learn the material online via web search, copying examples, etc, but it will take a while to grasp the 'why' of its intended usage.

If you already know some of the material and want a refresher on the latest (such as HTML5), simply go to the 'test yourself' section at the end of each chapter. The core of the book is the HTML and CSS content. It nicely explains what it's new in HTML5.

HTML5: the book tells you what to do for browsers that do not support HTML5. It is to the point in just what you need to know. It includes enough for the video tag but not too much. If you need to go deep into canvas tag, get another book.

CSS: the book gives you strategies for page layout, and covers nice stuff such as round corners, transitions, transformations, animations. Finally I was able to fully understand a number of CSS techniques that I have used in my sites.

JavaScript: the book covers enough to practically know what it is and why you may have to learn it in the future. If you need to go deep in JavaScript, get another book. Lastly, a small chapter on web graphics is what I consider 'filler' content for people that know nothing about image formats.

The book is big and pretty, in the same way that you can learn genetics online, we all know that the best is to get a genetics book and read through it. Similarly here, you wont regret getting the hard-copy, it is similar to a traditional college book (definitely less pricey than a genetics book).
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44 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Leslie Harback on November 13, 2012
Format: Paperback
Trying to learn how to write a Web site from scratch? If you're just looking around online for how to do it, good luck! It's not as simple as it might seem to learn about HTML, CSS, and Javascript.

That's where Jennifer Niederst Robbins's book, Learning Web Design: A Beginner's Guide to HTML, CSS, Javascript, and Web Graphics comes in. A lot of resources that purport to explain the beginnings of anything either involve dry lists of features (in the case of HTML most involve listing and explaining tags one by one). This book does something no other book has, at least not that I've found: it tells you at the beginning what you need to learn and what hardware and software you need. If you've never written any HTML before, these kinds of things are completely indispensable, and yet somehow you'll have to scour dozens of sometimes completely contradictory Web sites to find the same information. After searching for quite some time, you'll often find online something you think is an answer, only to discover that the page you're reading has been up and has remained un-updated since the late 1990's. With this excellently written volume, you can see that it's been written in 2012 and know that it's (at least as of this review) completely up to date, and everything is here in this one book.

I picked the book up primarily to come up to speed on modern HTML, since I often take the Wordpress route of Web design, and it had been quite a while since I wrote a bunch of HTML from scratch. I had a weekend to build a Web site from nothing, and I found pretty much everything I needed, right here.
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44 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Orozco Lopez Victor Leonel on September 20, 2012
Format: Paperback
I received this book as a part of O'Reilly User Groups program, although I'm interesed in many other topics, I was searching for a book that could help to eliminate the "ugly GUI" culture that I've noticed in my own developments and development for others, specially when the technology is Java.

In my developer phase I've noticed that the average developer becomes astonished by the Java GUI framework of the season and jumps from University to the work field with a little knowledge about HTML, CSS and JavaScript repeating always the sentence "let the designers design, I'm here for the hard work". In real world soon or later is necessary to match both roles or act as powerfull developer-designer, however most of times the lack of good HTML/CSS/JS knowledge is avoided using WYSIWIG editors or dragging JSF components from the IDE designer. At the end is functional but most of times, the lost of control over HTML generation also means ugly or non standard compliant GUI.

About the book:
As many experienced web developers already know, the real issue with HTML learning is not find the material. By the contrary the real problem is choose between the available free learning tutorials without being overwhelmed because of the repeated material. W3Schools is a good and reference start point, but I've seen every HTML tutorial claiming itself as the best, that I just avoid them because of they cause the contrary effect in me.
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